Give your mood a boost with water

We have never before spoken about mental health on this news page, but 2020 is a strange year of firsts, and it struck me this week that some of the best work we do to keep people psychologically safe can happen in and around the water.
Aquarobics, Public Swimming and Learn to Swim: Exercise has many benefits, not only for your physical health but also your mental health. In your brain, exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood and stimulate the parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning. It can also get you out in the world, help to reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation, and put you in touch with other people. It is often documented that exercising regularly can reduce your stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and help with recovery from mental health issues.
Helping others: Last week at Nepean Aquatic Centre, our Aquarobics participants raised money for Pink Up Penrith and the McGrath Foundation to help Australians fighting Breast Cancer. We all wore pink, had lots of fun and laughs, raised funds, and shared stories of fear, loss and hope for the future. The empathy and generosity displayed was touching and brightened many of our moods and weeks. If you feel you could benefit from positive company in a friendly environment, while also experiencing the benefits of water exercise, come and join us soon – don’t be afraid to take that first step.
Shared experience of sporting victories and opportunities: With very short notice that our event could go ahead, the Nepean Aquatic Centre Swim Club held their 6th annual Open Water Meet at Sydney International Regatta Centre last Saturday 24th October. The messages of support and thanks from our community of swimmers state wide for holding this event under more difficult than usual covid safe circumstances and with reduced capacity were very encouraging, and made us realise just how much this event means to athletes trying to achieve qualifying times for future competition or simply just wanting to compete, and to feel as though things are getting back to some semblance of normality. We are happy to be in a position to be able to help.
AND of course – the Panthers becoming the 2020 Minor Premiers and making the 2020 NRL Grand Final is another example of how a shared victory can lift a community – very important for our collective mental wellbeing, despite the result – 2021 will be the Panthers year!
In short – it’s been a good few weeks – and I’ve had some people tell me they didn’t realise that they were feeling low until they felt better. Be kind to yourself, look after your psychological safety, and come join in the fun at our pools!