🏔 Everest, Lockdown and Worry Eaters
Welcome to the Big Kid Mental Health special
It’s been a year since I wrote my last newsletter, and we’re going to start the same way…this week is all about Mental Health and ‘Hey I made some things!’
Last year, feeling burned out and frizzle dizzled I took a full time role at Canva, as the design researcher for education. A year on and my cup is refilling, I’m learning every day, working on my favourite subject ever (education) and am surrounded by a new community of kind, creative friends 💖
And so, it felt like time to put pen to newsletter again and share a personal story + some goodies that have been sitting in my notes app.
p.s. I have new pronouns now ✨‘she/they’✨ perhaps I’ll do a gender special edition soon!
If you're so focused on getting to the top of Everest, how do you get back down? It got me thinking.
This month Sydney is coming out of a 3.5 month lockdown. Yippee! Stepping outside for the first time after the laws lifted, I paused on the doorstep…hesitant. I didn't feel a swooping sensation of celebration, I felt a swooping sensation of anxiety. Not what I expected to feel.
“People get the 'what' wrong on Everest. The 'what' is not to get to the Summit. That's not the goal. The goal is to get back down" — Annie Duke (Captain of Moonshots at X)
... I realised that I was so focused on getting through lockdown, I hadn’t thought about how I'd get out.
Storytime! I've been up and down my own mental Everest before. When I was competitively skiing for Australia in World Cups, injuries put me out for months at a time.
After my first knee reconstruction, I rushed back to the gym. Determined to make up for lost time, I tore my stomach muscles doing sit-ups and developed rhabdomyolysis, requiring hospitalization for 7 days. Oh. Actually, I did this twice; also after my second knee reconstruction 🤦♀️
Rhabdomyolysis is a pretty nasty syndrome resulting from the breakdown of skeletal muscle fibers- usually reserved for crushing injuries and overnight trail runners. I was so focused on the short term and getting back to Everest as fast as I could that I didn't listen to my body when it told me to slow down.
Coming out of lockdown feels like coming out of injury, and as mental health week rolls around it's been a good reminder for me to be kind to my body and my brain.
And so, to segue... I made a thing last week to help. It's called Recess. It's a daily reminder to stop. To nap, snack and relax. Time to choose to do nothing. If you like it, share it with a friend you'd like to Recess with!
My favourite playful web picks for the month.
Jazz Keys It’s hard to feel anxious and jazzy at the same time. Jazz keys is a text editor that plays piano notes for every keystroke.
Why you don’t have to be exceptional A beautiful video for anyone who’s ever thought they’ve been loved for their potential, and not for who they are today; in all their flawed glory.
Worry Eaters Fuzzy little monsters that munch on your worries.
Worry Time One of my favourite cognitive strategies, this cute little app is simple to use (I also love the paper Skeuomorphic Design)
Aloe Bud Throwback to last year. An adorable little app that gently nudges you to water yourself.
Mute distracting notifications, grab a warm cuppa and find a seat in the sun.
✨ Staring at the sun ✨ by Irvin David Yalom
Irvin David Yalom is an American existential psychiatrist who is emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. This nourishing except talks about how Epicurus practiced “medical philosophy” and insisted that just as the doctor treats the body, the philosopher must treat the soul.
Something well thunk and beautifully made!
This book sings to my soul (watch a reading online if you’re curious). It’s one of my favourite all time book for…kids? Adults? It’s for everyone. The most beatiful, breathy use of white space 🙌
If you like this newsletter, share it with a friend you also think will like it! If you’re feeling particularly generous, consider buying me a virtual coffee 💖 This helps fund little experimental projects and software subscriptions.