So, lockdown. How are you managing? Are you embracing it and seeing it as a challenge? Filling your instagram feed with the inventive and fun things you are doing every day to stave off the boredom? Or are you quietly becoming more and more introvert as you watch said people seemingly having the time of their lives? It's a tough one isn’t it?
When I was a kid my Dad would lead me down hidden pathways, alleyways and tracks. For him walking along the main track was never an adventure, he needed to explore, to turn left, to turn right and see where the paths took him.
We are hearing more and more in the media about 'stress' and 'anxiety' and how these two things are having a profound impact on people's lives, most commonly professionals.
Many people still assume that if you are diagnosed then you are a 'looney' and will be sitting in the corner of a room 'doing an Arthur' (old reference to EastEnders character Arthur Fowler from the 80's - look it up if you are too young to remember!). Slowly however common sense is starting to prevail and people such as Stephen Fry and Ruby Wax are beginning to raise the awareness of mental health and gradually erase the stigma attached.
But if I am honest I still feel that I am somehow weak because I suffer from stress and anxiety but am I? Really? Stress is just a buzzword surely and what is anxiety anyway?
When I tell people some of the things I do there are normally two reactions; 1) You’re insane, I could never do that or 2) awesome, I could never do that. But you know what, you can and more to the point you SHOULD!
So why do I push myself to climb higher, walk further, paddle more or as with my latest adventure go caving? Here’s why…
It is no secret that I 'suffer from' (no) 'live with' (umm not right) 'am diagnosed with' (still not happy)...
Me. I am who I am, and part of that is living with mental illness. I have come to accept this, to realise that it is part of what makes me the rich, diverse and interesting person that I am. It doesn’t define me, I won’t let it control me but neither do I wish to be seen to be ‘suffering’ with it. I have accepted it, it has accepted me and we have a glorious symbiotic relationship. My anxiety enables me to see the world in a truly unique way, it enables me to reflect, to have huge levels of empathy, to understand myself and others more and most importantly recognising that I have anxiety had led me to kindness.
'2050. The year it's predicted that, without action, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish '. Friends of the Earth For some time now I have been getting more and more concerned with the amount of single use plastic I use.
It’s time to take action...
There was a time when I worried about when my next manicure would be, whether to wear the shocking pink or cobalt blue kitten heels and I was obsessed with when the Other Stories Sale started. Things have changed and now there is a whole new set of things that only us outdoor girls will understand...
It is well known that exercise and being in the outdoors is great for your health and wellbeing, but Doctor's in Biarritz are now prescribing surfing lessons for people who have been diagnosed with depression. So, are we reaching a point where some anti-depressants may be overthrown in favour of outdoor activities?
Of course some would say that I am biased as I live here. Oh and I just happen to work here as a Freelance Outdoor Instructor and for arguably the UK's largest Outdoor Activity holiday provider who set up here 60 years ago. But, I am not local (sssshh don't tell anyone, I am actually a city girl born and bred....). So, why did we move here 7 years ago? And why did I decide 18 months ago to re-train as an Outdoor Instructor? THIS is why.....
So what do you buy the outdoor woman in your life? It can be a struggle for many, but for those of us who are outdoor women it is so easy, there is SO much lush stuff out there. But for those of you who are struggling here are a few things I have spotted that have taken my fancy.....