Raise your hand if you feel nervous and afraid of the ocean 🙋🏼. Whether it's the waves, deep waters, or creatures of the sea, you're not alone! The ocean can be a nerve wracking place! Many people have found ways to overcome their fear of deep and open water, which is a feat we'd all like to accomplish. We couldn't think of a better group to ask than our very own beach babe squad! Your responses were genuine, hilarious, and truly inspiring. We're feeling more grateful than ever for the ocean and can't wait to share the love! Here's what we've learned:
Often we just up and go to the nearest beach without doing much research beforehand. If you're concerned about the swimming conditions, even a simple internet search can help you find a beach with waters that are best for your comfort level. You'll be relieved you didn't somewhere with pounding waves!
Being able to see where you step makes a huge difference. If you're at a rocky beach (ouch) you're going to want those water shoes no matter what. But, if you can take advantage of feeling the sand in between your toes without having to worry about stepping on an angry crab, you'll find yourself able to really let go. So don't be afraid to do your research. Which beaches are best for swimming? And which beaches are meant more for the views? You'll find many places have hidden coves that feel much safer and secluded.
There are a plethora of tools that you can bring to the beach to make your experience ideal. Sometimes our fears of swimming are very specific, like getting salt water up our nose or feeling something slimy against our leg. Having the right beach gear makes ALL the difference!
Once again, water shoes are a must for those who are wary of stepping on something mysterious. Those in addition to goggles and the right swimmer are a life saver. One of our customers even suggested bringing your floaties with you to the beach, no matter how big or small. We're just shocked we weren't the first to think of it, because you know we're all about floaties here at KJ! If that's too much of a hassle, boogie boards are also a game changer. Of course they're fun for riding the waves, but they also keep you feeling secure with the pull of the ocean and act as a floatation device. Last of all, we know anxiety about the ocean is often a mental block. Fight or flight often turns into freeze, stopping you from even getting in the water. Overcoming those thoughts takes time, so be patient. But above all, we loved what one of our amazing customers had to say:
Many of you suggested participating in activities in the ocean to distract you from fear. We're blown away by how life changing some of these experiences really can be! Snorkeling, sailing, and wind surfing - it's all free game! These experiences can bring us a great appreciation for the ocean and everything in it. We suggest starting with something simple, like snorkeling in calm and relatively shallow waters, and then working your way up to something more advanced.
Think about it. What have you always wanted to do but held back from because of fear? Maybe scuba diving looks beautiful, but you convince yourself you can't because you're not the best swimmer. Nothing should hold you back from living life to the fullest, especially your fear! Who knows, you just may surprise yourself with your bravery!
Knowledge is power 🙌🏼. The more you know about swimming in the ocean, the more set you are for adventure. Educate yourself on what the lifeguard's flags and signals mean, how to detect rip tides, and what kind of wildlife surrounds you. Knowing these things will help calm your nerves and deepen your appreciation for ocean life.
Educating yourself also leads to recognizing that the animals aren't there to harm us. We just have to learn how to live compatibly with them. For most people, that simply means leaving the crabs, fish, and seashells undisturbed. You'll learn that leaving the shells at the beach and being careful to not walk on the sea life in the tide pools is essential to the ecosystem. For others, it may be overcoming their fear of sharks (Did you know the likelihood of being attacked by the shark is 1 in 11.5 million?). And for others, it means learning how to swim at age 25, like one of our golden customers. You're never too old to learn, especially about something as grand as the ocean!
For the hesitant, all you need to do is take baby steps. Little by little, you'll get yourself where you want to be. So make a goal and then take small steps every day or every hour. Whatever you need to do to conquer your fear will be worth it! One of our favorites is taking a friend with you that will encourage you but not push you too far. Having someone to make it fun is often the trick you need to make things happen.
Our last tip comes from all of the AMAZING moms out there. We know a lot of moms struggle to even put on a bathing suit, let alone jump in the ocean with their kiddos. How incredible is it that we get to learn from our kids? One of our favorite lessons we learned was from this sweet mother:
While we teach our kids everything about life, we can also pass on our fears. While it's important to let them know how to be safe, we ultimately want to enjoy our time together and make lasting memories. If you're trying your hardest to be brave for your kids, we applaud you! Furthermore, think about what great lessons can be learned from sharing this experience of overcoming your fear with your kids. If they take after you and are also nervous about the ocean, think of it as a chance to teach them a life lesson about overcoming fear. It may just become one of their favorite memories!
We wanted to help everyone feel comfortable & confident during their trips to the beach! We hope you found something that inspired you to give the ocean another try. It's time to come off of the sidelines! The ocean is an incredible place for memory making and the last thing we want is for you to miss out on the fun! May you each take steps, day by day, to live a more fulfilling life and conquering your fears and challenging your anxious hearts. Overcoming your fear of the ocean is just the perfect place to start!