Mental health in the workplace

What are your self care strategies in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace.

Did you know that November 22nd was “ Go Home on Time Day”?  I love this. There is a day for everything these days!

Jokes aside, Go home on time day was a great excuse to not only leave when you’re supposed to but to also have a think about what we can do along with  managers and the workplace to get out the door on time consistently .

Deadlines or the occasional day with competing demands can sometimes mean we can’t stick to our normal working hours. I do not mind this on the odd occasion. However, it’s when these long hours become the norm rather than the exception that it can negatively impact our health.

I recently had 3 weeks off work from a relentless virus. I initially returned too early causing a setback and had to be very firm with myself, being still, minimising interactions and  implementing all self care strategies.

This self imposed rest and quiet time provided me a wonderful opportunity to reflect. And reflect I did: on my return to midwifery, on my role, and my vision and goals for the workplace. On life and why I haven’t blogged for 6 months.

My reflections on mental health in the workplace

I reflected that I have managed very well to develop a sound work life balance. However, some of my old habits at work have been creeping in. Coffee and lunch breaks at my desk, going home late, checking emails at home.

When I did return to work last week I set myself a goal to continue not only my home self care but also self care strategies in the workplace.

I don’t believe in coincidences. Rather I believe everything happens for a reason.

Femidist Mental HealthThis Beyond Blue post on Facebook about mental health in the workplace came at a perfect time for me. I had just returned to work following my illness and its reminders were very important.

 

I encourage my staff members to take breaks, to get home on time and I always try to meet their roster requirements to have a great work/life balance.

Now I have asked them to remind ME  to take my breaks! Having experienced workplace stress burnout and compassion fatigue I place high priority on mental health in the workplace.

Here are my top 10 strategies to maintain mental health at work:
  • Go home on time
  • Take my breaks
  • Walk outside
  • Delegate tasks to others
  • Do not read work emails at home
  • Set realistic deadlines
  • Ask for help when I need it
  • Diffuse essential oils to motivate or chill the mood
  • Eat properly
  • Drink my water

For some great strategies on how to manage your mental health at work, visit Heads Up: http://bb.org.au/2jHDm34

References and link

Beyond Blue

Heads Up

Related Posts

My return to Midwifery

Self care

Violence Against Women: Facts and figures

I am back because I could not let November 25th come and go without mention….

Violence Against Women: Facts and figures

Violence against women is now recognised to be a serious and widespread problem in Australia. It has enormous individual and community impacts and social costs.

What we must remember is that violence against women, a significant social problem is also ultimately preventable.

Violence Against Women by femidistMy regular readers will know I an open activist for the prevention of violence against women.

I follow Our watch and often share posts from their sites.

Have you checked it out?

 

As well as personal experience of violence as a woman. I also see DAILY in my work as a Midwife the consequences and flow on effects of violence against women. Yes……. DAILY.

To prevent violence against women we first need to understand it. This list of key facts is cut and paste directly from the Our Watch website.

KEY FACTS about Violence Against Women

The following basic statistics help demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women:

  • On average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.
  • One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence, since the age of 15.
  • One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence.
  • One in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
  • One in four Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
  • Women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.
  • Women are five times more likely than men to require medical attention or hospitalisation as a result of intimate partner violence, and five times more likely to report fearing for their lives.
  • Of those women who experience violence, more than half  have children in their care.
  • Violence against women is not limited to the home or intimate relationships. Every year in Australia, over 300,000 women experience violence – often sexual violence – from someone other than a partner.
  • Eight out of ten women aged 18 to 24 were harassed on the street in the past year.
  • Young women (18 – 24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.
  • There is growing evidence that women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience violence at higher rates than non-Indigenous women.

November 25th is White Ribbon Day…. more on that later.

Femidist White Ribbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side note: Yes. I am back!!

Femidist writingI have not blogged for many months due to paid employment commitments.

While I am still working I have now managed to re balance and write again.

 

I could not let November 25th come and go without mention…….

 

Routine GBS Screening in pregnancy not recommended.

GBS screening can cause more harm than good with large numbers of women unnecessarily receiving antibiotics.

Routine GBS screening is not recommended in the UK

Screening pregnant women for Group B streptococcus (GBS) is “not recommended” by the National Screening Committee (NSC) in the UK but remains common in Australia.

Read the full article here Continue reading “Routine GBS Screening in pregnancy not recommended.”

