Taking time to re-tune

2 minute read

Imogen Belton

In the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, the idea of downtime can feel like a distant dream. So, when work generously offered a day off to all staff to focus on well-being, I was keen to make the most of it.

Last Christmas, Chalk & Ward presented us with a booklet of tokens to use throughout the year, as a thanks for all our hard work. The tokens ranged from treating ourselves to a lunch, to taking an entire day off for well-being. Life has a way of keeping us super busy, so I decided to use my wellbeing day to book a long weekend in London with my sister and a close friend, to immerse ourselves in the soulful tunes of Ye Vagabonds, a beautiful Irish Folk band (a band we have wanted to see for ageees!)

Ye Vagabonds is often the music I will turn to when I want to feel calm and relaxed, so when I saw they were playing in London I had to go. The setting was a cosy old theatre called Hackney Arts Centre, it was the perfect backdrop for their harmonious blend of voices and musical talent. I genuinely couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, and I would highly recommend you give them a listen if you want to unwind.

To add a touch of class to our weekend (fake it till you make it ey), we made a trip to an art exhibition, and it turns out, staring at abstract art can make you feel surprisingly cultured. Jokes aside, it was actually a wonderfully weird exhibition by Daisy Collingridge where she explores the human form through the medium of fabric, in a gallery called TJ Boulting (which is super central, near Soho, and worth popping in if you find yourself in the area to see what they have on). To continue our culture vulture weekend, we landed tickets to see a play at the National Theatre, called ‘Death of England: Closing Time’, which as you can tell from the title was utterly hilarious (not…). In all seriousness though, it was very thought provoking, and the talent was out of this world. Definitely another recommendation if you get the chance. If you do go to the National Theatre, it’s worth booking a table at Forza Wine, which is just above the theatre; the cocktails and food is to die for.

Inevitably, and arguably, most importantly, what every trip really revolves around, is food, and boy oh boy did we indulge (how can you not when you’re in London where you can get anything you like, any time you like). The standout food for me was from Broadway Market, it’s hard to choose from everything there, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy whatever you go for! I had bao buns, and a doughnut to satisfy my sweet tooth after…both were unreal.

In the whirlwind of daily life, taking a step back for self-care is essential. My extra day off allowed me to do just that, my London adventure reinforced the importance of seizing moments of relaxation for a more balanced and fulfilling life.

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