Sea swimming for my mental health

Date: 28 October 2020   Author: Energise Me

After hearing the quote “Win the Morning, Win the day” Chris was inspired. Now he uses being active to set up his day right and look after his mental health.


I’ve always been active. I love sport and activity. I’m a physical training instructor in the Royal Navy and I play rugby league, football and basketball. As I have got older this love has transformed into a passion for the psychology of being active.

I heard the quote “Win the Morning, Win the Day” and was inspired. I think it is such a good mantra. Often we don’t give ourselves time in the morning. We get out of bed last-minute, rush to shower and get out the door. It doesn’t’ set us up right for the day.

Having suffered with depression in the past, I know how important looking after yourself is. You have to be kind to yourself in order to look after your mental well-being. The idea of starting your day right is that it will help with this and hopefully result in better mental well-being.

I was listening to the ‘Leg it’ podcast and they were talking about breeding positivity. They talked about using early morning workouts on the beach and sea swimming to start the day positively. I loved this idea and wanted to give it ago.

You can’t help everyone but it’s the little things that make a difference and I can try and help as many people as possible.

Win the Morning, Win the Day

After speaking to one of my mates and him telling me to just do it, I decided to set up my own sea swimming group. The idea was to meet, walk for a couple of miles and then take a dip in the sea. We started a Facebook and Instagram to get the word out there. The first week we had 60 people turn up. The second we had over 100.

One of the men that came along was actually from Southsea, not Gosport, where the group was running. He wanted to set up his own in Southsea but was unsure. I encouraged him to just do it. We now have people setting up groups all over the country: Manchester, the Midlands and Devon. Groups have even been set up in Canada, Switzerland and Holland.

It’s been a bit overwhelming. I’ve had lots of people reaching out to me, sharing their stories of poor mental health and wanting to get involved. I have to be careful not to overload myself. The way I see it, you can’t help everyone but it’s the little things that make a difference and I can help as many people as possible.

I have to surround myself with good people and keep exercising to keep myself going.

How sea swimming helps manage my depression:

There is a lot of science behind why exercise is good for the brain with positive endorphins and things, but for me it’s all about setting my day up right. I know what my triggers are, what impacts my mental health and depression. If I’m not exercising, or if I’m eating bad and drinking too much then my mental health suffers. I have to surround myself with good people and keep exercising to keep myself going.

I’m still human. I have bad days sometimes. At the moment everything has gotten a bit much. Since Win the Morning, Win the Day has taken off I get a lot of messages and people reaching out to me. It’s great and I want to help others, but I have to also look after me. I switched my phone off for three hours the other day, just to have some me-time.


Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

I’m not like “I’m Chris Reeves, I’m amazing”. I am trying to better myself daily and I think that’s what I would say to other people. You’re in charge of your own mind and actions. I don’t like getting up in the morning extra early and I hate the sea and cold water. But I know it’s important to challenge yourself daily. I’m getting more comfortable getting into the sea now as I have gotten used to it.

It’s fine to struggle with things. Everyone has bad days and things that upset them but the more difficult situations you put yourself in the more mental robustness you will build. Set small steps to reach goals and challenge yourself. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable to move forward.

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