Welcome to the latest installment of my interview series!
Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on. (Including bloggers like Tranquil Trekker!)
That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.
This is our thirtieth installment of my interview series, Meet the Blogger, all about Tranquil Trekker, a fellow blogger. (You can read our previous installment here)
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Meet the Blogger: Introducing Tranquil Trekker
First of all, tell me a little about yourself.
I struggle with anxiety and seasonal depression. Throughout the past decade I have come to really enjoy outdoor activities. I feel like my spirit is renewed when I’m out in nature.
I find time spent outdoors is so helpful in controlling the symptoms of the mental health disorders I struggle with that I write about this in my blog. Because of this, I want to share my successes and failures regarding my mental health journey with others and give them behavioral and nature-based options for treating any issues they are struggling with.
I also write about our outdoor experiences and adventures in hopes that others will benefit. I share helpful tips on fun things to do outside, how to access these experiences, and helpful gear to use, to give people the best foot forward if they want to pursue their own outdoor adventures. Plus, I want to bring the outdoor world to people who may not be able to access all of these locations on their own.
What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community?
I started my blog several years ago but didn’t have the time to really get serious with it until about a year ago, when I left my full-time job. I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder several years ago, though I’ve come to realize I’ve probably been struggling with it most of my life. Apart from that, I also struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder/Winter/Seasonal Depression) in the dark, winter months, when daylight is short.
I write my blog because I love being outdoors and I want to share those experiences with people. I also want to help people appreciate and enjoy the natural world as much as they are able to within their individual lives. Honestly, I believe living in harmony with nature is essential to our comprehensive health (mental, physical and emotional).
I also believe part of the reason so many suffer from disorders such as anxiety and depression, in the modern world today, is because we don’t spend enough time interacting with nature. We were evolutionarily designed to live in the natural world, and modern society keeps us from our intended environment.
What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?
For me, the most difficult part of blogging is drawing traffic. I’ve gotten great feedback, from personal acquaintances as well as strangers, regarding my blog content and writing style. People seem to really connect with it. I just struggle to make the masses aware of it.
Along with this, I find SEO to be confusing and difficult to implement in a natural way. I know it is important, but I want to write about things that I care about, and in a style that is genuine to my personality. I don’t want to write to what makes Google algorithms happy.
What is the biggest challenge the mental heath community faces?
In some ways, I think this is one of the best times in history to struggle with a mental health disorder. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a stigma that goes along with these diagnoses, but people are so much more educated on these issues today, so they are more accepted as legitimate by general society.
I think the biggest struggle facing the mental health community today is getting the wider public to understand and acknowledge just how common many of these disorders are. The more we can help people understand how many seemingly “regular” people in our communities actually struggle with these diagnoses, the more they will be normalized. Whether these be anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, etc.
Many who struggle appear “normal” on the outside, they may even be prominent people within the community, so many don’t realize the internal turmoil these people may grapple with on a daily basis. This also leads to many people suffering in silence as they never seek help for the symptoms they’re experiencing. People think, “I’m pretty normal, I just get sad and down sometimes”, or “I’m just a worrier”.
We need to continue to educate society that mental-health conditions are really no different than chronic, physical health conditions, such as an auto-immune disorder. This will help people not to be intimidated regarding seeking help. The wider community needs to know that people can lead “normal” lives while still struggling with these issues.
Related Meet the Blogger post: Introducing Chloe
What are 5 things many people do not know about you?
1) I am VERY outgoing, but I believe I’m actually an Introvert. This is because I easily get exhausted if I spend too much time in large, loud groups.
2) I am afraid of heights and am claustrophobic
3) I am TERRIFIED of doctors and I REALLY struggle with health anxiety/hypochondria
4) I’m VERY sensitive. I cry EXTREMELY easily.
5) I enjoy an eclectic variety of music, ranging from country to heavy metal/hard rock
What is your favorite book and why?
I have always hated this question. J I could not pick a favorite book as there are so many that have had strong impacts on me. I do have two favorite authors. On the fiction side, I LOVE James Rollins, who writes suspense/thriller novels. I inhale EVERYTHING written by him. I especially enjoy all the books in his SIGMA Force series.
On the nonfiction side, I absolutely LOVE almost everything ever written about the outdoors, by the naturalist, John Muir. He is a personal inspiration to me and my journey to appreciate Nature. He puts my feelings regarding the natural world into words in a way I never could.
