Having had to "fight" for her life following a hysterectomy, a Gwynedd woman has found her "happy place" by swimming in the sea all year round.

Almost every day, Lindsay Rees can be found dipping in the sea, usually near her home town of Pwllheli.

She told our sister title, Corgi Cymru, that cold water swimming helps relieves her chronic pain.

"I'm not sure exactly how I started,” says Lindsay.

“I just went down to the seaside one day and I was in pain so I went in and started swimming. I had a natural high from it and it just took the pain away.

Lindsay Rees is one person who has benefitted from cold water swimming due to complications following surgery.

As she bathed on almost a daily basis, Lindsay noticed that the activity boosted her mental health as well: “My self-confidence was improving because I was fitter. And being in nature and in the sea with the breaking waves made me relax and improved my mental health.

“I found my happy place and it was pretty addictive with the endorphins working hard.”

Lindsay's chronic pain appeared following a hysterectomy. The operation had caused internal bleeding and sepsis. For a while, Lindsay was left fighting for her life at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.

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Due to the ill-effects of the sepsis, she explains: "Things didn't mend properly and I was very swollen. I was really quite poorly, and I still had the sepsis when I went home from Ysbyty Gwynedd.

“Because of the hysterectomy, things haven’t gone back to where they're supposed to be. But when I'm in the sea, that takes the pressure away and I get relief from the pain. "

The illness has left its scars - both physical and mental.

"When you fight for your life and want to see your children, it changes you. I'm eating healthily now, I've stopped drinking (alcohol) and I'm walking, running and I have a kayak.”

If it's close to the sea - whether near the beaches of Pwllheli, Nefyn or Aberdaron - Lindsay is "happy", she says.

Lindsay Rees is one person who has benefitted from cold water swimming due to complications following surgery.

"I needed to value myself and my life. It's all to do with the sea - that's what it is, and it's a family thing too. My husband Jared - and I also have three boys: Charley, Bailey and Fin - come with me. Sometimes we raise money for cancer research as well."

Lindsay's advice for someone who is considering cold water swimming for the first time, is to wait until springtime.

"Some people try it in the new year but it's too cold to start then.

“I try to go every day nowadays.

"We were coming home from Brecon recently and I just jumped into the river in my bloomers and T-shirt!”

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