Yemaya Ladies: Introducing Chelsie
I first connected with Chelsie through Instagram when she won one of the Yemaya giveaways! Growing up in Cornwall she is passionate about the ocean & can definitely point you in the right direction for some awesome spots! Here's a bit more about Chelsie ....
Hey Chelsie! It’s great to have you onboard! It’s time to introduce yourself! Tell me a little more about yourself & what you are up to at the moment?
Hi, thanks for having me! I’m a 19-year-old student from Cornwall and I am currently in my second year of studying Psychology at University of Plymouth. Last year I lived in Cornwall whilst studying but decided to move out for this year of studying. I decided it was about time I gained some independence and it also makes things a lot easier being close by.
I am currently working towards my first lot of assessments that are due in a couple weeks and have just become a research apprentice to help with a PhD student conducting a study on the effects of a therapy robot. I think the role will mostly involve transcribing, but I also have the chance to get hands on experience with the robot and conducting experiments alongside the PhD student. I am really excited to start working as an apprentice doing this as it is an area of Psychology that is relatively new and undiscovered!
As well as this, I am currently on the search for placement year options for my next year of study. I am on the hunt for something Clinical Psychology related to gain experience in the field.
I hear you do a bit of work with robots?! Tell me more!
I am currently a research apprentice for a project looking at the use of NAO robots to deliver Functional Imagery Training (FIT). NAO robots are humanoid, child-sized social robots. They use elements such as ‘breathing’ and face-tracking functions to give the impression of attentiveness. Social robots are used in this to elicit change talk with a pre-programmed set of questions in order to deliver FIT. FIT is the result of research on mental imagery and emotion by Professor Jackie Andrade and Professor Jon May at University of Plymouth and Professor David Kavanagh at QUT in Brisbane, Australia and is based on the theory of motivation called Elaborated Intrusion Theory. Mental imagery is central to motivation and closely linked to emotion. FIT provides a mental experience of what someone’s goals are and how it would feel to achieve them and may be used in situations that make it hard to form an image or recall a memory therefore dampen the emotional charge of that image or memory. FIT aims to strengthen the motivation for a healthy goal by eliciting and developing motivational imagery using a motivational interview. These skills can then be used outside the therapy session as a way to achieve goals.
The project I am working on is looking at the potential for social robots to deliver FIT and other talk based therapy. The project is currently looking at whether the robot elicits the same level of change talk as a human therapist, to see when/if the client starts to reveal commitment or motivation to change.
Exploring the use of social robots in healthcare and well-being is a novel concept and is still at the development stage, so it’s very exciting to be part of this work. Initially I will be gaining skills in transcribing and coding to identify change talk, and then I have been given the chance to assist with conducting some studies which will give me hands on experience with research and using the robot.
So, you have been lucky enough to grow up in Cornwall – what was growing up by the ocean like? I’m sure many people are super jealous of you!
I think it is so easy to forget how lucky you are to live by the beach when it is so normal to you. Definitely when I was very young, I didn’t really know how lucky I was that my family would take me there. When I was able to start learning to drive, I felt as if I had this new freedom to go wherever I wanted to. After passing I would quite often drive my mum there and we would watch the sunset or have a hot chocolate and go for a walk. We are a bit crazy when it comes to going to the beach, weather won’t stop us! On fathers’ day me and my mum took my grandad to a beach and it was so windy and wet that we were the only people on the sand. I think it’s so fun to wrap up warm (and waterproof) and still take on the beach, however it must be followed by a warm hot chocolate in a café next to the beach.
Are you a surfer/swimmer/paddler/what’s your favourite ocean-based activity?
I wish I was all of them! I’m in need of a lot more practice and it’s one of those things where I keep meaning to properly learn! When I was younger, I would quite often hire a foam board in attempt to learn from my friends, but I was never quite successful at it. I then decided at 16 that it is time for some proper surfing lessons, however after having a date set and a lesson booked, I had a terrible bout of tonsillitis and had to cancel them! Soon after I healed summer had ended and I was then swept away with the responsibilities of A-level work, then uni work, and well that’s me now! This summer, I had tried some belly-boading (and a couple of face-slaps and mouth-fulls of water) I had managed to ride a few waves. I felt like an excitable child after catching the waves, I’d do a little happy dance to celebrate.
I am definitely eager in future to try to book some actual lessons and properly give it a go, however it’s something I keep saying ‘next time’ to!
But in answer to your question, I honestly think my favourite ocean-based activity is to make a picnic and have it on the beach with a book. I will always go for a little paddle at least, that’s if I am not feeling up to braving the waters
So with all off your Cornish knowledge it’s time to pick your brains! Where is your favourite beach?
Ahh, this is a hard one! Each one I love for different reasons so I’ll have to list a few:
I love St Ives Porthmeor beach. Although this one can get very busy in summer, I think it’s a beautiful stretch of beach, and also hosts amazing fireworks for Bonfire Night.
