Water is my element (more on this topic in later posts). Apparently even cold water! Being in, and preferably under, water is one of the things that has made me feel outrageously alive since I was three years old! So when I had the opportunity to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021 in cold water (which turned out to be 3 degrees Celsius), who was I to say no to that.
On December 31, 2020, I therefore took my last dip of the year at Johannelundsbadet, Stångån, in the middle of Linköping. Alone. But not quite. My cousin Pia, who I haven’t seen for about 25 years(!), was on Smarholmen, south of Gothenburg, and we met online, not because of the current situation, but because we’re 240 km apart and we wanted to share this moment.
On January 1, I celebrated the first day of the new year with sauna and cold plunges at Sundsmåla Gård, just south of Linköping, with Linnea. A sauna is not required, but it definitely allows for longer conversations and more dips in the cold water. A superb start to the new year!
So why do I choose to winter bathe? To begin with, I just really like it! I love the feeling in my body after getting out of the water – the pins and needles, when it becomes almost electric – not feeling cold at all, just completely and utterly ALIVE! I also find that I tolerate the cold better after taking cold showers and cold dips. The cold water also cleanses me from any worries that I have and it has a calming effect on me. I also like being a part of a community that expands their comfort zone – becoming comfortable in what is uncomfortable (because it is and always will be cold!). Possibly, it helps strengthen my immune system which I can find no fault with. And it definitely gets me in touch with nature and the elements.