Talking Surfing, Mental Health and Self-Care with Cooper Chapman

How did you get into surfing?

I was introduced to surfing when I was around 7 years old, I used to watch him head to the beach everyday to surf and would spend a lot of the time down the beach watching him. I then started getting involved with him and surfing and have loved it ever since!

How do you fuel your super active lifestyle? 

Many elements help fuel me, whether it be getting a good night sleep, clearing my mind with meditation or feeding myself some healthy food. I try to always be aware of how I’m feeling and fuel myself accordingly.
What are important things you look for when choosing food to eat?

When choosing food I try to make sure it's as clean as possible. To be honest, my diet is quite flexible, with my life being so fast paced it's easy for my nutrition to get pushed to the side. I try to be as conscious as possible to eat plenty of fruit and veg each day and keep my snacks as light on sugar as possible. I usually have a protein/fruit smoothie for lunch most days and a big healthy dinner.
What is some advice you would have told your younger self?

Learn how to meditate, and learn how to manage your finances.
Who is someone who inspires you and why?

My mate Alex Hayes, he’s always pushing me to do things I don’t think I can do,  leading from the front and aiming to be a positive role model to younger generations.
We absolutely love what you’re doing with the Good Human Factory and helping young aussie's open up the conversation about mental health, what made you start this organisation?

Mental health has always been important to me, having some family history of mental illness I was always very aware it could become a problem in my life. Due to this I have spent a lot of time gaining a better understanding of what works for me when it comes to mental health.
When my little sister lost 2 friends to suicide in 2 weeks at high school, I decided to need to try and help. So I developed a workshop with the skills I had learnt over the years of being a professional athlete and began encouraging students to become more aware of and take better care of their mental health.
And now it has grown into so many different avenues. I deliver workshops, run an ambassador program, a podcast and also sell merch to help with funds. It's super fun being creative and having a positive impact.
What’s something that you’re super proud of since starting Good Human Factory?

I’m proud of the data I’ve gathered from my workshops, I had a lot of imposter syndrome when I started, but now I know my workshops are having a large impact so that’s what I’m most proud of.
Some of the interesting stats are:
96% of students report learning something new about mental health
86% say they will use the skills they learned moving forward
Over 95% report felling better mentally after the workshop than before
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and why?

Probably the quote by Russ Harris - 'The act of confidence comes before the feeling of confidence'.
I used to be super scared of public speaking, but that one quote has gotten me through so many times where I was nervous. Kinda like fake it till you make it haha.
What is your ultimate self-care exercise?

Meditation and gratitude. I spend at least 10 minutes a day in stillness with my thoughts to check in. And 4 minutes a day remembering the great things that happened in that day. Both have massive benefits for your mental health. :)