Staff profile: Treloar’s well-being champion, Sophie Milroy
Meet Sophie Milroy, Treloar’s Recruitment Specialist Lead, who joined Treloar’s Human Resources Department in June 2016. Day to day, Sophie takes responsibility for the whole recruitment function by supporting HR and teams across the organisation to fill our vacancies. But that’s not all, Sophie looks after the Treloar’s employee benefits package and keenly promotes well-being among the staff on the campus.
Lucky for all of us at Treloar’s, Sophie is a qualified yoga instructor and she splits her time between working at Treloar’s and teaching yoga part time. On Wednesday evenings, all staff at Treloar’s are invited to join Sophie for an hour of yoga.
This year, Sophie pushed herself and decided to invest more in her own well-being and explored other avenues of improving her mental health and encouraging Treloar’s community to do the same. Sophie trained for and took part in Southampton Running Festival half marathon to raise funds for Treloar School and College.
Sophie and her journey to better well-being
“I take responsibility for my own well-being by exercising regularly and eating a (relatively) balanced diet. Even when I don’t feel like it, showing up for myself and giving my body what it needs to feel good inside is super important to maintaining a happy, healthy life.
“I certainly haven’t always lived my life in a healthy way. I’ve made some really poor choices and felt the effects of those choices and experienced ill-health. I’ve found myself in unhealthy cycles of behaviour, experienced negative thought patterns but…thankfully all of that could be changed. Just by making the decision to change.
It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s a continuous journey… and I make choices each and every day to benefit my mental well-being.
“My favourite ways to get my body moving, especially without equipment, is to go for a run or practise yoga. At first, I came to love the physical benefits of yoga but after time,
I started to notice the shift in my mindset, and it has taken me on a path of self-discovery.
“I’ve become more aware of my thoughts, and I’ve not just become more aware of how the people and environments around me were affecting me, but also how my energy level could affect others. I love to share the practice with others through teaching, because practising yoga regularly has kept me balanced through some really turbulent times in life. I feel I’ve stopped living in auto-pilot mode and become more wakeful and thankful, and to share that with others, to maybe help impact someone else’s day by leaving them feeling a little calmer and happier is such an amazing thing, and is why I love to teach.
“Running, particularly for me, is the way to unwind when feeling stressed. It’s free, minimal equipment, all you have to do is start. Honestly, it’s not always fun during, but it leaves you feeling so mentally boosted, the feeling afterwards is so worth it.”
New year, new me
“I decided to take up running in January 2023. I signed up to run 40 miles in the month of January to raise money for charity.
Knowing I was running for charity and not just myself, was a key motivator to remaining consistent and kept me motivated and disciplined to keep going,
“I quickly discovered that I actually loved it (not always during) but the way you feel afterwards, especially on days where you feel stressed, it helps you gain so much more clarity, improves mood and reduces stress. I started to notice my overall happiness and energy levels improve. So I booked myself on a 10k, I knew that having something to train for is a key motivator for me. After the 10k in February, I decided to run a half marathon in aid of Treloar’s, to fundraise money that goes towards providing care, specialist equipment and education for children and young adults at Treloar School and College. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to raise very much money, but really every little can help in some way and the feeling of knowing that you are helping others and doing it not just for yourself is something special.
“Race day came, I was full of nerves and excitement but mostly worried I would need the loo during the race (thankfully I didn’t). The first half was great, and then the struggle came, I slowed, and to be truly honest there were times I actually thought about falling over on purpose and giving up! I thought I am never doing this again! It was the most mentally challenging thing I have ever done, but knowing that I was there running for Treloar’s kept me going and got me to the finish line and having my family there for support was wonderful. I’m ready to book my next race, and hope to complete a full marathon someday.
Sophie’s top tips for building sustainable, healthy habits
• Take mindful breaths each day (especially when you’re outside, even if it’s just during the walk from your car to the front door)
• Be disciplined when it comes to movement—show up for yourself—find a type of exercise you enjoy!
• Remember one positive thought in the morning can change your whole day!
• Spend time in nature, around greenery, sunlight and fresh air.
• Do things for others (that will help or improve their day in some way).
• Value the little things: alone time, enough sleep, your morning coffee, long walks, and quality time with loved ones.
• Create healthy eating habits – your mind and body will thank you. (Breakfast for me is key and sets me up for day)
• Sleep—and getting the right amount. Listen to your body, when you feel you need to rest—rest.
• Listen to your own language, about yourself, about others. Can you be kinder? Can you be more positive? Reading and listening to positive thinking books/podcasts/music helps me shift a negative mindset.
• Journaling: writing down your thoughts can be a great way to express your inner thoughts and emotions.
• Take quiet time for yourself to make space for calm, to reflect, to heal.
• Importantly, talking to others if you feel you’re struggling. Whether it be a friend, colleague, manager or councillor. Connecting with others is a really powerful method to transforming your well-being, even when you feel like isolating.
Benefits at Treloar’s
In return for the hard work, Treloar’s offers its employees an extensive benefits package which is second to none in the sector. Learn more here.
Ways to support us
If the story of Sophie has inspired you and you would like to start supporting Treloar’s, visit our page and find out how you can get involved.