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Taking A Break From The Rat Race – from Max Jerome

There are many ways that people blow off steam.

I spend the majority of my life behind a desk dealing with dozens of tasks in the course of a given day.

I’ve been working for an internet marketing company in Liverpool for the last 5 years, a role that has grown significantly in the last few years. I began the job in a junior role, each year I’ve found that my responsibilities have grown and although I appreciate the increased workload (and pay packet), I’ve struggled to get out of ‘work-mode’ once I get home. The world of online marketing never sleeps, there are customers and clients to deal with on a daily basis and the emails don’t stop coming in after 5pm. It can be so tempting to take a peek at your emails in the evening, just to get a head start on the next day and before you know it, you’re making a list of things to do and your working day has well and truly begun.

In a bid to decompress from this seemingly endless work grind, I decided to book a long weekend out in the country; I’d leave my phone and my laptop at home, and surrender myself to a few days of blissful isolation with only the sound of running water and the occasional dog bark to keep me company. The first few steps I took out of my front door were the most nerve-wracking, my pocked felt oddly empty without the comfortable weight of my phone sitting in it. An air of panic set in as I turned the ignition in the car and set my navigation to Stoke Bruerne; was I committing some kind of professional suicide by leaving my lines of communications at home?

Over the course of the 2 hour drive I found myself acclimatising to this new existence. My mind wandered to my work life, but with no point of reference for me to focus on I soon felt stupid obsessing over things that I couldn’t change. As I began to close in on my destination I found that my mind had completely cleared of any work-related thoughts. I obediently followed the directions of the navigation system and found myself increasingly soothed by the countryside around me. As I pulled up outside a charming little cottage that would be my home for the weekend, I found that I’d forgotten all about my marketing life, in fact the only thing on my mind was what I would be eating for lunch.

Stoke Bruerne has everything that a couple, family or stressed out digital marketer needs to keep them entertained for a weekend. The Canal Museum is full of interesting diversions that can take a whole afternoon exploring, there are two pubs with a motley crew of locals to meet and a rafter of ales to enjoy, but best of all there’s a pervading sense of peace that you simply can’t find in the city. After a weekend spent reading, walking along the canal and sipping on ales, I felt more refreshed than ever before and ready to tackle the mountain of work waiting for me. 

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