How New Experiences Can Be a Form of Self Care

I don’t know about you, but living in Melbourne during the pandemic over the last couple of years, with it’s title as world’s most locked down city really impacted in so many areas of life. From attending formal events, socialising face to face with friends, or even taking time out for self-care, it is interesting and a little bit sad at the same time to hear so many people talk about how odd it has felt slowly beginning to attend events again.

Friday found me taking a self-care day from work (I know I am fortunate and incredibly grateful to have been able to have negotiated this as time in lieu for a relentless work schedule. Others aren’t so fortunate). Having time to engage in mindfulness practices and taking time to nourish my body and mind was something I sorely needed. Funnily, after all the time in lockdown, taking the time during the workday to slowly sip cups of tea and get ready for an event felt like true luxury. I’ll admit my friends laughed so much when I turned up at their place with rollers in my hair to finish getting dressed at their place where I was staying over night in the Docklands. Being able to catch up with them before heading out was another form of self-care, as we have been busy with our own lives and schedules.

I was fortunate to attend the Australian – Japanese Society of Melbourne’s Spring Gala dinner on Friday night, at the River Room – Crown Casino.

A new experience stepping out of my comfort zone, and great night meeting new people.

I found the key note address really interesting especially in relation to:
* The potential of #hydrogenenergy in the #automotiveindustry (one lucky dinner attendee will soon be having an experience of a lifetime with Toyota Hydrogen Centre Tour and MIRAI drive experience at the test track)

* How hydrogen energy is already being developed/used in industry around Melbourne and the positive impact this has for greening careers

* Visioning the potential for industry and future jobs if a high speed train connection between Sydney and Melbourne became a reality (this is something I greatly agree with). I remember enjoying my first of many wonderful experiences travelling on the high speed ICE trains in Germany. So comfortable with the ability to either rest comfortably or spend time reading / working at the comfortable tables.

Imagine how many more face to face catch ups could be had with more convenience, if a high speed rail network was operating between Sydney and Melbourne?

It was a great opportunity to meet so many people from across a vast range of industries and companies, who in my daily work life, I would never meet.

I appreciated learning about the Japanese culture both in terms of personal and business life. It was such a fun night with lots of laughter, and great music.

I even had the opportunity of explaining what a professional level qualified Career Development Practitioner does. I was pleased to hear that one of the guests at my table has been engaging in quality career development/exploration sessions at their work, as part of their inhouse program for women going on maternity leave.

I enjoyed the evening so much that I found myself still talking at 2am with a friend in a cafe at Crown Casino, about the evening and our respective future career plans

Yesterday morning found me having a slow start and soak up the early spring sun relaxing and reflecting on the night before over coffee by the harbour front in the Docklands, Melbourne. I know that my vitamin D levels are a bit low at the moment, and after such a long cold winter, it felt amazing feeling the sun gently touching my skin. It is such a treat to be able to stay in the city, and have such wonderful scenery right at the doorstep, and certainly put me in a happy mood.

Finally, another way I have been learning new experiences and self-care lately was trying my hand at making pretzels for the first time. I’m planning on making these for my birthday party in a few weeks. It was so much fun, and not as difficult as what I initially thought they might be. One of the things that makes me really happy is hostessing and cooking for friends. It has been great assembling menu options, and I hope my guests will like what is being selected as the final menu.

A chef I know who was taught how to make pretzels (brezeln) in Munich by a master baker gave me his thumbs up for my first attempt. Next batch I will use the food grade lye that has now arrived to make proper laugenbrezeln – the lye will give the pretzels their famous golden brown colour and crusty texture and taste

All in all, I have come to realise that new experienced in all shapes and sizes can contribute to our self care routine and overall wellbeing.

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