New Year, New Lockdown: reasons for outdoor swimmers to remain optimistic

Sunrise Swim Lamlash 2
Winner of our January photo competition. Image (c) Gavin Baird (@bouncinglover)

So, as we all expected, the UK has entered into another national lockdown. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday evening that as part of new restrictions, all outdoor sports venues must close and you must not travel outside your local area to exercise. With coronavirus cases still rising, the decision to close outdoor pools and open water venues and restrict travel for wild swimming will not have come as a major shock to the majority of swimmers. That being said, it is still saddening news for swimmers across the country.

Elsewhere across Europe and the rest of the world, restrictions will differ to those implemented in the UK. Different countries will have their own set of measures that will impact both pool and outdoor swimmers. But despite the restrictions on swimming, wherever you are in the world, 2021 still offers many reasons to remain optimistic. Here are some things that we are focussing on as we look forward to a year of adventures ahead.

1. The water isn't going anywhere

For UK swimmers, it will be warmer and almost spring by the time we get back out again. For swimmers elsewhere across the world, the same is true. There will always be new places to swim and to explore, and our brilliant global community of outdoor swimmers is only getting bigger. We might not be able to swim as we would like to at the moment, but we will in the not so distant future.

2. An opportunity to diversify your skills

Like our editor, Jonathan, you might now have time to take up roller skating! Ok, so maybe roller skating won’t be for everyone, but why not take up running, cycling or knitting! Get creative, diversify your skills and keep fit while we can’t swim as we would ideally like to.

3. Inspiration from Outdoor Swimmer magazine

As the world's only outdoor swimming magazine, Outdoor Swimmer will continue keeping you entertained, inspired and ready to get back in the water. We will keep publishing our magazine and uploading inspiring features and interviews, training ideas and travel ideas to our website. We also have some big plans for 2021, so keep an eye out for those too.

4. Keeping motivated with mantras

Keep ahead of your mental game by following our resident sport psychologist Helen Davis’ advice to remain happy and motivated in lockdown. We will be sharing some mantras each week to keep your mindset positive and learning some simple tools to help keep motivated in lockdown.

5. Make January Planuary!

When you can swim, what will it look like? What do you want to achieve? Where do you want to swim near your home? See this as an opportunity to take stock of your outdoor swimming ambitions.

6. More time at home

One silver lining of lockdowns is that many of us will now have more time at home. Take this opportunity to connect with nature in other ways while you can't wild swim. Hug a tree, walk in the rain, feed the birds, gaze at stars.

7. Focus on the small things

It’s easy to focus on the bad things that are happening, so try to focus on the small things that make you happy. Pay attention to the small details of life. The leaves budding on the trees, your neighbour singing in the shower, clean sheets on your bed.

8. 2021: the year of adventure swimming

When we can swim, 2021 is going to be the year of adventure swimming. Brush up on your safety skills, research how tides and currents work, learn navigation and map skills to plan routes and swim adventures. We have so much to look forward to in 2021, so hone your skills to hit the ground running when restrictions are eventually lifted.


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01 Cover March Copy

Issue 47 March 2021

  • Swimming with MND - How Alex Francis is redefining adventure with a regime of cold water swimming
  • New Horizons - Meet lockdown's army of new swimmers
  • On the Dry Side - How other sports can support your swimming.
  • UK Travel - Wild swim walks in Cornwall
  • The Native Origins of Freestyle - how white people named a style of swimming indigenous people had mastered millennia before

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