Solitude: The ultimate indulgence in a busy world

Solitude brings a state of balance to catch up from a hyper connected society.

Solitude: The ultimate indulgence in a busy world.

My need for solitude is not just a preference but critical to my health and happiness. Solitude is the state of being alone but certainly not being lonely.

Solitude to balance the hyper connectivity of life

Solitude for me brings a state of balance to catch up from what I see as a hyper connected society. The world is so fast and busy we need ways to release the pressure of doing things and going places. We live in a world where millions of mouths talk too much with very little to say. The news is negative and toxic, employers demand our energy to a timetable and mobile phones keep us permanently in touch.

I have very few opportunities in my life to truly be alone. A few minutes or hours stolen here and there is nice and allows me to recharge enough to get back to “it”, whatever it may be but a true extended period of solitude has not been mine for some time.

This weekend I have had the blessed opportunity to spend 48 hours alone in the house with time for reflection, peace and quiet. I do not feel lonely, rather the solitude provides me the perfect freedom to do whatever I want with, silence, calm and space.

So what to do with this freedom?

I found myself automatically walking around picking up things, tidying and started seeing grimy floors and the dirty bench tops. Groan.

Rod and I have recently had some robust discussions about housework, meaning his lack of contribution to it. He has gone for the weekend to spend quality time with his sons and I looked around, yet again left as custodian of the housework.  Rather than spend my day off cleaning and ruining this solitude I decided to give myself a break. I got onto facebook and hired someone to come in and clean while I retreated to my den and sewed! It was bliss. The two hours flew by and when I came out the house was clean and fresh and I was calm and rested.

With the house was warm and clean I relaxed and I really could do whatever I wanted. The TV stayed off with all it bad news and hyper stimulating advertising.

A solitude delight

I cooked a delicious nutritious meal for one and spent the evening reading and researching topics of interest. Bindi dog and Sammie my black cat lazed around in front of the fire and I felt beautifully relaxed.

doTERRA for FemidistI am completely in love with doTERRA essential oils right now and at about 8pm I put on my new diffuser with a dreamy blend of essential oils,read some more in bed, turning the light off at about 10pm.

I woke  to see light streaming into my room. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered it was 8 am. That’s ten hours sleep folks! Ten hours of deep uninterrupted blissful sleep.

 

My dreamy sleep blend
  • doTERRA Sleep blendLavender
  • Wild Orange
  • Vetiver
  • Frankincense

I Quit Sugar- Week 6

My mood was low and it took an effort to be nice to people, even the ones I like!

I Quit Sugar – Week 6

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks due to there only being seven days in the week. This post is a catch up for week five and week six of my I Quit Sugar program

I think I would like an extra day at least, just to write, sew and rest. Attending to those self care strategies has been so important to my physical and mental health and now I find myself a teeny bit resentful they have slipped.

Rather than sook and complain about it, I have hidden myself in my den and sewn for a few hours and hey presto; the jumbled up thoughts have sorted themselves out a bit.

While sewing, I have been thinking a lot this morning about professional accountability and professional conduct. My professional integrity is something I value highly and I can safely say I have never been considered a “bag dropper”.

What’s a bag dropper? I hear you ask.

A bag dropper is someone, in my profession a nurse or midwife, who comes to work, dumps their bag, attends to the shift in a disengaged, negative way, grabs their bag at the end of the shift and heads off. Bag droppers tend to complain about their managers or exec, are passive aggressive, need repeated prompts to do their work and certainly cannot be relied upon to go the extra mile, help out their colleagues, take on a portfolio or do any extra professional development.

We all have bad days. Sometimes we have bad weeks. I am quite happy to acknowledge this and make allowances for variations in people’s level of professionalism. I have had days in my professional career where I have not been an engaged employee. However, it’s a fixed bagged dropping attitude I don’t have much tolerance for.

I know last year I needed to move on from my role when my health and personal issues interfered with my ability to be a productive employee. Remember my post called Quitting as an elite for of self care  I will not allow myself to become unprofessional.

Being a Midwife Again

I did promise you I would not write about my current workplace but will say that my move back to Midwifery has been a good one so far.

Anyway, back to sugar. It is 6 weeks since I quit!

As the I Quit Sugar team suggest, week one was quite easy, a novelty and an interesting challenge. I did not really have any symptoms of headache etc because I had gradually cut table sugar out of my cooking for a week or so before. Week 2- 5 were a lot harder. My main symptom was irritability. My mood was low and it took an effort to be nice to people, even the ones I like!

