Spies search for resilience and self-worth - The Mind Map
By Rebecca Durband

Spies search for resilience and self-worth

“Sometimes it can be hard to think clearly when you feel overwhelmed.”

Published 21/08/2018

Dubliners Spies disappeared in 2016 after touring their EP ‘Sea Creature’ with Wolf Alice, making an unexpected return in March this year with their single ‘Young Dad’. We caught up with Michael from the band to talk about spy novels and believing in yourself.

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

Ironically I’m currently reading some John Le Carre spy novels like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and the Spy that Came in from the Cold. I’m really enjoying Four Tet’s new album, ‘New Energy’.

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

Good coffee is an integral start to a perfect day, preferably accompanied by a wide selection of pastries. Swimming, walking and hiking are all good options to follow but most importantly for me is spending time with family. Then maybe having a meal with friends and a few pints to cap it all off. It helps if the sun is shining of course, we’ve had a pretty great summer so far so there’s been a lot of perfect days.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I’m most grateful for the people in my life; my girlfriend, family and my friends. They support and love me through thick and thin.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

Believing in your own worth and value and becoming more resilient to the normal daily stresses of life.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

Porridge in the morning, plenty of veg throughout the day. I usually try to cook for myself rather than eating out. There’s something so satisfying and cathartic about preparing your own meals and cooking for your friends.

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

I don’t have a set routine per se but I try to hit the gym and run a few times a week.

What three songs lift your spirits?

Planet by Four Tet
HEAVEN by The Blaze
Wide Open by The Chemical Brothers

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

I would tell them to actively talk it out with someone they feel they can be vulnerable with and try to get to the root of what’s causing them distress. Sometimes it can be hard to think clearly when you feel overwhelmed and that’s why it’s important to find a safe space to first relax and then decide what you can do to help reduce the stress.