For this year’s Stress Awareness Month, we’re highlighting the benefits of taking time to do something for yourself. In line with the community theme, we suggest you do it in a group!
After the last couple of years we’ve had, it’s no surprise if most of us feel stressed often.
But as common as it may be, stress can seriously deteriorate our health.
It can cause headaches, dizziness, and even chest pain. It can make us forgetful and indecisive.
So let us suggest a simple, yet helpful way to ease your stress – take some time for yourself and do something you love!
We asked our members what their favourite hobbies are, and these are some of the most popular, and often striking, ones.
There’s no denying that our members have heaps of talent, in and out of the workplace.
“[Performing in drag] allowed me to express my creativity outside engineering [and] created a positive attitude within myself when I started work,” says Dominic.
So, the things we do for fun can make us feel more positive, not only about our current situation, but ourselves, too!
Auditions for the ICE musical might have to open soon – such is the talent among our members!
On bass, we have Muhammad Talha, who also composes his own music.
We have pianists, flautists and drummers, as well as sound engineers and live mixers, such as Musa PM Chunge.
We pretty much have all our bases covered!
3. Visual arts
Serena Gough’s photographs would also be included, hopefully incorporating some landscapes from the places she enjoys exploring.
And perhaps something by Cecilia Law, who explains that she views painting as ‘engineering in a different context’.
Nice way to connect her engineering talent to the things she does for fun!
4. Spending time in nature
Many of our members channel their inner David Attenborough by spending time in nature.
Paula also keeps a fishpond and chickens, and even spends time connecting to nature through scuba diving.
Last time we checked in with Lara, she had about 60 of them!
5. Practising sports
If you’re looking to start a sports club, you’ll likely find fellow ICE members to join you, as it seems we have a wide variety of athletes among us! Anyone for the ICE Olympics?
A few of our members enjoy cycling, which has the benefit of throwing fresh air into the mix.
Blessing Danha, for example, is a keen cyclist, and an active member of a north London female cycling club.
Others like the fresh air but prefer to go on foot.
Musa PM Chunge enjoys park runs and Joseph Marner says he occasionally goes on runs with colleagues over lunchtime, ‘which is a great way to take a break and see the city (and the civil engineering in it!)’.
Some are keen on adventure and endurance sports, while others prefer team sports such as rugby, football, cricket, hockey, and netball.
Others like to mix sports and music by dancing – salsa is a popular example – while others are fans of martial arts.
Bryn Noble’s even got a black belt in tae kwon do!
6. Making (and eating) food
Calling all foodies!
It seems we have enough keen cooks and bakers to run our own Master Chef or Bake Off.
All tastes are catered for, which means members like India Jean-Jacques, who’s ‘a massive vegan foodie’ can also take part.
To wash down all the tasty food, Paula McMahon could bring her homemade beer, which she makes with her husband and drinks in their own pub at home.
Many of our members help raise awareness and money for a variety of charities.
She's also been sky diving and mud running to raise money for various mental health charities, such as Young Minds.
An overwhelming majority of our members are also keen STEM ambassadors.
Impressively, Sakthy Selvakumaran developed the youth scheme ‘Construkt’ with Paul and Rommell from Serious About Youth, created with support from ICE.
The scheme supports young people from underrepresented groups to get experience in civil engineering and access to industry professionals.