Updated: Mar 26, 2022
"Wellbeing" is a blog series where I interview and introduce you to inspiring people doing interesting things that can connect to our mental wellbeing.
Today, meet Blair.
My name is Blair Hennessey, I was in the Canadian Forces for just about 9 years before being medically released due to the compounded effects of concussions. Currently, I am a Human Kinetics & Recreation student at Memorial University and I have applied to Physiotherapy programs for Fall ‘21.
Tell us more about your story - why is wellbeing (mind/body) so important for you?
Wellbeing is important to me because without taking care of my mind and body I don’t believe I would have turned things around during my recovery. It is hard to set intentions to move forward if your body and mind are not on the same page.
Some of the many concussion symptoms I experience include anxiety, headaches, light/noise sensitivity, verbal memory deficits, working memory deficits, left sided tremor, and vestibular oculomotor dysfunction (editor's note: I had to Google this one! Symptoms can include nausea, vertigo, dizziness, blurred or double vision, difficulty tracking a moving target, and discomfort in busy environments)
Some of these have improved dramatically in the last year, but I am still maneuvering symptoms.
There is more to mental wellbeing than what people see on the outside, your mental wellbeing isn’t as obvious as a scrape on the knee and it doesn't heal so linearly.
Working on your wellbeing is going to be hard and it’s going to feel like one step forward, two back for a while but once you lock things in its amazing.
Inspiration from Blair on YouTube
What do you do regularly to support your own mental wellbeing?
I see a psychologist and do Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) with her, I also practice mindfulness as much as I can!
Yoga has been another important outlet for me to clear my mind and it also helps me with my recovery from some of the training I have started.
What do a good day and a bad day look like for you now? What are some of your WINS this year?
A bad day for me involves a lot of trying to relax my systems. I am able to recognize the bad days when they happen and do the self-care that I have learned. A good day involves exercise, studying and adherence to my schedule that works for my symptoms.
Wins this year involve finishing my first semesters with more than 3 courses, I went back and forth over the years with one course, two courses, no courses and I have managed to stitch together full-time courses. I have also improved to a point where I can train at moderate intensities, and I have begun working towards eventually completing an Ironman Triathlon.
When it comes to mental wellbeing, nobody truly can define your unique solution forward. It is very much like a puzzle, and you might need to try a bunch of pieces prior to finding the right fit. But, finding those pieces and having them aligned in your unique way will be beneficial. Stay patient with finding those pieces of your puzzle.
Where can we find you and learn more about you?
You can find me on Instagram @blair.matthw
and on YouTube
You can find a listing of upcoming virtual mental health first aid training courses here.
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