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Getting the balance right

Most of us spend a great deal of our week in the workplace, or travelling to and from work, particularly when living here in the outskirts of western Sydney.

For many people, these hours can add up to more time than we actually spend with our families; so it’s really important that our workplace is both a physically and mentally supportive environment.

Often the fast pace and demands of the workplace can contribute to feelings of anxiety, which affect our overall wellbeing. It’s a reminder to all of us to stress-less and look after ourselves at work.

A few simple tips include: 

  • go home on time
  • take your holidays when they are due  
  • resolve conflict as soon as it arises
  • make time to relax and recharge during the day – get outside and look at the sky 

…And here’s some food for thought if you are a manager…

Evidence shows that workplaces with a range of mental health initiatives in place have less absenteeism and a more productive workforce. Whereas a negative work environment can lead to anxiety, depression and substance use disorders which will almost certainly impact on your ‘bottom line’.  

If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, contact your Human Resources Manager who can refer you to the Employee Assistance Program for completely independent advice and support. Or if you feel that you need something a little more, talk to your GP about a referral to LikeMind in Penrith where you can get advice and support for mental health concerns.

If you or someone you care about needs to talk about feeling overwhelmed, take a look at our programs and resources page to find the right service for your needs, or you can check the NSW Health Mental Health Consumer guide for a range of support services.

But as well as looking after your mental health – it’s super important to make time for your physical health. We all know about being time poor and never ‘quite’ making it to the gym, or running out of time to walk the dog in the evening…. But, exercise is a great all-rounder, it will help to clear your mind as well as trim your waistline and keep your heart pumping… (AND if you choose, you can include the kids and the family pet).    

If you find exercising before or after your busy day is just TOO hard, consider what is possible within the work environment. 

Many workplaces have programs in place so that you can build exercise into your paid time,  if not you could suggest they look at the Get Healthy @ Work Program – Encourage them to sign up to become a healthy workplace.

TIPS:

  • stepping out at lunchtime to walk around the block
  • taking public transport so that there is some incidental exercise built into your day
  • parking the car a couple of blocks from work
  • find a buddy at work to help motivate each other and stop the excuses

Or check out these suggestions from Make Healthy Normal. But if you still need some convincing or motivation – perhaps you could take the ‘Brief Health Check’. It’s free, quick and totally confidential.

Finally we come to food… Once again time can seem like a barrier to eating a healthy diet, but the truth is it CAN actually be quicker to eat well, than to give-in to fast food and pre-prepared options, it just takes: a little forward thinking, regular shopping, great recipes (check ours out) and perhaps some weekend planning – if you need help, try this Weekly Menu Planner

BEST TIP: Winter is here so it’s a great time for the slow-cooker, nothing could be simpler.

Just find a healthy recipe – throw all the goodies in the pot – go to work – come home – relax with the family -eat!   (Then if you’re lucky, there may even be some leftovers for work).

Weight management can be a tough issue when you’re busy keeping all the boxes of life ticked, so if  you or a family member are struggling to manage your weight, it may be worth talking to your GP about a referral to the Nepean Blue Mountains Family Metabolic Service. This state of the art program provides a one stop shop for weight issues and helps families to learn new and better weight management approaches.

Getting (and keeping) the balance right can seem hard at first but, a few small and gradual changes can make a huge difference to how you feel, how you look and how you model good health to your family.

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District