Katie, Manchester

Katie is a lawyer and gardener.

What makes you happy?
Being outside. My job can be stressful and I spend long hours in the office. I love messing about in the garden or going for a walk – it’s something completely different to the day job and it relaxes me immeasurably.

Is there something that you spent a long time believing you couldn’t do…. only to try it and realise that you can actually could do it? What made you try it?
I tell myself I can’t do far too much stuff. The most significant example is quite an old one but something I’m still really proud of. I told myself I couldn’t go travelling around the world alone for 6 months but I made myself do it because I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t. I had a fantastic time and learnt a lot about myself. 

If you were taking yourself on a date, what would you arrange for yourself?
A meal and wine in a neighbourhood restaurant or a walk in the Lake District with a great pub at the end.

What’s one thing you do regularly in order to look after yourself?
Sleep. I’m terrible on no sleep so I make sure I get enough. I get up at 5:45 on weekdays which means that often I’m in bed as early as 9:30. This makes me a bit of a grandma but I know I need the sleep and I feel so much better for it. People are a lot more into taking care of their bodies and their mental wellbeing these days but I don’t think people always focus on the importance of getting enough sleep.

Share one thing that used to make you really anxious, that you no longer worry about.
Without a doubt it’s my appearance. The thought of going out without make up on used to terrify me, and although I’m not quite at the stage where I could go to work with a bare face, I often don’t wear make-up at weekends. The same with what I wear. I sometimes lament my lack of smart clothes but the reality is I’m perfectly happy in jeans and a jumper.

Time is precious. What do you dedicate yours to?
Making sure I spend enough time with my close friends and family. There’s nothing like that feeling after you’ve had a really good catch up with someone you care about a lot.

Give your 18 year old self a piece of advice.

Worry less. My 18 year old self definitely wouldn’t listen given that my current 31 year old self is incapable of taking the same advice on board! That said, with the benefit of hindsight I’d tell 18 year old me that I had it together pretty well and that I should trust my ability to navigate into adulthood without any major mishaps.

How will you grow old? Gracefully or disgracefully?
Gracefully (I hope). I’m not cool enough to grow old disgracefully. 

What do you hope people say about you when you eventually leave this mortal coil?
To a certain extent I don’t really care – I’ll be dead. As long as they have positive memories of me then I don’t mind.

How did answering these questions make you feel?
It’s made me focus on the good things in life, so I’m feeling pretty good!

Check out more happiness including workshops, talks, podcasts and care packages at www.happyhumanbean.com