Take the pedal off the metal and seek a balanced life on your bike

Work stressors are a key contributor to mental fatigue. Whatever your soul’s sweet escape, make sure to stop and enjoy the view.

As we fantasise about hitting the brakes this festive season to spend time with our loved ones and to relax and recharge, we may be struggling to pedal through the rocky terrain of year-end fatigue.

With life coming at us from all directions, even the most dedicated of us are bound to be experiencing some level of physical and mental exhaustion.

For those on the edge of the burnout cliff, heed these 4 points:

  • Prioritise your wellbeing
  • Establish a healthy work-life balance
  • Take up cycling, it’s a sweet escape for your soul
  • Stop sacrificing personal time for work

Choose your path. You can’t work 24/7, study towards a PhD, buy a house, write a novel, travel the world, pursue 20 different hobbies, go to the gym eight days and adopt two dogs and a cat. And we have even touched on nurturing relationships.

Mental wellness, just like cycling, is about the art of balance. Balancing not going too fast and missing the scenery and not going too slow and becoming stagnant. It’s about understanding that just like oiling your bike makes for a better ride, taking care of yourself makes for a better life.

Riding a bike is like living life without the training wheels. It’s about understanding that when the uphill seems never-ending it’s okay, perhaps even necessary, to hit the brakes, jump off and take a slow stroll towards the top. You still get to enjoy the same breathtaking view. Cycling is about understanding that the journey of life is sometimes rocky but you can still enjoy the ride.

Cycling, according to Tim Cordon, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East and Africa for the Radisson Hotel Group, is a way of taking a mental break.

  1. It’s a sustainable sport. Opting to ride your bike when travelling short distances instead of driving your car is one way that you can reduce your impact on the environment.
  2. There’s magic in mentorship. Finding a mentor to help you navigate the working world is important. Joining a cycling club could allow you to meet new people with various professional backgrounds.
  3. It motors your mind. Most exercise is good for your mood and mental health, and cycling is no exception. A study published in 2019, observed that participants who cycled at least three times per week demonstrated notable improvements in mental health, cognitive function, and overall perception of health and well-being compared to the non-cyclists.
  4. South Africa’s scenery – South Africa is known for having some of the most breathtaking views in the world, from monumental mountain ranges, romantic vineyards, and meandering rivers, to rugged fynbos and luscious forests.

Stunning cycling routes to explore:

  • Helshoogte Pass, Cape Winelands
  • Cape Point Nature Reserve
  • The Owl Route, Eastern Cape
  • Karkloof, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Glengarry Holiday Farm, Kamberg
  • The Knysna Forests, Garden Route

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