What keeps me well

Our September blog comes from New Business Manager Amie Dobinson who talks about how netball and swimming keep her well.

It might sound obvious but what keeps me well is exercise. I love swimming, playing netball and simply walking places. Exercising for me, brings clarity, peace of mind and an opportunity to reflect, or to ignore, the days’ issues and challenges.  

We all know exercise is good right, but heading to the gym after a long and stressful day is not always my idea of fun. In fact, sometimes all I want to do is lie on the sofa, have a glass of wine and watch TV. I could easily fall into doing this each night so it can take real effort and energy to prioritise doing the things I know keep me well. It is important for me to always make time for wellbeing activities and to make sure they are not the first to get bumped off the ‘to-do’ list.

Sport has always been a big part of my life; both team sport and solo activities. My two favourite activities that keep me well are netball and swimming.

I have been playing netball now for over 10 years and although I may not have improved much in that time, what I have made is good friends and connections. What strikes me about team sport is the trust and acceptance you have for each other both on and off court. Whether we win or lose (and we often lose) it doesn’t matter because of the support we have for each other as a team.

Netball has improved my self-esteem and confidence as well as building a sense of togetherness which is a really great feeling. Aside from playing, my second favourite thing about netball is the post-match pint(s) at the local pub on a Saturday.

I think the essence of netball is captured by England’s Captain who said: “At the end of every game, your hair should be messy, your shoes worn and your eyes sparkling.”

What also what keeps me well is swimming. It wasn’t until recently I got into swimming but I have found it has had a huge impact on how I deal with, and manage, stress. Even if I swim in the morning before work, by 3.00pm I am still feeling the effects of it. I am less tense, more open to ideas and can better prioritise workload. Because I feel less stressed, I have more time for people and that makes me feel good. I also think that I am more able to approach issues with a better rationale and sense of calmness.

My goal this year (although given its now September I’ve probably left it too late) is to try open water swimming whether that is in the sea, lake or a quarry. I have read a lot recently about the positive effects of outdoor swimming and I am keen to try it for myself. Although the thought of jumping into the Bristol Channel in Autumn does give me shivers!

…. And I will need a buddy too so if anyone is reading this and wants to give it a try, I have a spare swimming cap just for you!

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