Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a century ago “Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.” Although the idea that the ocean is the place to go for rejuvenation is as ancient as humanity, we still do it today. Who doesn’t love taking the day for ourselves and enjoying a day at the beach? This past year has been tough for many of us and what most of us need it to get out of the house and breathe clean, healthy air.
With beach breezes blowing the air around constantly you are sure to find a bit of space to call your own and be able to breathe deeply. Whether you choose to go alone or with your favorite people, there is nothing better to clear the mind and improve the mood. So, make a plan; put it on your calendar; and decide to find out for yourself what benefits it will have for you!
If you are looking for a quiet day to peacefully find your inner voice feel free to take some of these suggestions.
- Bring a book – read! Listen to the ocean’s constant white noise, or bring your favorite music, and just let a great story take you away.
- Look around you. Sharpen your photography skills by recording all the sites or maybe you want to simply enjoy finding a tidepool and exploring. There are lots of animals, shells, and unusual wildlife to discover if you are in the mind too. My favorite kids in the world have made an entire day at the beach by simply collecting shells to add to their collection.
- Get out on the water to get a different perspective – If it’s true that life is ‘all in how you look at it’ than perhaps you need to reverse your outlook? Grab a paddleboard and push out into the water to look at the beach from another angle. It’s a great way to see wildlife because the board is quiet and doesn’t scare away the animals.
- Paddleboarding also gives you the option to do yoga; fish; or use as a kayak with a simple attachment. See gilisports.com blog for options. There are a lot of options making paddleboarding one of the fastest growing watersports in the world.
- Old-fashioned fun – As long as we are looking to the past for peaceful solutions, don’t overlook two old-timey games for children that bring out the best in us no matter how old we are: blowing bubbles and flying kites. Try them! It might surprise you how much fun you’ll have.
Staying still is great for the soul but it’s important for the body to get up and move and stretch. When you have found some bliss, don’t forget to go find fun while you are at it. Activities to get you moving:
- Surfing – This is the ‘go-to’ beach sport the world over. Invented in Hawaii it’s perfect because of its simplicity. All you need is a board and some waves to get started. But, don’t be fooled, many people spend their entire lives trying to master the art of the surf.
- Motorsports – If you have access to a motorboat there is a lot you can do. Try waterskiing and wakeboarding or tubing. Relying on a motor has the added benefit of taking you further out into the water and away from crowds.
Personal watercraft (WaveRunner or a Sea-Doo) are always popular and can be a lot of fun getting you up and down the coastline quickly. Add in a couple friends with their own personal watercrafts and it’s a good time.
- Play Games – A good game of catch or Marco Polo in the water with the group is a lot of fun for both kids and adults. Set up goals and teams for ball sports, or hide from Marco as the “it” person calls out in this popular variation of tag.
- Build a masterpiece – Back on the beach there is still fun to be found by releasing your imagination and building a sandcastle or sand sculpture. No need to feel confined by using only sand. Some beaches have amazing driftwood pieces that are good for building and are like sculptures in themselves.
Having a group of friends is one of life’s pleasures and going to the beach with them is a fantastic way to re-connect and have a memorable day.
- Pack along some of your favorite delicious foods to unfold a picnic. While the kids are playing you can sit back and be in charge of handing out the goodies that will keep the party going.
- After the feast, organize a game of soccer or beach volleyball. You never know which of your friends may be a future Olympic contender without putting them to the test. There is also the old-fashioned game of tug-of-war to consider. The sand makes for a challenging game.
- Bring some water guns and have a rousing water fight. Everyone is already wearing the right clothes and ready to get wet!
- Dance Party! Bring a water-resistant speaker (easily available on the market) and stream your favorite tunes to get down to. Take some inspiration from old 1960’s beach movies and bring a limbo pole to give it a retro feel by practicing your limbo skills.
In a year that has brought most of the world a lot of worry and anxiety, there is no better time to get outside and rediscover the benefits of going to the beach. Doctors agree that being outdoors can do everything from improving focus and mood; to helping us age more gracefully. All while reducing blood pressure and stress. With one third of the total human population living within 60 miles of the coastline and 372,000 miles of coastline to choose from, it’s just waiting for you to discover it!