Jessie Women Share Their Well-Being Strategies #WomensHealthWeek #RUOKDay
R U OK? Day & Women’s Health Week
There’s no doubt about it, 2020 has been a year of challenges and constant change. The unprecedented circumstances have made it even more important for us to all stay connected, and for those who are able, to be willing to support those around us.
This week is Women’s Health Week and today, Thursday 10 September, is R U OK? Day. With that in mind, this week our women at Jessie McPherson Private Hospital have been having conversations, and sharing strategies that have helped them manage their emotional health and well-being through the challenges of 2020.
Here we share some ideas and strategies that have worked for us (please note this is not health advice):
Virtual Coffee Mornings
I have lots of online meetings for work, but it’s the social elements of work that I was missing, the opportunity to catch up over a coffee, soundboard ideas and get food envy over everyone’s lunch or morning tea! I now have regular virtual coffee mornings with work friends and it has helped me feel more connected, given us all a social outlet and may have sowed the seeds for a bake-off!
I have made a real conscious effort to get off technology in the evenings (i.e. no mindless scrolling on my phone when the kids go to bed) and I’ve started to do jigsaw puzzles instead. It can be tricky trying to find somewhere to keep the puzzle safe from little 10 month old hands, but it has been enjoyable and when I finish it feels like a little achievement!
Self-Care “Spa” Sundays
I try to take some time each Sunday to do a hair mask or a face mask, sometimes both if I have enough time! I call it Self-Care Sundays. I make sure that during the 10-20 minutes of masking that I’m relaxing and recharging my own batteries so I can be a better support for my family, and manage a healthy work life balance when working from home.
Re-discover a Creative Outlet
I think there have been some wonderful benefits of the lockdowns and altered living conditions of the past several months. For me, it’s created time and enabled me to do some things I haven’t had time to do for years. Here are some of the benefits I’ve found:
- Time to focus on more home cooked meals and snacks
- Regular Family Zoom Meetings – connecting with my son, who is interstate, has been a huge bonus
- Cleaning and culling
- Being creative – sewing, knitting, drawing and writing
Deep Sleep Meditation
I’ve started to listen to a deep sleep meditation at bedtime, as I was finding my sleep quality was really beginning to suffer and I was waking up tired all the time. I only started a couple of weeks ago but it has already really helped. I’m now finding it easier to motivate myself to do some exercise, which is also having a positive effect on my sleep.
The recent change in weather has had a positive impact on my emotional health and I’m really enjoying the chance to get out in my garden and try to grow some new plants. I’ve just planted dahlia tubers and gladioli to see if I can get some nice cut flowers at Christmas time.
Creating a Commute
I’ve found that creating a “commute” from work even whilst working from home has really helped. Instead of diving straight into home-life (laundry etc.) I will either read or go for a walk and listen to a podcast.
I’ve always wanted to try yoga but not always been brave enough to try it in a studio/class setting, I started following a YouTube channel and took part in a 30 day yoga challenge. I now love doing yoga every day, it helps me unwind and I find I’m sleeping much better.
Comedy – laughing out loud – I enjoy a crime-drama-thriller as much as the next person but at the moment I’m really enjoying comedy movies and stand up, it feels so good to laugh!
I have primary school aged children, one of the things their teachers are regularly encouraging is mindfulness sessions. Instead of just the kids doing it, we have all started to have a family mindfulness session, it’s kind of become a tradition now. I’ve since learnt about the Danish tradition of the Hygge and it feels like that’s what we’re trying to create. We gather up all our blankets, pillows and throws, lie down and listen to either guided meditation or mindfulness sounds.
- Hygge (noun) a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
Asking the Question
If you feel like something’s not quite the same with someone you know – there’s something going on in their life or you notice a change in what they’re saying or doing – trust that gut instinct and take the time to ask them “Are you OK?” If someone says they’re not OK, make time to listen, encourage action and check in. That conversation could change, or even save, their life.
You don’t have to be an expert to keep the conversation going when someone says they’re not OK. By knowing what to say you can help someone feel supported and access appropriate help long before they’re in crisis, which can make a really positive difference to their life.
How to ask in simple steps:
- Encourage action
- Check in
Watch this video about asking R U OK? at work.