Earlier this month, I boarded a Thalys train headed to Amsterdam for a weekend away with Flora. The main purpose of our trip was to unite for the Nike 10k “We own the night” - a tiny little race which you may not have heard much about (haha) - but it was also an opportunity to rediscover the city, spend some time together and have a break from our respective cities: me Paris, Flora London.
All the conversations we had over the weekend helped me realise how important it is for us to look after ourselves: not only on a physical level but also on a mental level. Doing what makes us happy has an overall positive effect on our health. Surrounding ourselves with people who make us happy has an overall positive effect on our health. I realised for example that my inconsiderate office-mate / work colleague has a negative effect on me (on a daily basis) and that I dread the idea of having to collaborate with her in the future. I realised that I’m a sensitive person, who has a physical reaction to stress or upsetting situations. By opening myself up to Flora and sharing how I sometimes feel, I was finally able to understand that being sensitive shouldn’t carry the negative connotations that we are fed through the media and society. This article focuses on hyper-sensitivity especially, which I’m not sure I’m in a position to diagnose myself with, but I can say without any doubt that I lean towards the more sensitive side of the scale.
For the past few months, I’ve been experiencing some very minor health issues that I have never had to deal with before. Not to make any of you jealous out there, but I don’t even suffer from seasonal colds. Yet whenever JB goes on holiday or leaves Paris for a few days, he always always always develops a cold. I respect that his body shows him a sign that he needs to slow down and get some rest. Me? My shoulders tend to fall just below my ears these days and I honestly can’t tell you how long that has been going on. The things that I worry about, consciously and sub-consciously, now cause my stomach to be incredibly sensitive and even led to a phase of panic attacks back in February. I started some orthodontic treatment 6 months ago without thinking of the potential consequences this could have on my body.
So what’s the message here? Amsterdam helped me to reassess my lifestyle. The hustle and bustle of a big city might not necessarily be a good idea in the long term for JB and I. And that’s OK. Amsterdam reminded me of the more holistic approach to health. Therefore with no immediate plans to leave Paris, what can I do to stay healthy and sane in the city?
Thank you Amsterdam, for not only did you provide Flora and I with beautiful weather and delicious food and drink – qualities that I consider essential for a weekend away – but the spirit of your city also made me remember the importance of being at ease in my own skin.
And Flora wrote an excellent piece on what running means to her, inspired by our Amsterdam 10k, if you’d like to check that out.
I'd love to hear how you take care of yourself in a big city with a stressful job.