Sweet summertime is here at last! Like many of us, your calendar may already boast a beach vacation or two – I know mine does! And as you’re marking off work days and counting down, I ask you to think for a minute about how your entire body feels when you first set foot on the sand.
For sure, some of that exhilaration might be knowing you’re officially on vacation with no schedule for the next few days, but the power of the ocean can be even more revitalizing than simply some time away from the office.
Gazing far out into the ocean has always reminded me that the world is so much bigger than my own worries. Not seeing beyond the horizon always reminds me there is so much possibility, and that post-beach feeling can lead to a real time of change and renewed energy – if you let it!
Turns out we aren’t dreaming this euphoria: Feeling the rhythm of the ocean can actually reset your body, and your mind, and if you need time alone with your thoughts, your life plans, or you’re just craving some moments of silence, it can be the perfect setting. Exposure to the natural flow of water and the repetitive crashing of waves also relaxes the body to prepare for better sleep – the often elusive really sound sleep that’s so much a part of our overall wellness – and that too many of us miss out on.
But you haven’t just fallen in love with the sandy shore or the obvious perks of spending time at the beach that include soaking in much-needed vitamin D and enjoying hours of sunshine. Science actually supports the benefits of time spent near the water. That sea air is charged with negative ions, which aid the flow of oxygen in our brain, leading us to feel more alert and energized! Those super powerful negative ions also improve serotonin levels, returning us to a state of feeling more equipped to handle everyday stress. Ancient Greeks knew the power of the sea and used saltwater for healing purposes, another perk of spending time in the ocean.
It’s also no coincidence that the color blue – like that big beautiful ocean — is known for its soothing powers, and often a welcome choice for bedroom walls. With the opposite effect of what its name might imply – the powerful view of that blue ocean can be both mesmerizing and calming. Walking barefoot in the sand is also known to offer its own benefits, as our feet contain so many nerves and acupuncture points. It’s also ideal for strengthening those arches and leg muscles.
A house by the water – be it ocean or lake! – is often the picture-perfect spot for retirement, and it’s no surprise studies continue to show better mental and physical health for people who choose to live seaside.
So make those beach reservations now! And once you’re immersed in that glorious state of relaxation, take Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air!”