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How Does Sea Glass Hunting Impact your Wellbeing and Mental Health?

Updated: May 2

Why connecting with nature through sea glass hunting can be so good for you

I've always been a hoarder of coastal relics and often put this down to the fact that I live in the Midlands and feel the need to bring the coast home with me whenever I get the chance to visit. I collected it for years before I discovered a creative outlet for it but if you compulsively collect sea glass, shells, driftwood and pebbles without doing much with it when you get it home, perhaps you've stumbled across something that has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing?

A picture of a female bent down, sorting through stones on a beach with the sea in the background
Craft Happy owner, Helen Carlisle, collecting sea glass at Seaham Beach

I first started my sea glass business during the pandemic in 2020 and it was pure escapism, something to take me away from the uncertainty of my career situation and a difficult situation I had no idea how to navigate. I know that for so many of us, that was a familiar feeling and we turned to our own individual forms of escapism, using the lockdown time to reconnect with things around us and activities that we used to enjoy in the past.

Sea glass hunting can be a surprisingly effective way to boost your wellbeing

Connecting with Nature

Spending time at the beach is inherently good for you. The sound of the waves, the fresh sea air, and the vastness of the ocean all have a calming effect. Sea glass hunting gets you out there, immersed in this restorative environment.

Mindfulness Practice

The act of searching for sea glass encourages a present-moment focus. You're scanning the sand, focusing on the details, and appreciating the beauty of each unique piece. It is proven that this meditative state can help reduce stress and anxiety.

A Sense of Accomplishment

Finding that perfect piece of sea glass, especially a rare colour or a smooth frosted gem, brings a sense of accomplishment.  It's a small victory that can add a positive boost to your mood.

Creativity Spark

The colours, textures, and shapes of sea glass can spark creativity.  You might use your finds in jewellery making, art projects, or simply arrange them in a beautiful display.

Low Impact Exercise

Walking along the beach searching for treasures is a gentle form of exercise. It gets you moving, improves circulation, and can leave you feeling energised.

Digital Detox

Sea glass hunting is a great excuse to unplug from your devices and reconnect with the natural world.  It allows you a break from the constant stimulation of technology.

Social Bonding

Sea glass hunting can be a fun activity to do with friends or family. Sharing the experience and the finds can strengthen social bonds and create lasting memories.

Appreciation for Beauty

Sea glass is a beautiful reminder of the transformative power of nature.  It's a piece of trash, worn smooth and polished by the ocean into something precious.  This appreciation for the beauty around you can have a positive impact on your overall outlook.

All of these points remind me of a wonderful little boy of maybe 8 or 9 who I met once at Seaham Beach. He was sea glass hunting with his mom and clearly loving it, completely engrossed in the excitement of looking for rare pieces. We chatted for a bit and he was interested in why I was collecting; he started to add little finds to my collection tin, shouting "mini boost" every time he gave me a piece. He told me that he was celebrating Mother's Day by having some bonding time with his mom. I thought this was lovely and mentioned it to her because Mother's Day had been the previous Sunday but she was Polish and I wondered if they celebrated it on a different day to us in the UK. She told me that she had recently given birth to another baby and decided to instigate some mini 'Mother's Days' with her first born so he didn't feel left out. She also said he was a very energetic child and she found visits to the beach had a calming effect on him and gave him a focus.

I just love that story and feel it encapsulates everything that is good about sea glass hunting. So, if you're looking for a way to improve your mood, reduce stress, and connect with nature, why not consider giving sea glass hunting a try?

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