Abby O'Donoghue is raising money for Mind charity through doing open water swimming everyday in June. Credit: Abby O'Donoghue

Open water swimming has become increasingly popular as a way to help combat mental health issues, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic which saw a rise in mental health difficulties and a craving to spend more time outside.

Cold water therapy can increase dopamine levels and release endorphins, as well as improve your immunity and metabolism.

You will also experience a great sense of community through meeting lots of different people in open water swimming groups. It allows you to share your experience with people whilst making friends and can feel less daunting than doing it alone – it is also safer to swim with people around you.

Open water swimming also allows for a sense of mindfulness, where you can connect your mind and your body through being outside and exercising – this can help you experience the present moment without letting your mind take over.

In this video, Abby O’Donoghue shares her experiences of open water swimming and talks about how it has helped her cope with her depression.

This month, she is open water swimming everyday to raise money for the charity Mind – a mental health charity across England and Wales.