When Sofia’s facing tough stuff with her mental health, it can often feel similar to the challenges she faces when climbing a mountain - the path is sometimes rocky and unpredictable.
"Climbing mountains is a great analogy for any mental health journey, because progress is never totally linear. You don't climb a big mountain in a straight line all the way up, you have to acclimatise.
"That means you climb up, then you come back down, then you go back up a bit more, then you come back down. The path to the most spectacular views always goes up and down."
As well as being an advocate for the outdoors, Sofia wants to help change how mental health is viewed across Asian communities.
"Many of us have come from communities where the concept of ‘mental health’ doesn’t exist. And while I can’t lump multiple diverse people into one culture or tradition, I do feel from my own experience that across many Asian communities, there’s a culture of shame and stigma surrounding mental health issues that ultimately discourages people from seeking the help they need.
“In some places there's an enormous pressure to succeed and demands on young people are very high. The Asian immigrant experience also comes with a great deal of pressure to conform to a model minority stereotype. Older generations learnt to value silence and endurance, because that was the way to survive."
From scaling cliffs above the sea to trekking crazy altitudes in the name of adventure - Sofia’s carving out new paths as a female explorer. But she’s also smashing stigmas when it comes to speaking about her own experiences with depression and mental wellbeing.
“Younger generations are beginning to question some of these values and they’re finding the language to express themselves in ways generations before them didn’t. The stigma is starting to get broken down, because by talking about these problems, more people feel compelled to talk.”
Sofia’s all about embracing life and all its messy bits, whether that’s taking on an awesome once-in-a-lifetime challenge, or just enjoying a kickabout at the local park with your mates.
“Living in a city can be stressful, so I walk everywhere and take the longer route through parks because it draws me out of my mind when I’m feeling claustrophobic in the city. It’s scientifically proven that nature increases well-being. It can reduce stress, promote social interactions and even help generate a sense of meaning in life.
“There are so many stressful triggers indoors or in cities and it can wear you down over time. Getting outside gives me a vital sense of perspective and helps me approach any problems with a clearer head. I believe that access to nature - to simply 'be' there, and enjoy - is a fundamental human right, and for mental health, a necessity.”
You don’t have to hang off the side of a mountain to make a difference, you can literally do anything you love against living miserably. But if you did want to follow in Sofia’s footsteps, you could take on an epic adventure for CALM.
Run the Jurassic coast or climb Snowdon at night - whatever you do, do something you love and support our life-saving services.
Follow Sofia’s amazing adventures on Instagram: @sofjin_