With a spirited stride and the sun’s first rays painting the horizon, an assemblage of serotonin soakers branded the Sea Gals are running into and embracing some of Australia’s most heart throbbing coastlines, hand in hand, grooving to the music, transforming sluggish mornings into blissful moments of shared empowerment and self-discovery.
Sea Gals is a franchise that has extended its reach from its humble beginnings in Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia, to picturesque destinations like Broom, Newcastle, and the Gold Coast. Fuelled by a wave of volunteer enthusiasm, these morning gatherings present an opportunity for women and those who identify as to unearth a sense of belonging, bask in the healing embrace of nature, and embark on their weeks with renewed and uplifted energy.
Founder Tara Jeisman, who completed an undergraduate degree in psychology and is now doing her masters in counselling, notes, “A lot of the time, we forget to have moments for ourselves, and even if we do follow the self-care trend that is very popular on social media at the moment.
Sometimes what we’re actually engaging in is not necessarily for ourselves. Sometimes we’re doing a self-care routine or activity for someone else or because we feel like we should be doing that, not because it actually makes us feel good.” Amid the ongoing self-care fad, she emphasises the importance of activities that genuinely bring joy and contentment rather than fulfilling external expectations.
Engaging with the ocean sunrise can trigger the release of serotonin – the so-called “feel-good” neurotransmitter. Not just the sights and sounds invigorate the spirit; there’s something inherently therapeutic about the rhythmic ebb and flow of waves that resonate within us, inspiring these women to break the routine and live to the max.
Sessions begin at sunrise. this time can vary between locations and time of the year. Keep up online to make sure you get to experience!
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“You just feel accomplished. You feel like you’ve done something earlier than a lot of other people which, it’s not about comparing yourself to other people and being like, I’m doing something better and they’re being lazy. It’s not about that. You genuinely wake up and know that you’ve done something and you’ve completed something and it’s for yourself, it’s not for anyone else. Especially in winter. Because the water is so cold there’s even more of that validation of going you know what a lot of people wouldn’t do this.”
This shared sense of achievement transcends societal comparisons, shifting the focus from competition to self-satisfaction. Powerful.
The supportive atmosphere created by the Sea Gals community cultivates body positivity and community and dismantles the pressure to conform to unrealistic standards. For Tara and the Sea Gals, the benefits go beyond mere serenity. Tara describes their sunrise ocean dips as an unexpected form of “cold water therapy.” Which carries its own abundance of emotional and physical benefits.
“My body has never been the same since high school, and I feel like a lot of girls go through that, ‘I need to get back to the body that I had when I was 16’.” Tara explains, “I’ve always been conditioned by other people in my life that I need to return to that body. With Sea Gals, I don’t have that feeling anymore. Because you see, and it’s not about comparing yourself to other people, but you see how many different body types that are, and you can understand that everyone must have an insecurity somewhere, but you don’t see it. It’s just been so good. Everyone has different body types. And it’s so lovely to just all be together and run into the ocean.”
Intuitive, empathetic, open, and eager to pull out the best in people, Tara uses her education as an emotional bridge between herself and the group, channelling their minds to focus on goals rather than problems whilst keeping the space accessible to share.
“I said this morning, ‘what’s one challenge that you’re giving yourself this week?’ We had a great conversation about it. Some of the answers were very surface level, which is more than okay, a lot of them also had a deeper meaning. And so I’m very comfortable in having those deeper conversations and I could see how interacting counseling and Sea Gals could work in the future but still yet to be determined and just kept veery relaxed an open if somebody wants it.”
The benefits of watching the sunrise –
- Improved Mood and Mental Well-being: Witnessing the beauty of a sunrise can evoke feelings of awe, wonder, and gratitude. This can immediately boost mood and overall mental well-being, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Increased Vitamin D Synthesis: Sunlight, including the gentle rays of a sunrise, is a natural source of vitamin D. Adequate vitamin D levels are essential for bone health, immune function, and overall well-being.
- Regulation of Circadian Rhythms: Exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, can help regulate the body’s internal clock and circadian rhythms. This can lead to better sleep patterns, improved mood, and enhanced overall health.
- Enhanced Connection to Nature: Watching the sunrise can foster a sense of connection to the natural world. This connection has been associated with improved mental and emotional well-being.
- Mindfulness and Presence: Observing the sunrise requires being present at the moment and paying attention to the subtle changes in the sky. This mindfulness practice can promote relaxation, reduce racing thoughts, and increase feelings of centeredness.
- Increased Energy and Alertness: The gradual increase in light during a sunrise can signal the body to release hormones that promote wakefulness and alertness, helping you start your day with increased energy.
- Stress Reduction: Watching the sunrise can provide a peaceful and serene experience that helps reduce stress levels. Slowing down and taking in the beauty of nature can have a calming effect on the mind.
- Inspiration and Positive Outlook: The symbolism of a new day beginning with the rising sun can inspire feelings of hope and positivity. This perspective shift can influence your outlook on challenges and opportunities throughout the day.
- Creativity and Reflection: The tranquil moments of a sunrise can be conducive to creative thinking and self-reflection. Taking this time to contemplate and set intentions for the day ahead can enhance productivity and personal growth.
