I wrote this while out running this morning – I’m taking on the London Marathon in just a few weeks, so the training miles are really kicking in now and my most recent 20-miler presented the perfect opportunity to formulate my thoughts ahead of hitting the laptop keys in the afternoon as my legs recover.
About 15 years ago, I started jogging around my local park with our family dog, to get some relief from the stressful six and seven-day working routine I had got into.
The catalyst for the more serious running I do now was my mum passing in 2007.
Like many who lose a loved one or are suffering from ill-health – physical or mental – I reacted by looking inwards, reevaluating what was important to me, and I sought to find a better balance in my world.
Nowadays, running provides me with the vital head-space I need to keep things in perspective. My long Sunday runs in particular allow me to zone out. I don’t run with music or listen to podcasts – I just tap along to the beat of my footsteps and the natural sounds around me. It is a strangely cathartic experience.
The current buzz around mindfulness is a clear demonstration of people recognising and seeking the same kind of release that running brings to me. Whether achieved via hard physical exercise, a relaxing activity such as yoga or a good old colouring book, it is important to find an escape.
At Holidaysplease, I believe we have a responsibility to look after the mental wellbeing of our staff. The recent TTG Toolkit article on how employers can keep an eye out for warning signs and support their staff in times of crisis was a welcome and insightful read.