If you're a little anxious in open water then the number one thing to remember to do is to exhale into the water continuously with a big long stream of bubbles 'brrrrrrr'! Our natural reaction is to hold our breath when feeling anxious, building up CO2 in the body. This further heightens feelings of anxiety and so creates a vicious circle leading to the possibility of a panic attack.
|It's only March but swimmers are already enjoying|
open water swimming in the Lake District in the UK
This sounds like very basic advice but focusing your mind on something as simple as exhalation is powerful. Blowing bubbles is directly under your control so that you start to settle down and feel more relaxed after a few minutes. Worrying about things not under your control (e.g. waves, the cold, what else might be in the water) will make you more anxious, so focus on something that is under your control (blowing bubbles) and block everything else out.
Have fun out there and be sure to swim at a safe venue with other swimmers and proper life saving support.