How our staff keep mentally healthy
During October, for Mental Health Awareness Month, we interviewed some of our staff to find out what they do to stay mentally healthy. There were some common themes and great suggestions. We'll share them below:
I started kickboxing in January this year. Which has become one of the best ways for me to release stress and clear my mind. I always feel better after beating up on a bag for 45 minutes! Also, I love to jog and listen to my gospel music which helps me realign my thoughts to positive ones and helps to increase energy. I also meditate and pray in the mornings which I believe starts my day a lot better and gives me strength for the day. Also cooking new recipes and meals allows me to explore my creativity.
- Kristy, Health & Injury Prevention Advisor
My number 1 go-to is EXERCISE. I exercise regularly to protect my mental health - I can really start to struggle when I don’t exercise enough. It’s also just as helpful when I’m having a hard day. I’ll put my little boy in the pram & go for a walk - I think it’s the combination of getting outside & the physical activity that helps me out on these days. But I’m also a big believer in regular “self care” - whether it’s food prepping for the week ahead, reading a good book, listening to a favourite podcast, getting a massage, getting coffee with a friend, taking a long warm bath etc.
- Lauren, Health Promotion & Marketing
Aside from exercise/physical activity which is probably my main way of maintaining my emotional/mental health in a good place, whenever I feel out of balance mentally I find socialising with my partner or friends, sharing a meal and talking about life helps me to get my perspective back on track and get back in balance.
- Pablo, IT support & client support services
Since becoming a parent a big thing for me is scheduling “slow days”. I’m usually always running around here, there and everywhere, so I make it a priority to schedule days every so often where I don’t have to be anywhere or tick anything off any lists! It gives me the chance to relax (as much as my kids will let me!) or catch up on anything in particular that has been weighing on my mind.
- Lauren, Research, Learning & Development
Fitness and Food are huge for me. But also a creative outlet is something I need in my life to feel “well”. Whether it is a goofy doodle, a colouring page, a fancy card making session, or writing. They all help to clear my head. Additionally taking a wellness day. A lot of people only take “sick days” of vacation time, but I think if we took more unscheduled wellness days, we wouldn’t need as many sick days.
- Nita, Health & Injury Prevention Advisor
A few different approaches depending on what aspect of my mental health needs a boost, and also the situation... am I at home, on the road, with others or by myself etc... In general, I've always turned to movement to clear my head. Exercise helps me blow off steam and I like to pair it with music to suit my mood. When a lengthy or sweaty workout isn't really practical, I find even a walk is really beneficial for me. When I'm seeking some calm or perspective, while I know this might sound a bit lame... I'll admit that I'm a sunset guy. When I travel I love to find a nice spot to enjoy a sunset. I find it calming and an excellent way to regain perspective. It reminds me that the world is big and that days will always come and go. Often times the things which are taxing me as an individual are probably pretty insignificant in the whole scheme of things.
- Andrew, US Operations
Definitely exercise for me. I find running very meditative and calming. Also mentally 're-framing'....especially when I know the serotonin is a little low and I might be viewing things a little negatively, I basically do cognitive therapy on myself to re-frame the negative and rationalise what the reality is. Prioritise sleep! When under the pump the most or jet-lagged I try to stick most closely to the things above plus good nutrition.
- Greg, Managing Director
I feel like exercise is a big one for me. Running always has helped me to distress. I feel like my mind is always clear after a good run. Hiking/ walking with my family and/or friends or by myself is another great activity for me. There is just something about being out in nature that helps me feel calm, happy and even gets some creative ideas flowing. Recently, I found that kickboxing has been a good stress reliever, especially after a hard, stressful day. Something other than exercise and is a quick go to for me would be simply petting and loving on my dog. Animals have always made me feel better on a rough day. Even just looking at some funny/ cute animal videos or photos brings a smile to my face.
- Kathleen, Health & Injury Prevention Advisor
Exercise is definitely my number 1 - closely behind is making sure I get outside (beach/park etc) as often as possible. The beach even in winter I find very calming and a massive help to switch off. If feeling a bit flat or unmotivated, getting some music on for that boost!
- Dan, AU Operations
Lifting heavy weights and moving fast! I also love to have some quiet time... cooking, listening to music or taking the dogs to the park and enjoying the outdoors getting some vitamin D.
- Sarah, AU Operations
Meditation 20 mins every day; martial arts 3 times a week; cardio 2-3 times a week; yoga 2-3 times a week. I also love going out for coffee with friends and family whenever I can.
- Gemma, Admin & Accounts
Always look on the bright side of life... no matter how tough times can be for you or those close to you, I think then of the starving in Africa or the kids & families in war torn countries and all of a sudden you know life is pretty darn good!! Must laugh or have a joke as often as possible with family or friends.... that really helps. Having a team or group activity... like my Friday morning tennis... is definitely my saviour each week - I love it!! Having something fun to look forward to in the not too distant future is also a good plan.... holiday, get together with friends, catch up with dad, going out with family... Or Elton John concert in Jan. at Hanging Rock... always good to look forward to something in life!!
- Patty, Finance Manager & Client Support
Crossfit and hiking! There’s nothing else that calms me and helps to rejuvenate me more than lifting heavy weights or being out in the woods or hiking up a mountain and just being surrounded by nature.
- Travis, Health & Injury Prevention Advisor
I love to exercise and listen to music. I love to listen to 80's music or pump up music when I go for a run... its a great way to relax, have fun, and I make sure to focus on my breathing (which seems a bit meditative). I also make sure to do some hobbies or learn something new. A new experience (whether ice skating, travel, or even skydiving) is always a fun way for me to reduce stress and have fun. Meditation and my religion are also great ways for me to put my worries into perspective... it makes them not seem like not such big worries anymore.
- Melora, Health & Injury Prevention Advisor