Saturday 10th October is World Mental Health Day. And this year is the most important one yet. The months of lockdown and loss have had a huge impact on us all, and prioritising mental health has never been more important than it is now.

Swimming has been my happy place for a while, but only this year have I really appreciated how good it is for my mood and my mental health. Slipping into the water and letting the days worries float away. As the water gets colder, it becomes more of a mindfulness exercise – less worried about distance, more about purely embracing the cold and being totally in the present moment.

When you are immersed in cold water it’s hard to be anything other than present in the present moment! Without my swims, either in the bay at high tide or at one of the local lakes, I know I would start to struggle again with the Black Dog scratching at the door. A lack of impulse to do anything would settle in, the urge to sleep all day would return