If 2020 taught us one thing, it is not to take anything for granted. I was still living in the United Kingdom when the pandemic began. Within a few weeks, my world shrunk to just my small family. My life as I knew it before the pandemic was gone.

The High Street and in-person shopping – Gone
Hanging with friends – Gone
In-person school for Xavi – Gone
Volunteering – Gone
Eating out – Gone
Travel – Gone

These were all things I took for granted. When I returned to Anguilla in September 2020, it felt so good to hug family and friends without fear or restrictions. Anguilla has no active cases of Covid-19 because our past and present Government and health team did and continue to do a fantastic job of keeping the island safe.

Guess what was the first thing I did on completion of my 14-day mandatory quarantine?  Yes, I went to the beach with my six-month pregnant belly, five-year-old son and sister. After being away from Anguilla for more than 2 years, Shoal Bay was even more beautiful than I remembered. We were the only persons on this gorgeous stretch of beach. I remember thanking God for allowing my son and me to safely return to my beautiful island home.

In Anguilla, we are blessed to have 33 beautiful beaches. When Anguilla briefly entered lockdown in early 2020, the beaches were not gone. Those within our borders were still able to visit and enjoy our beaches because it was easy to social distance. Having access to beautiful beaches is not something we should take for granted.

Here are five reasons you should go to the beach more in 2021.

1) Time spent on the beach is time well spent

During Anguilla’s brief period of lockdown, I saw many pictures of persons enjoying the beach. Listen, we do not have to wait until there is nothing else to do to enjoy our beautiful beaches. I pray that nothing ever happens to our beaches but do promise me that you will visit and enjoy all of them more in 2021.

Bonus – We have 33 diverse beaches to choose from.

Don’t take our beaches for granted.

2) The sea has healing properties

I am still recovering from the trauma of giving birth and my doctor recommended that I go to the beach. Why? Because seawater has healing properties (antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic). So, go on and get that dip and soak in. The sea is good for external and internal wounds, arthritis, back and knee pain and whatever else may be ailing you.

Bonus – Just 10 minutes of beach time gives the recommended dosage of Vitamin D.

3) Your mental health needs the beach

Anguillians have been physically safe from Covid-19 so far but many of us are suffering mentally and emotionally. With so much uncertainty and loss, a mental escape is often needed. It is proven that beach time reduces stress. A walk on the beach or a swim in the ocean provides mental relaxation and can help provide the mental clarity and strength to help face whatever is next.

Bonus – Sunlight helps to combat stress and anxiety.

4) The beach helps to connect and strengthen relationships

Some of my favourite memories growing up are centered around spending time at the beach with my cousins and other family members. The beach is a great place to connect, reconnect and build life-long memories with your partner, children, family members and friends in a fun and safe environment.

Bonus – It is free too!

5) The beach is a source of inspiration

The beaches in Anguilla are peaceful and gorgeous. Need inspiration? Sit on the sand and watch the waves gently lap the shore or catch a stunning sunrise or sunset. Leave inspired to do more and be more.

Bonus – No day at the beach is the same so there are plenty of opportunities to be inspired!

In short, it is proven that beach days simply make us happier! Let me know in the comments if I have convinced you to go to the beach more often in 2021.

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