In a world that’s becoming increasingly hectic and technologically driven, being out in nature is a great way to take some time out to unwind the mind. Multiple studies have consistently shown that exposure to the outdoors increases well-being, health and happiness, and reduces stress and anxiety. The natural world, it seems, could be the ultimate healer.
Gower is one of my favourite places to unplug and recharge. I may be a bit biased since I grew up on this peninsular; but for me, it is difficult to beat. The breath-taking beaches offset by stunning scenery are tonic for my mind, body and soul and I always leave feeling rejuvenated and refreshed after spending some time there.
Wandering the coastline just before the weekend, nature’s seasonal canvas was in full swing. Autumn’s low gilded light cast its gold onto the earthy orange of bracken, the zest of gorse and the yellow ochre of lichen. A final gleaming farewell, before fading to the steely grey of winter.
It was good to slow things down and have some time to reflect. Even when I’m surfing, I’m so eager to get wet and catch some waves that I forget to take a moment to appreciate the beauty around me, especially if I’m in the water before work and time is ticking. Gazing out to sea, it was great to be mindful and receptive to my surroundings, while inhaling the fresh chill air.
Of course, aside from the physical and mental benefits of nature, exploring the coastline has other advantages. Observing the geography and liquid landscape is perfect for sussing out potential surf spots in secret nooks and crannies, as well as seeing new dimensions in familiar breaks.
So if you get a chance, take some time out and get out there. Your body, your mind and perhaps your surfing will thank you for it.