Finding Effervescence; How An Ocean Dip Washes Away My Anxiety

Running barefoot along the beach, the sand is soft underfoot making it more challenging as I try to drive forward to pick up the pace. It's raining but it's warm. Raindrops kiss my face, awakening to the sun which is obscured by a thick band of rain clouds. My rain jacket throws back my body heat as I round the washed-up tree stump that serves as my turning marker.

Lilli Pilli Beach, NSW South Coast. A private beach cove to surf and swim. Viewpoint from the coastal trail that follows the headlands.

It’s just before 8:00 am we’ve been here almost an hour. Shan and the girls are in the surf catching waves. Ziggy is next to me, eager to take off as fast as his 4 legs can take him yet carries a steady pace faithfully next to me as we run back and forth along the sandy cove.

It’s humid and I’m spent. The sun breaks from behind the clouds for a brief moment to light up a patch of water just in front of me, as if someone had shone a torch for direction. The light dances atop the water, glistening with such luminosity, it almost blinds me. Acting on the invitation, I strip down to my bikinis and walk into the sparkling sea.

The cool water is a welcome relief. I dive under a wave, coming up take a deep breath, and surrender to the feeling of weightlessness. My legs heavy from the run, now float in front of me as I lay face skywards, marveling in the joy of the sea.

My mind had been running faster than I had. A mental checklist of all the things I needed to do challenged one another for importance in the front of my mind. The thoughts overwhelming and anxiousness rising, I hadn’t noticed just how far it had run away from me until I was immersed in the cool water and felt it all melt away.

Submerging under crashing waves, forced to take a deep inhalation, I’d returned to my senses.

A simple way to instantly anchor through your senses, try the above exercise. Repeat as many times as necessary.

The swollen body of water moves beneath me, as I float up and down, almost as if rolling on a hill. I notice rocky headlands towering on either side of the small bay. Native shrubs cling to the cliffs, and tall gum trees fight for height as their branches twist in the coastal winds. The craggy cliffs are dotted with large white quartz and as the waves crash up and into the cliff face, the white crystal sparkle like a disco light. It's wild and peaceful at the same time.

Diving under the waves, I feel the pull on my hair as I push my face into the belly of the wave. Hair flowing down my back, I’m transported to my childhood and dreams of mermaids and life under the sea. The pure joy of innocent memories clears any anxious thoughts.