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A Few Ways to Take Time Out

Take time out graphic


Photo by Eren Li: time to yourself is always a good idea. We tend to try and find things to do with our free time but overlook the power in being still. Listening to or playing music is a great tool — It provides a total brain workout. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.


Suggested easy listening:



Orzo vs Rice: What's the Difference? | Southern Living

At times during exam season cooking can feel like an unwelcome chore, with the temptation of another meal deal or take-away ever present. But taking some time out to cook a hearty meal can be a great way to relax (plus you get something tasty at the end!). Here’s an easy recipe perfect for cold January evenings. Orzo is a type of pasta shaped like grain, and it goes great with cheese for a warming winter supper.

What you’ll need:

  • Orzo, 100g (Find it in the pasta aisle of a big supermarket)
  • Cheese, 60g (We used strong cheddar, but feel free to experiment)
  • Garlic, 3 cloves
  • Butter, 1 knob 
  • Vegetable stock, 250ml
  • Milk, 100ml
  • Herbs (We used a Herbs de Provence mix, but any dried herbs will do)

How to make it:

1) Peel and slice the garlic. Then melt the butter over a medium flame in a saucepan, then add the sliced garlic and fry until fragrant.
2) Add the orzo, milk and stock to the pan and bring to a simmer. Throw in whatever herbs you have to hand.
3) Leave to simmer for roughly 15 minutes, until the orzo has absorbed the liquid and is nice and creamy. 
4) Grate the cheese and stir into the hot orzo.



Hyde Park Running Routes: Guide to Mayfair, London - Claridge's

While we are all constantly told about the benefits of exercise for our physical and mental health, getting started can seem daunting, particularly in the midst of winter. But it doesn’t have to be, and studies show that you can reap most of the benefits from one short jog a week. Here are a few tips for getting started:


  • Mix walking and running. A great way to get started is to alternate between running and walking. You can time yourself, or you can just alternate when you feel like it (this even has a fancy name: fartlek running which is Swedish for 'speed play').
  • Wear whatever you can find. Don’t worry if you don’t have the best trainers and professional running gear. Old t-shirts and jumpers work just as well. And any pair of sporty trainers you’ve got lying around will do the job whilst you're getting started.
  • Plan out a nice route. London is full of parks and paths which make for great places to run, away from the traffic. Mapping apps are useful for finding green spaces and pedestrian paths, and also let you check the distance before you set off.
  • If you really hate the cold, get on a treadmill. While getting outside can be great, the winter cocktail of cold and rain can deter even the most committed runners. Treadmills can provide a great way to get some running in over the bleaker months of the year.

To find out more about how to improve your wellbeing, visit our wellbeing hub.


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