What’s up friends? It’s time for the first Happy Talk of November!
This week I’m talking to Seanna from Seanna’s World, a UK blogger who writes about travel, the outdoors, and adventuring. This girl’s been to over 40 countries! Her site documents her experiences and gives some great tips to all you wanderers out there. Let’s see what she has to say!
1) What has your mental health journey been like for you so far? You can tell us as much or as little as you like.
I’ve struggled with my mental health my entire life, but it all came to a head when I was 20 and started suffering psychotic episodes which were terrifying and traumatic. I didn’t know what was real and what was in my head. Luckily it is now managed by antipsychotic medication, but I also really struggle with my emotions and sometimes this can be quite extreme. I take antidepressants for that which help. Even when I’m unwell, I’m pretty high functioning so can still work which I’m so grateful for. Every so often, something can trigger memories of trauma I have been through which can make me very unwell. But I’m in a much better place than I have been and focus on doing things that keep me on a good vibration. Of course mental illness can be hard to fight but I work very hard on my mentality.
2) How do you keep yourself content day-to-day?
Only recently, I have started a morning routine that was really helped my day-to-day wellbeing. I get up at 6am, make a strong coffee and complete some tasks. I journal about the things that I’m grateful for and write about what I am going to achieve for the day, being as positive and ambitious as I can be. Then I do 10 minutes of Spanish practice on the Duolingo app and I do a guided meditation for a few minutes. Then I get ready for work and am set for the day. At work, I also try to do things that help my wellbeing, like drinking enough water, eating healthily and going out for fresh air. I find being organised in my work helps me to feel better about myself. After work, I either go to the gym and lift weights, or do something outdoors like a walk or a run. Exercise is absolutely amazing for my wellbeing and self-esteem.
3) Looking back at times you’ve struggled, what would you tell your past self to help them out?
When the suffering is unbearable, just know that it won’t last forever. Ride it out. It will pass. Talk to people. Ask the universe for help. Ask your friends and family for help. Don’t feel ashamed to fall apart because other people have it worse- you wouldn’t be ashamed of being happy because other people have it better. You are a spartan and you will get through this, just like you have before and will again.
4) What are the things that make you happy, how do you pursue them, and what would you tell others who are trying to pursue what makes them happy?
I’m so happy when I’m in the outdoors, surrounded by nature, preferably doing something adventurous and challenging myself. Hiking in the mountains makes me feel so, so wonderful, particularly if it’s somewhere remote, somewhere new or somewhere particularly beautiful. I’m happy in a forest with the smell of earth and trees, or walking along a cliff top to the sound of crashing waves. I’m happy when I watch a sunset, or better, a sunrise. I’m happy when I’m camping and get to wake up and brew a coffee on my camp stove. I’m happy trying new outdoor activities like kayaking and climbing. I’m not always happy when I’m running, but I’m unequivocally happy when I finish a run and feel those endorphins. I’m happy when I get to sit down with a map and plan a route, discover something new, get lost, get scared, then solve the problem. I’m happy when I travel and get to meet people from other cultures or hike in different countries. I’m happy when I write about these things. To someone who wants to pursue the things that make them happy, I say do it boldly. Be proud and unapologetic of your passions. Make time for them. Get up earlier, book a weekend in your diary or sack off the housework to make time for what makes you happy.
5) How do you take care of yourself when you’re feeling down?
The first thing I do is basic self care. Drink water, eat something, take a shower and brush my teeth. The very act of doing basic maintenance picks me up. Then I improve my mood by taking care of something else. I’ll clean out my hamster cage, replenish her water, and cut up some fresh cucumber for her which she loves. I’ll take her out and play with her and she always brings me joy. I water my houseplants or do some gardening. Then I’ll go for a walk. Nature helps my mood so much, but I live in a very urban area. If I feel up to it I might go somewhere further afield for some relaxing time outdoors, but even an hour walking around my local park can help.
6) How has blogging contributed to your happiness?
It’s really therapeutic to be able to write and process life experiences and the things I enjoy. It makes me really happy to think that things I have discovered, enjoyed and formulated opinions on might be useful to someone else visiting a location or trying an activity. The blogging community makes me happy too, I feel like there’s a lot of love and support.
7) What inspires you, both for blogging and in your personal life?
My blog reflects my personal life and in both aspects I am inspired by things that help me to grow, learn and challenge myself. I feel most motivated when something has caught my curiosity and I want to understand it an explore it. This often takes the form of an adventure that scares me or some kind of physical endeavor.
8) How have your friends and family supported your mental health journey? What helped and what did not?
I’m so lucky that I have hugely supportive friends and family. I wouldn’t have survived my illness without them. Just having someone ask how I’m feeling because they genuinely care or offering empathy when I explain how hard it is makes such a difference. Having friends who like to be out walking with me helps. The biggest negative I’ve had is people telling me I seem fine when I’m having a psychotic episode. My episodes are the hardest, scariest thing and negate all the beliefs I’ve ever held about the universe, but often there are no outward signs so people don’t think I look ill. When someone says I seem fine, when the suffering is so severe, it makes me feel so alone and like I’m overreacting. I’m not.
9) What are your goals for the future, both for yourself and your blog? How do you go about achieving those goals?
I have a few adventure goals – I’m off to the Arctic to do a 17 day ski in -40 degrees across the Finnmark plateau, and I’m starting to dream up a longer trip for 2019, hiking across several countries. I’ll keep writing about what I do, but I’d really like to grow my readership and hopefully inspire people to spend more time enjoying the benefits of the outdoors.
10) What makes you feel most alive?
Achieving goals. These are often adventures, challenges or trips I’ve been wanting to take, but really I have goals in every aspect of my life. When there’s something I want, I often don’t see a way it’s possible, but I figure it out, and when I overcome the hurdle and achieve it, I feel so happy and alive.
Wanna read about Seanna’s adventures? Check her out here:
See you Sunday,
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