This year's Mental Health Awareness Week is all about loneliness, and ways to tackle it. We're telling tales of Bluetits who have overcome loneliness, made friends, formed connections, and improved their lives through Bluetitting.
Today, we're telling Shellie's tale. Shellie swims with the Wirral Bluetits.
“I have always struggled with body confidence, confidence in general. During the lockdowns, I became particularly depressed and my confidence nosedived even more. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to my doctor and have since been taking medication which has helped ease the depression.
Towards the end of the second lockdown, I started to look for an activity that might help with my mental health and confidence issues. I came across the Bluetits on Facebook and found my local flock.
With much trepidation I went down to the bay, completely covered from head to toe in my baggiest warmest clothes with my cozzie underneath, just in case I found the courage to actually dip my toes.
I really needn’t have worried, I was made incredibly welcome by the lovely ladies who were casting off clothes with not a care in the world. They literally took me by the hand for my first dip.
I can’t begin to explain how I’m benefiting from chill dipping. My head simply empties of doubts and worries and I get such a phenomenal rush of happiness from the swims and amazing company and friends I’ve made.
I swim in skins and have a growing collection of funky costumes. No one cares what I look like and as a result, neither do I.
My only regret is it’s taken me 56 years to finally find my tribe!”
The Wirral Bluetits at one of their incredible Full Moon Swims! Photo: Alison Martin