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The mini reset that helps me recover from my fast-paced life

Livvy Probert, founder of Hawq, makes time for a seaside trip every few months – and feels all the better for it

Triple shot of a woman at the beach / in nature
September 5, 2023
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When I need a break from my fast-paced life, I always head to the coast to swim in the sea. I love the hustle and bustle of living and working in London but it’s easy to get caught up in it without taking any time to stop and breathe. Getting out of the city allows me to slow down, have some time for myself and  carving out thinking time.

I find something peaceful about being at the beach. It’s the change in pace from the energy of London. The peace and quiet of listening to the waves, the fresh air. There’s no stress from looking at emails and replying to messages. Being by the sea helps me take time out for a few hours.

Cold water immersion is big news at the moment and I certainly feel the benefits of it. It’s so rejuvenating when you get out of the cold sea. Whether it’s the cold water or a break from the fast pace, being by the sea feels like a mini reset, like I can be more productive and calmer when I get back.

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Nothing beats swimming in the sea. It’s not even for the workout, as sometimes I don't swim particularly far, but spending time in the cold water is great. Depending on the time of year and where I am definitely determines how long I can stay in. Sandbanks Beach on New Year's Day is one of my favourites but I can’t say we stay in much longer than 10 minutes! After that, going for a walk or even just sitting on the beach to take in the fresh air, drinking a hot tea and enjoying the peace.

I love the satisfaction of getting out of the sea after a chilly swim. It’s almost feeling a bit smug for doing it. It takes a bit of self-talk to get in to start with, particularly on New Year's Day when it’s freezing! But there’s such a great feeling when you get out and wrap yourself up in a towel and a blanket.

RELATED: How cold-water swimming eased my anxiety and isolation

I’d love to swim in the sea more often than I actually do, but I try and go every couple of months. It’s much easier over the summer with a trip to Devon or Cornwall, but even during the winter months, I love to try and persuade my family into joining me for a trip to the sea.

My family have always been very outdoorsy as we grew up in the countryside in Wiltshire so I’ve grown up loving the outdoors. We spent lots of time going for family walks and bike rides (even if back then I was a little less keen to participate!).

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We were lucky to have a little dinghy that my Dad taught my brother and I to sail in so we’ve always spent a lot of time in and out of the sea. We spent lots of weekends playing at Studland Bay, kayaking around the rocks and running in and out of the sea.

For me, a swim in the sea is the perfect blend of the benefits of cold water immersion, a reset from the hustle and bustle and a connection to my family and childhood.

Livvy Probert is co-founder and head of science at workplace wellbeing platform, HAWQ

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