I’ve always thought there was something magical about the sea.
As I child, going on holiday, I remember watching from the windows waiting in excitement for the first sign of the ocean.
“I see the sea, and the sea sees me!”, we would sing, knowing that the holiday really began at this point.
When I first started making my way down to live on the south coast of the UK, I became even more aware of the positive effects it had on my mental health.
I believed the sea had the answers; I would go down to the beach and allow the coastal horizons to clear my mind.
Of course, the sea didn’t have the answers, it was the fact that I was able to get some perspective, to create some space in my mind, and through doing these things, the answers would come.
Here in Molunat, I am lucky to swim in the sea. Actually I have more swims than showers at the moment as the heat requires jumping in a few times a day, and the sea is always more appealing!
It’s only when I get out into the open water though - by boat, kayak or paddleboard - that I really feel the effects.
The open sea, with no sign of modern life, just in harmony with nature, that is a game changer.
I believe that Vitamin Sea is just what we need right now. It’s good for our mind, body and soul.
Just recently, the BBC aired a programme on the benefits of sea swimming on mental health. Just being by water floods the brain with feel-good hormones, and reduces stress levels. Increasingly, it is being used to treat anxiety and depression.
On a physical level, the healing effects of salt water therapy goes way back to ancient medicine, and at the University of Edinburgh, the use of salt water is even being trialled to treat CO-VID symptoms.
For me, the sea touches my soul.
The connection is deep, I guess because our ancient ancestors came out of the sea, and our bodies are mostly made up of water. In fact, our brains are a whopping 75% water, which explains why, when we see water or hear water, it triggers a response in us that tells us we’re in the right place.
I didn’t really need science to confirm this; I can literally feel it in my bones.
Taking a kayak packed with camping gear, and sleeping out in the wild the other night was the best night out I’d had in a long time.
Gone are the days I want a crowded nightclub, shopping centre, or even a house party to get my thrills. Give me the sea every day.
It’s therapy, it’s medicine, and it’s the best natural drug in the world.
What’s more, it could be just what we need to heal from these crazy times, especially in Croatia, where we have the Adriatic, which contains no less than 80 essential minerals and oligoelements, and is especially abundant with those elements that have a positive effect on nasal mucous membranes.
It may just be a coincidence, but here in Molunat, which is situated around one of the clearest bays, there have been zero cases of Coronovirus. I’m sure that the lack of stress here also plays a part, but I do wonder whether all this time in, on and around the water has helped in building immunity.
What I do know is that I feel fantastic here, by the sea, drinking in the salt air, resting the bones, having space to breathe, and clearing the mind, and whether it’s science or magic, or a bit of both, I think the sea could be our saviour.
Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Molunat. A professional yoga trainer she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.
Keep in touch with Gillie via her yoga website - www.yogamolunat.life
For more information on healing holidays in Croatia visit www.lovemolunat.com