Porthtowan is a slightly smaller beach, but is one of my favourites because it is one of the closest ones to me. I often end up going here spontaneously when I need a bit of beach time!
Perranporth beach is another favourite, and one that does also get overwhelmingly busy in summer. However, I tend to go here for walks out of peak season as it is a long beach so is amazing for a stroll alongside the water.
Fistral Beach is also really nice and is amazing for surfing. A lot of surfing competitions are held here such as the ones that go on during Boardmasters festival.
Portreath is another favourite of mine. Again, it’s a close one to me, but has a harbour wall and honestly just cosy vibes. There’s a beach café near-by to grab a warm drink from if it’s a chilly day.
Oh and can you recommend somewhere with a gorgeous sunset?
Any along the North Coast!
Porthtowan beach hosts some of the most beautiful sunsets. The beach itself has some beautiful surrounding cliffs and is one of my favourites to go to all year around. The sunsets their have never failed to disappoint me, and with the popular Blue Bar right by the beach you can get an amazing bite to eat or cocktail and watch the sun go down. There are also some benches slightly up on the cliff for an even more amazing view.
Perranporth is also a good spot to watch the sunset. There is a carpark up on the cliff which overlooks the beach, meaning you can watch the sunset in the warmth of your own car and look at the whole beach. If you wanted to sit on the beach, there is views from all over. My favourite spots being on a picnic blanket in the dunes or from the tables outside the Wateringhole.
Let’s talk eating and drinking now – can you recommend any cute, small places that are a must visit for some delicious food & drink?
Ladyvale bakery in Newquay- this is one I am actually yet to try, but I have been following them on Instagram eyeing up the cakes for a while! Everyone I work with has also raved to me about how amazing their cake and coffees are! I will definitely have to try ASAP, but by hearing the reviews and seeing their *amazing* cakes, I feel as if I can recommend them!
Emily’s in Truro- a cute little café located in Truro is a nice escape from the busy streets. It has a range of amazing cake, lunch choices and if you go in on a Saturday you can try their famous American-style pancakes. I’m yet to find a nicer place for pancakes and their coffees taste amazing (with some great latte art). They also do amazing vegan and vegetarian treats.
Blue Bar in Porthtowan - as mentioned above, this is one of my absolute favourite places to go! They do a range of delicious food on their menu (my favourite being their nachos), and also do lots of great drinks and cocktails. They are located just off of the beach which means there are amazing views from inside the restaurant.
Genki in St Agnes - Genki is a short walk from the beach and is a small hut with beautiful gardens and a few seats indoors. My favourite on the menu is their waffles, they are insane! They offer many different toppings, including Cornish clotted cream with maple syrup, bananas and blueberries (my personal favourite), but also offer great coffee, smoothies and lunch dishes! Although, Genki is only open seasonally and has just closed for the summer, opening again around Easter time.
Now let’s talk Christmas – any recommendations on some cute Christmas spots or markets that we must hit up this year? What makes Christmas in Cornwall special for you?
One of my favourite things to do at Christmas time is a workshop! Last year I went to Woods Café at Cardinham Woods with the ladies I work with to make willow wreathes along with hot drinks and mince pies. I had so much fun making these and it’s safe to say it put me in an extremely festive mood.
This one is debatable whether it's for Christmas, however on the 20th of November in Truro there is an event called the City of Lights. This for me marks the start of Christmas; everyone wraps up warm and people walk through the streets with brilliant homemade lanterns. They are also going to switch on the Christmas lights at the same time, therefore I think it counts as Christmassy! Here’s some of my favourite lanterns from last year:
So you’re studying psychology at uni, do you think that being by the ocean has a positive effect on mental health?
Definitely! Quite often the work can feel a little overwhelming, so being a 10 minute walk from the ocean is really convenient as I like to walk there and sit there for a bit. Sometimes I will listen to the waves or music, or sometimes I will bring uni work with me. After going down there I feel like I can sit down and be so much more productive and have a clearer head.
Interestingly, I have recently been learning about the effects of environment on mental health, and a new review has found that spending time in ‘blue spaces’ (ocean, rivers, lakes) has a positive impact on mental health (stress reduction and perceived well being), as well as promoting physical activity.
What are your plans for the future? Are you planning on staying in psychology?
I am currently unsure what I will be doing in the future. I am looking into doing something clinical/ patient based as a placement year to see if that sort of job would suit me. Hopefully this will lead me into deciding what I want to do in the future. One of the most popular routes for psychology students is to go into Clinical Psychology, if I decided to go into this I would still have many more years of study left. So far all I’ve planned up to is graduating! I decided to study psychology because I really enjoyed the subject therefore was naturally better at it, however I’m honestly just going to see where it takes me.