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Spinnaker Stress Relief Recommendations

Managing stress is not an easy task. But here at Spinnaker we have many avid book readers and podcast listeners, all of whom turn to them to de-stress, relax or reflect. They cover topics from self-development to Formula 1, to true crime to help understanding others.

Phil Parry, Chairman

My recommendation is ‘Human Kind, A Hopeful History’ by 27-year-old Dutch historian Rutger Bregman. If you’ve ever – in fact who hasn’t – despaired about the human condition while watching the news, then this is the book for you. Human Kind is an extraordinary book about human nature and the human condition. This was an airport purchase for me, which is usually a mistake. On this occasion, it was a winner.  The book is part historical, part sociology, part psychology, and a big chunk of investigative analysis, research, and journalism.  It’s a really good read that will wash away some of the cynicism and pessimism we all far too often experience nowadays when thinking about ourselves as a species and about the future. Bregman’s central theme is that humans are friendly, peaceful, and healthy but we, and our motives and reasons (this being key to some of the obvious examples of behaviour during wartime) are generally misreported and misunderstood.

David Tubb, Director of Recruitment

There are quite a few recommendations from me! First up, podcasts. As an avid lover of F1 this is great! ‘Formula for Success – FFS!’ It’s just two experts having a good laugh and discussing new and old stories. For any F1 lover like me, this is a must-listen too. The other is ‘Art of Manliness’, now, this is not as misogynistic as it sounds. It is an eclectic podcast regarding a mix of self-development, general life skills and covers interesting topics in general.

And books. I currently have Clarksons’ Farm on the go. Now I know he is a love him or hate him kind of guy, but this book is just a great laugh. It is the TV show in written form and if you’re looking for a silly, but entertaining read to lift your spirits, this is definitely it! And from the self-development side of things, I have been reading a lot of Dale Carneige, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ and ‘How to Enjoy Your Life and Your Job’. (Not that I don’t like my job…)! Although the books are quite on the ‘old’ side, they have principles that still stand and are needed to this day. They’re great at helping you create a new approach to life and discover talents about you never knew you had in your life and in your work.

Helen McCaughran, Marketing & Business Development Manager

Between work and looking after children it’s difficult to take time out to read or listen to a podcast, but when I take the dog for a walk, I normally tune in to Stephen Bartlett’s Diary of CEO or Desert Island Discs. The former has a variety of guests including celebrities such as Davina McCall who had a very troubled upbringing, and self-starters such as the female entrepreneur who started Bumble. The latter is great for listening to music from all eras, as well as finding out the back story of people in the public eye who you may never have heard about.

When I travel, I like to read and the latest book I took away with me was ‘Surrounded by idiots.’ Now this is not meant to be offensive to any of my friends, family or work colleagues, but it simply helps you understand that there are more people not like you than there are like you. It groups people into different personality types and helps you understand how to communicate with the different groups. My ‘type’ is introverted and ‘laid-back’ and clearly might clash with others who are more extroverted. I’d highly recommend it.

Bethanie-Taylor Grenfell, Marketing & HRC Administrator

I could go on and on for days about books and podcasts I read or listen to help relax and de-stress but I will stick to two. The first being ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney. This was one of the first books to make me cry… but for an overwhelmingly good reason! It is a gorgeous story about growing up from childhood to your twenties and identity, young love and friendship. But all with the underlying theme of the desire to feel understood by the people around you but also how lonely growing up can actually be. It is just beautiful!

The other is ‘The Psychology of your 20’s’ by Jemma Sbeg. This is just brilliant! I completely lost my identity when I left University but I realised, it’s not just me, there are so many people out there in their twenties that don’t have a clue what they are doing… which was me. One of my favourite episodes is ‘The psychology of the eldest daughter’ which was just fascinating to me as it was like listening to a biography sometimes. Feeling misunderstood, confused and out of place can be the source of a lot of my stress, but this podcast gives you a minute to realise it’s not just you, but there is a whole community out there that feels the same.

Daryna Rozum, Reward Consultant

I wasn’t sure if the podcasts I listen to can be considered de-stressing but after giving it some thought I realised – yes, they definitely work as such for me! I love a good true crime podcast and ‘Rotten Mango’ is one of my favourites. They’re quite long (some can be up to 2 hours), but each episode covers cases that aren’t given much international media coverage. What I like about this podcast, is how engaging and emotional they are. You actually learn a lot of cultural and societal contexts behind criminal cases as the presenters don’t stick to just one country.

Oftentimes I listen to it while working with data – when a task requires more of a manual job, it’s nice to occupy your brain with something (They have a couple of maritime cases as well which is a special treat). I think for me, stress comes at a point when you get overwhelmed by something and it grows to the size of a black hole. Then listening to something that tells you about something even scarier out there – it’s weirdly calms you down and you start appreciating what you have now more. And it gives you an insight into the human psyche too!

Liam Daly, Principal Recruitment Consultant

2 recommendations from me. ‘The Drive’ by Peter Attia. This talks about how to improve your quality of your life span, not improving the length of it, which I think is a very important message to live by. The next is ‘Rich Roll’ by Rich Roll. This talks about people from all rays of life discussing fitness, health, stress and mental health. All subjects that are a real core and focus in my life.

Monique Turner, Business Development Consultant

Date yourself they say! There are too many to list here but ‘Date Yourself Instead’ by Lyss Boss is quite insightful. Ask yourself, would you date you? Do you truly know you? Well, if you need to think about the answer to those questions, this might be the ideal podcasts for you. It aims to inspire you to become the best version of yourself while being very candid about personal experiences to help YOU!

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