I did not blog last week (week 5) but will say things did begin to stabilise. While I find I don’t physically miss sugar but the emotional addiction remains. Waiting for my coffee I gaze at the cake and they look great and yes I would like one please. I love lollies and know the deep internal satisfaction my tummy and brain would get as the sugar hits the blood stream. However, my wonderful stubborn Taurean personality has helped me stay strong and firm.

On two separate occasions I have had a nip of Baileys on ice with Rod in the evening. I think one was week 3 and one in week 4. Both times I felt ill and really did not enjoy it. In week 5 we went away with a group of friends and each evening for 4 nights I had 2 G&T’s which I did thoroughly enjoy.

Apart from those few drinks I have not wavered, not one bit. Now at the end of week 6 I seem to be used being sugar free. I have reintroduced fruit. and I have 1 serve most days and sometimes 2. Without refined sugar, and food with heaps of added sugar, my body can handle the natural fructose in fruit.

Menu planning

Life on any sort of changed diet works so much better with menu planning. For me if I am not prepared with snacks and meals for the day ahead I am more likely to grab whatever I can and that is a danger zone.

If I start work before my stomach is ready to have breakfast I have a portion of healthy fruit free muesli in my bag ready. That way when I can take a quick breakfast break I have a healthy option ready to go. Previously a coffee scroll with 40.1gms (10 teaspoons) of sugar would have been my breakfast substitute. Ouch.

My snacks throughout the working day include granola, using the yummy I Quit Sugar version from Sarah Wilson’s cookbook, yogurt and sometimes a piece of fruit.

If I am hungry with breakfast and these snacks I will have a salad, sandwich, soup or leftovers for lunch but it depends on what’s happening and the timetable at work.

I did not quit coffee

While this all sounds terribly healthy remember this is my I Quit Sugar Program NOT the I Quit Coffee program. That my friend is unlikely to happen anytime soon! So added to my health diet is 3-4 cafe lattes per day. This I justify as a contribution to my protein intake at 8gm per latte and a contribution to the safety and sanity of my friends, family and work colleagues.

I Quit Sugar: Not Coffee

Coffee is the liquid hug for my brain which on days off I use for recreational purposes and work days for medicinal purposes.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Quitting as an elite for of self care.

I am quitting sugar- Week 3 Foregoing Fructose is not fun.

My return to Midwifery

References and Links

I Quit Sugar

 

Consultation on Antenatal Care Guidelines is sought.

Submissions close 27 June 2017

Antenatal Care Guidelines

Femidist blogAntenatal Care Guidelines are designed to support Australian maternity services to provide high-quality, evidence-based antenatal care to healthy pregnant women.

 

In November 2010 all Health Ministers agreed to the National Maternity Services Plan which included the development of national evidence-based antenatal care guidelines.

What the Antenatal Care Guidelines cover

The Antenatal Care Guidelines cover a wide range of care including routine physical examinations, screening tests and social and lifestyle advice for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Review of the Antenatal Care Guidelines

In 2015–16, an Expert Working Group (EWG) was established to guide a review of the Guidelines and was asked to identify priority  topics and research questions for inclusion in the current review. See the selected topics here.

Why the consultation?

The evidence on selected topics has been reviewed to ensure the recommendations are consistent with the latest evidence to ensure pregnant women receive high quality, evidence based antenatal care.

This consultation process is seeking feedback on the Antenatal Care Guidelines public consultation draft. It opened on May 26th 2017 and closes 27 June 2017

Femidist typingYou can make a submission via email to eac@health.gov.au.

Remember submissions close on 27 June 2017.

Learn more here

 

References and links

Antenatal Care Guidelines Review

I’m quitting sugar: Week 3- Foregoing Fructose is not Fun

… when we’re not consuming large amounts of fructose our appetite hormones recalibrate.

Quitting Sugar: Week 3. Fructose

Today marks the end of week three of my formal journey to quit sugar following Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar (IQS) program. This has without a doubt been the hardest week of all so far. Continue reading “I’m quitting sugar: Week 3- Foregoing Fructose is not Fun”

I’m Quitting sugar: Week two is not as much fun

I am not in a good mood and my thoughts feel a little fuzzy

Week two and it is not as much fun

I found my first week of the I Quit Sugar (IQS) program a breeze and wondered what all the fuss was about but I have to admit week two has not been as much fun. Continue reading “I’m Quitting sugar: Week two is not as much fun”