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Please enjoy reading Mr Manning's Thought for the Term

Posted on: 12/06/2020

Self CareMentalWellbeing

I vividly remember a moment in my early teens when, before heading out to exercise on the river in a rowing crew, my mind was confused, stressed out by a mountain of incomplete school work stacking up and perplexed by the teenage social whirl. 16 kilometres later - 16 kilometres of concentration to find balance and physical application of power, surrounded by nature - we docked on the landing stage and I immediately noticed that my mind was crystal clear, my body tired but energised. In that moment a quiet penny dropped, and whilst I don't think that I made a conscious connection to my own self-care, the realisation or start point was there. 

I now knew what worked for me - mental distraction, physical exercise and being connected with the outdoors. Ever since, as life became busier and I took on further education and then work in a number of countries, my fallback was always the same. Running, although I am not built for it, cycling and if there was a rowing club, I was there. 

Self-care for me is about self-awareness - knowing what makes you tick. Noticing and remembering those seminal moments when you have felt uplifted, happy or calm and then simply working out what preceded this positive and centered state. Once you have worked that one out, it is just a question of time and repetition. Making time to remember and indulge your personal self-care formula to offer you clarity, confidence and physical wellbeing, especially when you need it most. 

For me it used to be the thrill of competition, rowing all over the UK, in Holland and Belgium and in front of

100,000 people on a Saturday in Henley. With a family around me now and no little responsibility on my shoulders, simply getting out on my bike in the Cotswolds and the escapism of a good movie, always work their magic after a busy week at school. 

You have to work out your formula for yourself, but once you have cracked it and you make the time to deploy it regularly, you'll be pretty much unstoppable. 

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