End of sabbatical reflections

So here it is… the end of my 3 month sabbatical, today I return to the land of work.
It’s been so good to take a break. Of course I’m very fortunate to be able to do it and not worry about the financing but I really believe that everyone should take an extended break like this. If nothing else, just to remind yourself who you are without work. I’ve learnt a lot about myself.

I think it’s only when I noticed how long it was taking me to wind down, that I realised just how tired, stressed, tightly wound and burnt out I really was. Something that I’m very conscious of going back to work, how to truly find a healthy balance between the demands of work and a global role, and not letting it become 90% of my life. How to form the boundaries I need…

I’ve had so many adventures over this last 12 weeks, lots of skiing, lots of outdoors, made tonnes of new friends and I hope, given back by enabling people with disabilities to get onto the mountains and enjoy the speed and freedom that comes with that. It was so refreshing to have such a clear sense of purpose about what I was doing, and I realised recently, to be free from from the usual self doubt and impostor syndrome that are my usual constant companions. I knew I was in the right place and could really help.

I’ve enjoyed meeting all these new people too. Sometimes I feel we can get stuck in our own echo chambers with the same kinds of people around us, so to meet so many people from different backgrounds and parts of the country was really wonderful. Working with a disability charity also puts a lot in perspective, the resilience and positivity of everyone I met was astounding. Hearing stories of their hardships and triumphs made my heart swell. Many lessons to be learned, and I hope to continue to spend time with them all. 

I’m hoping that this break will allow me to come back into my role with precious fresh eyes, with some more objectivity and hopefully, once I’ve got used to being back into the routine, some new energy!

Taking time out for yourself may seem like a selfish luxury, but if you can’t be the best version of you for yourself, how can you hope to be that for others? So do it! Thank you ThoughtWorks for such a great opportunity and encouraging me to take this time.

Me (in the orange trousers) and some of the people on the DSUK trip in Austria
End of ski season freckle tan portrait

If you’d like to see more of what I got up to on my break see these posts and these videos of my time with Disability Snowsports UK .