Cold Water Dipping and Mental Health

Introducing something new into your life can re-energize and rejuvenate your mental state. It can lead to self-discovery and new ideas. For those dealing with depression or anxiety issues, diving into a new hobby or new adventure can pave the road toward recovery. 

Challenge yourself to try something new. Find adventure. Flip your perspective upside down.

This summer, I end-to-end hiked the Long Trail with four amazing teenagers. I know, I still owe you a blog post about it. I owe them an epic slide show. Thing is, this fall, I was blocked. I found myself in a creative rut. I tried everything, but nothing seemed to help.

Then, I started a new activity; cold water dipping. And when I say cold, I mean frigid. I was invited to try this seemingly crazy undertaking and I am astounded by the numerous benefits it has brought to my life.

We’ve all heard it, pandemic fatigue is real. Little did I know, saying ‘yes’ to my friend when she offered was my ‘something new’ and it has gotten me through this fatigue with joy, inspiration, happiness and a sense of connection.

We are closing in on a year of connection depletion. Not only are we not eating, playing, socializing, dating or recreating in person with anyone other than those in our immediate bubbles, we are missing out on hugs, handshakes and perhaps the most impactful for me, smiles. This lack of human interaction has certainly taken its toll.

Honestly, I haven’t done all the research on the numerous benefits of cold-water immersion, but I know how it makes my mind, body and soul feel. I am clear headed and grounded, focused and creative, strong and beautiful, connected and joyful, grateful and inspired.

This ritual started as a monthly agreement, but soon became weekly. Now it’s happening daily – if not twice a day (affectionately referred to as a double dip). I feel a deep nourishing sense of belonging and connection to myself, my fellow red hot chilly dippers, mother nature and to the universe during this very difficult time in our history.

So, if immersing yourself in 34-degree lake temps in 16-degree air temps during a snow storm is not your thing, I get it. It wasn’t mine either, until it was.

It is my hope that you all find your thing that gets you through pandemic fatigue!

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