As a child my summers were spent at Cove, a remote village on the West Coast of Scotland, where (usually regardless of the temperamental Scottish weather) July and August were spent on the beautiful, near-empty beaches.
My childhood memories are a happy haze of various boating adventures, competitive beach games, building enormous sandcastles, hunting for cowries and inevitably being chased with jellyfish by my brother and his friends. Come rain or shine, a bonfire would be made and energy levels revived with sandy sausages and smokey cups of tea. This love for the ocean has remained with me as I’ve grown up and it’s not a coincidence that when searching for refuge I always find myself escaping to the seaside.
I'd let the hypnotizing waves calm whatever stresses and strains may have been thrown at me that week
During my last two years of school, a friend and I would hop on our bikes as soon as lessons finished on a Friday and cycle the two or so miles to the rugged coastline. For us, this was the ultimate Friday feeling and something we would spend the whole week looking forward to. I’d watch the seabirds diving, feel the sea breeze on my face and let the hypnotizing waves calm whatever stresses and strains may have been thrown at me that week, it was, without a shadow of a doubt, my therapy.
A rather stressful Freshers week over and I had an overwhelming urge to be beside the sea; the beginning of a time in my life where my ‘beach therapy’ moved from being something I loved to a genuinely crucial part of my mental health wellbeing.
I've usually visited Tynemouth at least twice a week to clear my head and gather perspective
For past two years I’ve usually visited Tynemouth at least once a week; sometimes to swim, to surf, for evening BBQs, sunny beach days, for ‘me’ time, to dog watch, to run, to grab a coffee or brunch, for long conversations with friends, but most importantly to clear my head and gather perspective once more.
Every single time, I come away feeling happier and lighter, ready to face hectic university life once more. I’m sure a lot of you reading will know what I mean when I say there is a special type of feeling you get from being by the ocean, as cliché as it sounds, there is a reason they say it’s good for the soul.