WHAT'S REAL WITH NAT BUCHANAN
by Ahoia Collaborator·
What’s your favourite color?
My favourite colours depend largely on my mood, memories, nature, people and fashion and therefore are forever morphing. I love sunset tones and emerald green for the childhood nostalgia it conjures of my mother in her green dress and matching nail polish.
What self-care habits do you intertwine into your daily routine?
Self-Care! The word of the moment. I know it’s a struggle for some but I’ve always been fairly adept at being ‘selfish’ and a lady of leisure haha. Looking after my skin is a routine I nurture and try to make as luxurious and unhurried as possible. Finding the time to move my body, read, learn, and cook something delicious, are all unnegotiable indulgences I allow myself daily.
What's your favourite book?
I remember reading under work desks and walking to bus stops, completely glued to both One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I also loved In Cold Blood, Just Kids, A Little Life (depressing AF but amazing), and more recently Sally Rooney’s work, Conversations with Friends and Normal People.
Who can you go to when you need to get something off your chest?
Becoming a more open person and not a ‘bottler’ is something I’ve been working on and slowly getting better at. I feel grateful to be able to share things with my boyfriend, friends and family. Or when words don’t cut it, a good sweat session always does.
What’s your safe place?
Home with my love.
Have you ever dealt with anxiety? If so, how do you calm your mind?
Anxiety waltzed rudely into my life about 4 years ago and has hung around ever since. The annoying thing about anxiety is that there doesn’t need to be a valid reason for it and I think acknowledging that, actually helps push through it. There’s power in accepting it’s fleetingness. Making a plan of action usually helps me but if I can’t get to the root of the stress, I remind myself of the transience of emotions.
Have you ever gotten yourself out of a dark place? Or have you ever needed to help someone else out? If so, how?
Many times, but it’s important to note that from all of them, the most pivotal moments of growth and reinvention have occurred and moulded me into a better, more complex 2.0 version of myself. We learn the most useful things in life when we’re up to our knees in shit and I’ve been lucky to have a loved one pull me out when I’ve felt too deep and vice versa. Talking is what has always helped. Problems and feelings get so tangled and rotten in the mind when they stay inside and become infinitely smaller when spewed out to a friend or therapist.
Do you think social media affects your mental health or has any other negative impacts on you? If so, how do you best deal with it?
Social media is an unnatural phenomenon and therefore it’s not surprising that as humans, we are not equipped to handle the sheer scope of choice and people that it brings to our fingertips. I’ve had to acknowledge that too much time on social media has a negative affect on my mental health, and can decrease my sense of productivity, self-worth, motivation and creativity. Now I try to follow people that inspire, humour or educate me, and I aim to mimic that on my own page. Don’t forget you can control what you see!
What’s your biggest fear?
Living a life of regret.
What’s the biggest change you can identify within yourself in the past year?
Raising my self-esteem and taking responsibility for how a negative relationship with myself affects my relationship with others. I have worked hard in the past year to be kinder to myself, to accept my body and being as it is and to acknowledge my achievements.
What’s one of the hardest things you’ve had to go through in life? How did you get through it?
The moments in my life when I’ve let self-doubt dominate and allowed myself to shrink to accomodate for fear and loathing, have always been hard moments to overcome. Communication was key, but I also found learning a new skill or finishing (not just starting!) a creative project to be an encouraging reminder of my own competence.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
You are good enough. You are worthy. Put down the hair straightener. And for god-sake stop trying to ‘find your passion’.
If you could change one thing within society, what would that be?
Society places so much value and emphasis on beauty, particularly on women with conventionally attractive skin suits but that do nothing! We should be giving the same attention to all the educators, leaders, activists and brilliant thinkers in our communities who are advocating for real change and stand for something. The world doesn’t need another reality TV star.