- Connection with Others: Watching the sunrise can be a shared experience, whether with friends, family, or a community. Shared moments of beauty and tranquillity can deepen bonds and create lasting memories.
- Promotion of Physical Activity: Witnessing the sunrise can motivate individuals to engage in morning activities such as yoga, meditation, or a gentle walk. This can contribute to a more active and health-conscious lifestyle.
Benefits of cold water therapy –
- Improved Circulation and Immune System Function: – Cardiovascular health and white blood cell production can be rapidly boosted by contributing to the narrowing and widening of blood vessels.
- Increased Mental Resilience: Exposure to cold water triggers the release of stress hormones like norepinephrine, which can help individuals adapt to stressors and improve their ability to handle challenging situations.
- Enhanced Mood and Reduced Depression Symptoms: Cold water exposure can increase the amount of endorphins produced and activate the sympathetic nervous system, leading to improved mood and potential reduction in symptoms of depression.
- Improved Energy and Alertness: The shock of cold water can help combat fatigue and sluggishness by giving you a stretched-out adrenaline experience.
- Enhanced Focus and Concentration: Cold water exposure stimulates the release of noradrenaline, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in attention and focus. This can lead to improved cognitive performance and mental clarity.
- Strengthened Immune Response: Cells such as natural killer cells and monocytes, crucial for defending the body against infections and illnesses, often pick up the production pace.
- Improved Sleep Quality: Cold water therapy may help regulate sleep patterns by affecting the circadian rhythm and promoting deeper sleep. The practice may also help reduce insomnia and improve overall sleep quality.
- Boosted Metabolism and Weight Management: Cold exposure can activate brown adipose tissue (BAT), a type of fat that helps burn calories to generate heat. This can aid in weight management and boost metabolic rate.
- Enhanced Recovery and Reduced Muscle Soreness: Cold exposure can help reduce inflammation, decrease muscle soreness, and improve overall recovery time.
Sea Gals is an organisation that Tara didn’t know she needed until it was there. Having never had a sentimental draw to the beach, she went down one morning out of an “I should do this” moment spurred on by local town early birds. She felt calm and in awe of the natural wonder by her doorstep that saw her sit in peaceful contemplation for upwards of two hours alone. She documented the serenity in a viral tik tok video, with Australians wanting to sit next to her and bask in the same energy. Just like that, Sea Gals began to grow.
World-leading SUP brand, Red Paddle Co, became captivated by the Sea Gals’ dedication to the great outdoors, culminating in a generous sponsorship that equipped each member with their new Pro Change Evo parker coats. These coats are a testament to unwavering protection against the elements, offering unparalleled assurance in the face of wind, water, and crisp temperatures. Remarkably, they also boast the distinction of being both PCF and DWR-free.
Perfluorinated Compounds and Durable water repellents are man-made substances hailed for their proficiency in repelling water, oils, and dirt but are incredibly toxic to the environment and don’t even last a lifetime. The Red Paddle fur-lined coats are safe to wear at the beach as they won’t leak any chemicals, and cocoon wearers in a snug warmth that matches the bonds of friendship and unity forged among the Sea Gals.
Red Paddle co is notorious for its commitment to protecting its customers and the natural world, which shines through in these coats that eschew harmful compounds. As the Sea Gals gracefully tread the sands and shoreline, they can do so with absolute confidence, knowing their attire doesn’t threaten the very nature they cherish. The oversized coat also offers dignity protection, allowing the girls to change out of their soggy bathers concealed and warm.
Tara grins as if the thought of wearing the coat alone is enough to induce the cosy feeling they provide,
“I just put the coat on and take my bathers on underneath and I’m kind of standing naked on the beach with the fluffy coat on because otherwise I’m in my bathers and I’m cold. It absorbs the water. So that is great. Plus, I hate sand when it’s everywhere, but with the red paddle coats you can actually just drop them on the sand and brush them off and they’re fine. They went all out! It’s been my go to. I leave it in my car all the time. I wear it when I’m walking my dog, when it’s raining, like it’s just an all rounder. And it was something that I didn’t know that I needed. But now that I have it, I don’t think I could do without it!”
You don’t have to be a spritely morning person to get down there in time with a hop, skip, jump in your step, founder Tara remarks,
“A lot of people think that the hardest part is getting into the water, but it’s actually getting up out of bed. I always say, set your alarm and don’t snooze! Because our brain, when we snooze an alarm, we go back to sleep, and it’s harder to get up. My other hack is always to set up your clothes and bag to go the night before so you can just grab it and go. You don’t have to dress a certain way. You don’t have to wear the most trendy swimmers. You can come in your shorts and a T-shirt for all we care about. You don’t have to do your hair makeup. If you literally roll out of bed in your pyjamas, that’s fine.”
“You don’t have to shave; you don’t have to do your hair. You know, it’s you to wear whatever you want. And no other girl here is going to judge you.”
The Sea Gals can offer you a powerful blend of life boosters, and with international interest in expanding the brand rising, Sea Gals could be coming to a beach near you soon. For these ladies, it’s not just about the sunrises; it’s about embracing life’s tides, riding the waves of friendship, and walking together to face the days with strength. As the sun rises on a new day, so too does the tide of empowerment for women across Australia, ushering in a harmonious blend of self-care, sisterhood, and the captivating allure of the natural elements.