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Executive Board column: Running to clear your mind

A lot is going on in the world right now, and our university regularly faces big issues and dilemmas too. Then it can be tricky to switch off. For me, exercise is a way to unwind. We want our staff to be able to relax too and are therefore offering various events and workshops that should help.

Exercise gives me energy and helps clear my mind. I go running with a group every week and in early October I ran the Amsterdam marathon with my family. Doing this together was a special experience and the finish in the Olympic Stadium was simply fantastic.

In this column Annetje Ottow, Hester Bijl and Martijn Ridderbos give a peek behind the scenes at the Executive Board of Leiden University. What does their work involve? What makes them enthusiastic? What challenges do they face? Building a healthy and engaged learning community begins with sharing what you are up to. This time it’s Martijn Ridderbos’s turn.

Sometimes you need other people or events to actually make you do something.

Push in the right direction

Exercise helps me boost my energy levels and stay energised. But if it’s raining or I’m tired, I need friends who are also going to exercise, to stop me from vegging out on the sofa instead. Sometimes you need other people or events to actually make you do something.

By offering events, workshops and inspiration sessions, we as a university want to help our staff increase their vitality and resilience. I think it’s important that we focus on this. I see these events as the push we sometimes need to give something a try. And this doesn’t have to mean running a marathon because I know this won’t make others feel as happy as it does me.

Work Stress Week

The next university event for staff is Work Stress Week, from 13 to 17 November, and for students Student Well-Being Week in the same week. Staff can do yoga, for example, a tennis clinic, boxing or breathwork. Ask a colleague to join you − who knows, that might give you both the push that you need.

Share your thoughts or experiences by sending an email to m.ridderbos@cvb.leidenuniv.nl.

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