What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?
Behavioral interventions are my go-to methods for coping with a difficult day. I use deep-breathing techniques, yoga, meditation and journaling as tools for self-care.
Also, I try to spend time outside as much as possible. I LOVE going for walks in almost any weather, and when I can’t get outside, I listen to meditation apps that feature nature scenes/sounds.
I also have a few close confidants who I trust to speak with when I’m struggling. On really rough days, I use anti-anxiety medication on an as-needed basis to help take the edge off the negative thoughts.
What makes a person brave?
I really respect people who stand up for what they believe in, ESPECIALLY if it means they risk ridicule by those closest to them, society, etc. I also believe it is brave to push through the pain and live a productive, adult life despite paralyzing fears.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?
Strong: I’m a crier, but sometimes I think my tears make me stronger. They help me to deal with troubling situations.
Independent: I REFUSE to follow the crowd. If everyone else is going one way, I’m usually running in the opposite direction (or at least am very skeptical that the way they’re running is correct). I always try to research ideas and opinions. If I’m going to subscribe to them, it’s because I believe in them, not because that’s what everyone else says is correct.
Empathetic: I can usually sense the moods of others and often take their feelings on myself, sometimes to my detriment.
What is your biggest flaw?
I’m a very direct person, but I’m not always the most tactful. Some people are turned off by this, though my intent is never to offend. I just don’t see the point in beating around the bush and I HATE when people play games. Truthfully, I wish the whole world was just straightforward and genuine with each other. I would rather have someone hate me for what I truly am than love a lie.
What is your greatest strength?
My skeptic’s spirit. I am my own person. I question EVERYTHING and try to look at all facets of an argument, objectively, before making my mind up about it.
Related Meet the Blogger post: Introducing Keets
What is your best childhood memory?
Again, I honestly couldn’t pick one. I was blessed with a happy childhood. All of my favorite memories involve time spent with my extended family, usually at a grandparents’ home. Homecooked meals were almost always involved as well.
Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?
I want it to be my main source of full-time income. I want to reach people with it and help improve their lives. Also, I want to write books about travel, on mindfulness and on appreciating nature in a world inundated with technology. I want to help people stop rushing through their hectic lives and to learn to slow down and appreciate the little things. I want to use the blog to help advertise the books, to further reach people and, hopefully, to help enrich their lives.
Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?
The general public is coming to understand that these diagnoses are a true disease, often lasting throughout a person’s life, just like any other chronic, health condition. Research and discoveries into the disorders, their causes and treatments (medicinal, behavioral and nature-based) continue to improve as well.
Some of the more behavior-based and natural methods are becoming better understood, accepted and more mainstream which is WONDERFUL. I think these improvements will continue. Science, technology and modern medicine move forward every day.
I believe better treatments, including natural methods (behavior and natural/herb-based), will continue to be discovered, understood and implemented to help manage even the most severe of mental health disorders. There’s still a long way to go, but I think we’re on the right path.
Who do you follow to stay updated on all things blogging and/or mental health? Share their links below!
Everything is Hack: https://everythingishack.com/author/newpmv/
New Lune: https://new-lune.com/author/newlune/
The Wellness Warrior: https://wellnesswarrior4.health.blog/author/thewellnesswarri0r/
The Ray Journey: https://therayjourney.com/author/ranaroshdy/
My Best Friend Adeline: https://kindness-compassion-and-coaching.com
Inching Forwards: https://inchingforwards.com
Emma Ortega Negrete: https://inspiringyourbestself.wordpress.com/author/emmaonegrete/
About the Author
I am a 30-something, freelance, content writer, blogger, wife and doggy-mom and I enjoy pretty much any activity that gives me an excuse to be outside. I grew up as an only child on a small hobby farm in Indiana, now we live in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I’ve worked in various social work professions and for several nonprofits in the past, but now I’m pursuing a freelance writing career.
I currently work as a Contract Grantwriter for non-profits in my local area and I provide content writing services online. I also write an outdoor recreation and mindfulness in nature blog where I discuss my love for nature and the outdoors. Also, I discuss how I use that interest to help control symptoms of anxiety and seasonal depression.
Thanks, Tranquil Trekker,, for participating in my interview series, Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!
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