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21 February 2019 by Gemma Bianchi & Jodie Simpson

'Headspace' trial at GC

'Headspace' trial at GC

Jodie’s Experience

To start the year we decided to trial Headspace every morning at 9am for 10 minutes. I was really up for trying something new, especially with the #newyearnewme mentality in full swing.

Our first session was weird to say the least - there’s something unnerving about closing your eyes in an office of 25 people - loads of questions run through your head like who’s taking a peek at you, has everyone else got their eyes shut or is this some kind of trick?

I also had in the back of my mind that anyone could walk into our office and see all of us sat, eyes closed like a scene from the Lost Boys with the vampires sleeping in the day. Once over that initial discomfort, I soon started to relax into it and quite enjoy the experience.

In summary

After a few days I was really starting to appreciate coming into work and taking 10 minutes to gather my thoughts, relax and clear my head before properly starting the day.

Gemma's Experience

Session 1 - at the office

The moment it started, cards on the table, I felt awkward. Most probably because I’m sat at my desk, directly facing at least 3 people. Once we were instructed to close our eyes though that eased off. 

The guided meditation was good - his voice, the simplicity, the understanding nature of his tone. You’re not expected to ‘get it’ right away.

All throughout, my mind kept wandering - all I could think about was someone walking in with our post and wonder what on earth we are all doing sat with our eyes and laptops closed! However, the guide makes you feel reassured that this is okay and totally normal.

As soon as I opened my eyes at the end of the session I felt dizzy. The same way I feel if I fall asleep upright on the sofa.

It’s going to take some practice but I’m confident it will get easier and I will love it.

Session 2 - on the tube

I’m in London today so I did my Headspace session at the first opportunity I could, on the tube. It actually wasn’t as bad as you’re probably thinking, I’d even go as far as saying it was better than yesterday. That could be because it’s my second session and I’m getting used to it or perhaps because I’m not sat down ready to work.

Firstly, I love this man’s voice. Just getting that out there. I’m pretty certain that the session was almost the same as yesterday. One element I find hard (spoiler if you haven’t done the basic set yet!) is towards the end when he asks you to totally clear your mind. I still find I’m counting my breath and can’t switch off fully.

I can’t say I feel any different throughout the day as a result of Headspace yet, however it’s early days. I’ve gone into this experience with an open mind and no set expectations.

Session 3 - on the Eurostar

I’m off to Paris today with some friends for the weekend, so Headspace is being done on the Eurostar.

I’m definitely finding this is getting easier and easier. I actually fell asleep at some point during the 10 minute session - pretty sure I’m not supposed to do that!

I still can’t comment on whether I feel any different day-to-day. I really want to like this so I hope I do.

Session 4 - back at the office

I really struggled with the session today. All I could focus on was the people around me clicking, the loud reversing lorry outside and the fact I have so much to do.

Pretty disappointed as the other day I felt like I was getting into the swing of things. Maybe the weekend has messed up my flow.

Session 5 - on the road & I missed it. Oops!

Today has been the biggest eye opener on how Headspace is working for me. I didn’t get to do my 10 minutes and I felt more agitated than normal and generally ‘weighed down’.

I plan on carrying on over the weekend and hopefully making this part of my routine.

Session 6 - at home

I really enjoyed getting back to it. I’m finding it easier and easier to focus on what I’m supposed to during the session. Not only that but it’s a nice set up for the day.

I’m also really keen to try the night time session to fall asleep to.

It is so easy to come straight into work and bury your head in tasks without really thinking about how best to spend your day and how that will affect the rest of your week. Agency life is often all systems go so it was really good to press pause each morning.

In summary

I really enjoyed trialling Headspace, it helped me prioritise my day to day tasks and plan better for the day ahead. However… as it’s not to everyone’s taste, it’s something I would continue but in my own time, perhaps before work so I still come into the office with a clear head.

It has also encouraged me to try other mindfulness techniques like yoga - not sure we’ll be doing that each morning in the office though!