Name: Daisie Mayes
Profession: Recent Graduate, marketing & events Intern, social research assistant, dog walker, administrator & fulltime coffee drinker.
Kids: None, I still feel like a child myself
Favourite Activity: Rugby but slowly becoming surfing
Motto: No rain, no flowers.
1. Where did your love for sport begin?
My love for sport began at 6y/o – standing on the side-lines of a rugby pitch, watching my younger brothers first training session. I wondered why there were no girls playing and questioned my parents about this, which led to me deciding that I would be the first at the club. Eighteen years later and after a few breaks, I am still playing rugby and funnily enough, my brother isn’t! I think my mum assumed (more so wished) that I would have got bored by now, especially after my dad broke his neck playing as it was never nice for her to watch me play after that, but I love how empowered rugby makes my body feel which is why I am heading into my third season with Bristol Bears Women.
I have always been active aside from rugby, I was in a dance academy when I was younger which was a nice contrast! My dad also has his own boat, so we’d annually go south for a few weeks and make the most of the waves – I loved water-skiing and wakeboarding and there was something about the sea that made me feel so free! I have recently also taken up surfing, which being a self-proclaimed mermaid, I immediately fell in love with. I love the break surfing gives me away from team sports – the only competition I have is myself and I can stay in the water for as long as I like and work as hard as I want!
2. Where did your passion for encouraging healthy mental wellbeing come from?
I feel this came from being around my families struggles throughout my childhood and seeing how much mental illnesses affected them. Unfortunately, my own mental wellbeing hit an all-time low whilst in my second year at university and I was referred for counselling sessions from my universities’ student services. Although hard to deal with at the time, I am grateful for these moments in my life as they have made me much more aware, and better at recognising when others are suffering – helping me to help them where I can!
3. What advice would you give anyone suffering with their mental wellbeing ?
Take the time to grieve – whether that’s a person, a job or a bad grade etc. I view mental health illnesses such as depression as a process that you need in order to heal. Some of your deepest reflections and best creativity can come from your darkest days so try and embrace them in an odd sort of way. If you are feeling so low that you struggle to complete the most simplistic daily tasks, that’s your body telling you that you need time to rest – both physically and mentally, so listen to it.
4. Any advice for helping others?
Reach out and encourage them to talk – even if you have to ask three or four times. Our lives are busier than ever, and this can sometimes get in the way of checking up on our loved ones. Even sending a text to ask how someone’s doing can be the gateway for some to open up their feelings. Some even find it easier and therapeutic to type out their thoughts and feelings, helping them to reflect and rationalise through true and toxic thoughts (which is why I also advise journal apps!).
The best thing you can do is to LISTEN to someone who needs help and try to avoid relating to your own experiences too much – remember that in that moment, some believe there is nothing worse than how THEY feel! Something I’ve tried to do a lot more of is to also provide physical support – such as an arm round the shoulder, a hug or a cuddle on the sofa. It doesn’t need to be much, but physical touch releases the hormone oxytocin– often referred to as the love hormone – it helps to break down walls and show to other’s that you have genuine care for them. I’ve found that now some of my friends who were once ‘ice-queens’ are melting and will now come and cuddle me, knowing I will give them a good squeeze!
5. Tips for anyone looking to start a new sport or find their own adventure
Attend Letzshare events of course? In all seriousness, I think events and taster sessions are great ways for you to find out what activities you like and what you get on well with. People often enjoy the activities more that they are better at so take the opportunities to find out what makes you buzz. Events like Letzshare are great as the hire of equipment is included in the ticket price; as well as you individual coaching, no contracts and you get to meet like-minded women who often become good friends!