Keep calm

Nadia - - WELL-THY ADVENTURE - sergeant­

WE TALK TO AN­GELA NI­COL, WHO RUNS SERGEANT CALM, A BLOG AND MEN­TAL HEALTH RE­SOURCE DE­TAIL­ING HER JOUR­NEY AND RE­COV­ERY FROM ANX­I­ETY AND DE­PRES­SION How has ad­ven­ture helped you in your men­tal health jour­ney? It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the mean­ing of ad­ven­ture in the con­text of men­tal health – an un­usual, ex­cit­ing or dar­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Quite of­ten when some­one ex­pe­ri­ences men­tal health is­sues, do­ing or even think­ing about new things can be hard. To me, ad­ven­ture means many things, in­clud­ing get­ting out of my com­fort zone. My big­gest ad­ven­ture has been giv­ing up al­co­hol. It was dar­ing and bold in a world where the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple drink. Al­though it was hard, I look at it as the proud­est achieve­ment of my life, and I see the work I did as an ad­ven­ture into the heart of who I am.

Why is it im­por­tant to get out­side even when

you are feel­ing down? Our brains haven’t evolved far from when we were cave men and women liv­ing off the land. It’s im­por­tant to get out­side and move, to con­nect to the core of who we are – mam­mals on a planet sur­rounded by, and some­times stuck in, our own man-made struc­tures. What can you sug­gest when an ad­ven­ture seems too over­whelm­ing for some­one? Look at ev­ery­thing as an ad­ven­ture, even the small things. Add a swim af­ter your gym ses­sion, or try some­thing new like vis­it­ing an art gallery. Walk in a park you have never been to or drive to a beach you haven’t vis­ited. Even pick­ing a new book to read or a new pod­cast to lis­ten to can be an ad­ven­ture in learn­ing!

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