• endurelifenow

"I find myself so on edge if I can’t access the tranquility of being in nature." Fireside with Bree

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Bree is a 26 year old wanderer who lives in a renovated 1979 camper with their two giant dogs and their partner, Guilly. They spend their time reading, writing, hiking, and trying to do their part to build a world where everyone is kinder not only to others, but themselves.


Q.) How has mental health/illness impacted your life?  Personally I deal with anxiety & depression, both of which are amplified by my ADHD. I’ve been diagnosed since I was a child & it’s something I’m still learning to manage & cope with everyday. But also, my family has a history of mental health issues including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety so it’s always kind of been something I’ve grown up cognizant of & navigating with loved ones.

Q.) What are your positive outlets and how did you discover them? 

I have a few I guess. Building Hottie, my van, has been a big one, but now that that’s mostly done I’m back to playing with my dogs, reading, writing about things, painting & hiking. When I don’t live in a van lifting weights is a really big one for me. I‘m an only child so a lot of these things I discovered growing up. I’d go play outside with my childhood dogs or hang out in my treehouse with a book/a journal/a watercolor set & just let things come to me. In high school, I discovered powerlifting & kept it going for a bit in college until I realized I liked lifting more than I liked competing & chilled out on it.  Q.) Do you think nature plays an important part in recovering from mental illnesses?   

I think it absolutely does . I know I find myself literally so stressed and on edge if I can’t access the tranquility being out in nature offers & I think it sucks that some people who might benefit the most from time outdoors, particularly those in marginalized communities might not have access to it. 

Q.) If you had to create a "self care box" for yourself, what would be 3 things you'd put in it?

Am I allowed to say weed? because weed. Seriously though-  A candle, a book & some fuzzy socks. yum. 

Q.) How do you feel that social media is impacting people’s mental health? I think especially now in a pandemic where we’re all kinda stuck at home scrolling, people can tie a lot of worth into social media. People want to be seen & heard I think, naturally. We’re social creatures. I know I personally get so anxious before I post on insta, worrying that I’m going to say something wrong or that no one is going to like my content & while I logically understand that my worth (or anyone else’s!!) isn’t tied to likes or views, there’s a fear of rejection that is like “anyone that doesn’t like this hates me” and that’s a lot to carry. Of course like I said, I know that’s not the case, but I think in the past social media has expected a lot of us. We’re now seeing a shift towards real stories, honest people & authentic personality being favored over perfection but I think there are still definitely some holdovers. 

Q.) What is something that someone has said to you that has always stuck with you when overcoming hard times?

My therapist once told me that “being mean [to myself] won’t make it any easier to get to the other side” & that helps a lot.

I used to have a very sharp and sometimes cruel inner voice. I would often invalidate myself & kind of be like “stfu get over it” which would only make me feel worse & send me spiraling out of control. Holding on to that advice reminds me that my feelings to be gentle & give myself the grace & patience to feel & sort through whatever feelings I’m having at the time. I’ve been working on it for a while & I’ve gotten to a very nice place with my internal voice, though I’m human & sometimes I do slip up.  Q.) What advice would you give someone that is struggling?

Be kind to yourself sweet babe. You are doing your absolute best & that is all anyone can ask of you. No matter what else is going on in the world, whatever it is you’re dealing with is important and valid and real & it matters, just like you. Take your time. Take a breath. And then take it one step at a time. You’ve got this.

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