Relax, slow down

Dipping into OT ’s rich archive of education at your leisure has much to offer


The daffodil shoots emerging from frosty soil, the lengthening daylight hours, the heart-shaped merchandise promoting Valentine’s Day: these are all signs that we have made it to February, and that spring is not that far away. It is a long process – but as my parents liked to remind me, good things come to those that wait.

The ‘slow movement’ reflects this idea. With its roots in the 1980s in Italy (as a protest to the arrival of McDonalds in Rome), the movement advocates a cultural shift toward slowing down life's pace, in turn preserving traditional skills and techniques.

The slow movement came to mind last month when out on a blustery hike in Dorset, where I was struck by the sight of hedgerows that had been cutback and ‘woven’ together into something both manicured and sculptural.

The craft of hedge laying, I later discovered by the fire at home, is performed by hand, using tools to carefully chop through part but not all of the wood, then carefully weaving the branches together to form a hedgerow.

Time consuming and hard work of course, but the technique enables hedgerows to grow and become denser, in turn providing a habitat and wildlife corridor for animals, creating windbreaks to reduce soil erosion and providing shelter to livestock.

Taking it ‘slow’ is a key theme when thinking about health and wellbeing – a pertinent topic today, which is Time to Talk DayHere at the AOP, we recognise its importance, reflected by the survey conducted on the topic in 2017.

In OT’s May edition, we will be looking at the simple steps that optometrists take to prioritise their health and wellbeing. If you have a passion outside the practice that helps you to disconnect and relax, ranging from tai chi to knitting and anything in between, please get in touch with us.

Yesterday OT met with the AOP’s new student reps to explore what matters to them and discover how OT can provide the tools to thrive at university.

Student life is characterised by its fast-paced learning environment. However, making sure the tools for learning are as accessible as possible can help to ease the pressure (and slow life down to a more manageable pace) – which is where OT’s online CET stands out.

Alongside live CET exams, our growing section includes an extensive back catalogue of clinical articles from clinical experts, along with MCQs that enable members to test their knowledge. Great for students and qualified practitioners alike, OT’s CET section works on mobile, tablet and desktop, and is free to access to all AOP members. So, why not sit back, relax, and dip in…

Image credit: Getty