Kelly Bertrand takes a flight with Kiwi influencer and icon Jess Quinn and gets real about fear – the big stuff, and the little stuff.
Everyone has a ‘thing’, you know? Fears are rarely rational or even explainable, they’re just there, always hanging around in the background of life waiting to pounce up on you and make you scream like a five-year-old who’s mistook a piece of bark on the playground for a bug.
Well, that’s true for me anyway. My fears are particularly weird. Heights? Love ‘em. Small spaces? I love to be cosy. Needles? I’m one of those people who likes to look at blood tests, God knows why.
For me, it’s cockroaches – not unusual, I guess – but more weirdly, frogs. I don’t know why, but even the ‘cutest’ little green thing sitting innocently on a perfect lily pad will freak the bejesus out of me and I’ll be hightailing it as far away from that bloody pond as possible.
(Actually, I think it may have started after I almost stood on a cane toad in the dark in Fiji once and while I know toads and frogs are different, that was enough for me to be scarred for life.)
For model, activist and influencer Jess Quinn, it’s flying – one of the most common fears, shared by millions of others the world over. It’s usually accompanied by sweating, nausea, shortness of breath and that awful lurch in your tummy
Not that you’d know it right now – I’m sitting across from her on an airplane, heading down to the adventure capital of the world (Queenstown, obvs) and apart from a reassuring hand squeeze from her partner, she looks like she could be a bonafide Air New Zealand gold elite member.
“Yeah, I’m fine, actually!” she says with a wide grin, clutching a bottle of BraveFace’s CoolHead stress relief spray as an explanation for why. (As an aside, Capsule’s editors use this and we can absolutely attest to the effectiveness – nothing like a last minute deadline to get the anxiety flowing after all.)
“I haven’t been able to enjoy the exciting opportunities as much, while my mind has been fixated on my fears around flying, [but] now I have the coping techniques and tools to make flying less stressful.”
Being an ambassador for BraveFace certainly helps – they also have sleep drops and a daily anti-anxiety supplement – but she says that along with breathing techniques, it’s BraveFace that she uses the most when those “sudden feelings of overwhelm of stress” happen when there’s just too many things in her head at once.
And it’s true, those big fears don’t pop up every day – yes, I avoid ponds and have three bottles of Mortein on hand at all times, why do you ask – and life’s mostly about the little things that can sometimes turn into the big things.
We all know what we’re supposed to do when that happens – take a time out, take some deep breaths, don’t turn to a glass of wine (I mean, guilty) and get enough sleep, to begin with – but if we’ve learnt anything in the last year of Capsule, it’s that all of us struggle with anxiety at some point in our lives, and some more than others.