Why did you take part in the Fresh Air Fridays programme?

I’m a Project Manager for a digital agency. As such a lot of my day is spent sat down – whether at meetings, at my desk or in a car! I was becoming extremely conscious of this and felt I needed to change up my routine for the benefit of not only my physical health but my mental health too.

How did the sessions work?

Ruth would come to the office once a week and we’d get out in the fresh air for an hour.

Ruth would show us green spaces around Cardiff that we’d all previously neglected – these were literally metres away from our office front door and we’d never noticed them before!

In these spaces we learnt breathing techniques, stress-relieving exercises and just generally enjoyed our time away from our desks.

Was there one stand out ‘a-ha’ moment?

My ‘a-ha’ moment came during our second or third session when Ruth took us to a nature reserve that was just a five-minute walk away from the office. Being in a city, you sometimes lose sight of the nature that’s all around us and you feel as if you need to venture out long distances to find areas of calm.

When Ruth showed us this space and the benefits of sitting and enjoying it for only a short period of time, it was a real revelation.

How do you think the programme has helped you from a work perspective?

One of the sessions encouraged us to identify the parts of our work life that cause us stress.

As a Project Manager, I’m a massive control freak and I find myself worrying about the future and things that have not yet happened. Ruth explained the importance of living in the ‘now’ and I’m far more mindful of this now.

Since the sessions, I also make sure to walk around and go outside, away from my desk, several times a day.

How do you think the programme has helped you from a home perspective?

A lot of people bring their work home with them and I’m no different.

However the changes I’ve made through the programme have had a knock-on effect on my home life as I’m now taking far less stress home with me – I’ve been able to separate work from home far more than I previously was able to.

Would you recommend it to others?

Without a doubt!

Why?

Within the digital industry in particular, where the majority of your day is spent sat down at a computer screen, it’s incredibly important that people take a small portion of time out to stretch their legs and step away from all the tech!

For a lot of people this may seem like a difficult adaptation to make but Fresh Air Fridays make this transition seamless and you’ll quickly be given all of the tools you need to make these life changing adaptations!