Hi there! I’m Vickie Lanthier of GirlGoneGood© Wellness + Wilderness
I am the owner and author behind GirlGoneGood©, a website that focuses on mental health, hiking, and responsible recreation.
We are primarily charity driven with 100% of net proceeds donated to mental health and local conservation.
We also launched the #goodhumanrevolution initiative with the aim to raise funds to donate to a selected trail manager to put towards implementing an ‘inclusivity’ change to their trails, meaning adjustments to the trails to benefit people with mobility challenges, visually impaired, elders, invisible disabilities or the 2SLGBTQ+, Indigenous, Black communities.
GirlGoneGood© is also an official partner of #NatureForAll and participates in Tree Canada’s Grow Clean Air program by donating monthly in support of tree planting. The whole purpose of GirlGoneGood© is to do some good in our communities.
My mental health story
I am a military veteran and professional IT consultant with a science degree in nursing who believes strongly in a values-led life and helping others.
I have been fortunate enough to have a diverse range of experiences in trauma, stress, and burnout and maintain my mental health along the way.
This also means however, that I’ve had a good number of friends and coworkers face intense struggles. It is through their struggles that I’ve become aware of need to keep my own mental health a priority.
What mental health means to me
Keeping mental health a priority is more than an effort to avoid distress. It is the constant employment of coping mechanisms and readjustment alone the way to promote optimal health.
Mental health is more than an effort to avoid distress.
I would define mental health as the ability to feel and process the highs and lows of life without getting stuck (aka being able to ‘drive through the tunnel’).
I tend to take a holistic and back-to-basics approach to well-being by focusing on lifestyle, environment, connections, and therapy.
Two books that have influenced this perspective are The Resilience Shield by Dr Dan Pronk, Ben Pronk and Tim Curtis and The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner.
Move your business in the direction that aligns best with your values.
Being an entrepreneur requires a constant re-evaluation that you’re moving your business in the direction that aligns best with your values versus allowing external pressures and comparisons to creep in and misdirect.
This is the lesson that I continue to learn and re-learn.
As soon as I allow external influence and misdirection, it negatively impacts my health and business.
A great example would be larger companies or organizations requesting guest articles or collaborations. At first, I took everything that came my way, whether it aligned or not. But I quickly found myself stressed and on the verge on burnout from trying to keep up. Some articles and collaborations felt like I was trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
I’ve since learned to say ‘no thank you’ no matter how big or influential the offer is, because saying no to what doesn’t quite align leaves room for better things to come.
Focus on doing less, but better.
Instead of saying yes to everything and doing it all, I’ve refocused on doing less better. And let me tell you, it feels damn good.
The main mental wellness tip I have found useful
Nurturing our connections to self, others, and nature as connection has one of the greatest impacts on our well-being.
The one thing I would share with women entrepreneurs
If your business success comes at the cost of your health, happiness, or relationships, it’s too expensive.
If your business is at the cost of your health, happiness, or relationships – it’s too expensive. Leverage the trifecta of foundations, systems, and boundaries to maintain health of both yourself and your business.