World Mental Health Day

I know World Mental Health Day was yesterday, but I held off posting as I was taking some time out away from technology for my own self-care. Some ways yesterday I took time for self-care was by:

  • Stopping on my out, to watch the bees buzzing away amongst my lavender bushes
  • Catching up with friends in the city (one of my friends I haven’t seen face to face since 2017!) It was such a blissful feeling being able to take a leisurely time, and not having to worry about what was going on at work!
  • Taking a moonlit walk back to my home after catch ups with my friends

Personally, I believe that self-care and mental health awareness shouldn’t be a focus for a day or even a month but incorporated as an integral part into all pillars of our life on a daily basis. I know I am fortunate to be on leave at the moment to be able to take time to really appreciate the following ways I’ve been making time for self-care. I know it can be really difficult to build self-care into busy routines.

🌷 Celebrating with friends and getting out of my comfort zone with having a photo shoot for my birthday (since I couldn’t be in Cologne, Germany for my birthday, did a pretty good job of “bringing” Germany to my garden. It was a great joy to be able to host this for my friends, who really enjoyed “letting their hair down”. They got to experience dishes from all over Germany, and mini kegs of Kölsch from Cologne were a massive hit. Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to catch up with someone who means alot to me, who couldn’t be there

🌷 Getting ready for a session of making a batch of preserved lemons (these are going to be gifted to friends and work colleagues) – surprise bonus, the house smells divine from the spices and oils from the lemon zest.

Ingredients: lemons fresh from my tree, rock salt, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, coriander seeds & bay leaves (originally fresh from a friends plant then dried). I love the imperfect wonky and knobbly bits of my lemons. Despite their outward appearance they are all deliciously sweet (for a lemon) and very juicy.

🌷 Some of my friends gifted me with tickets to see Bernie Dieter’s Kabarett for my birthday. It was an amazing night, and really cheered me up after work had left me exhausted and feeling flat. Had no idea beforehand, that we would be in a Spiegeltent and the performers were from Germany (Cologne and Berlin)….. helped me to feel somehow a bit closer to my original holiday plans, which needed to be postponed due to personal reasons

In terms of lifelong career management, have you ever worked in environments where employees have been overworked, understaffed / under resourced, underemployed, underappreciated, highly stressed? Where empty promises of solutions to these issues never eventuated, or if they did, they were tokenistic at best? I have lived experience of these across several roles in different industry sectors I have worked. I have seen and experienced the mental and physical exhaustion – burn out on staff as a result.

“…supervisors have an enormous influence on the health of their employees. Pressure, discomfort and other occupational stresses not only have a psychological impact, but also a physical one. The result: lower performance, illness and absenteeism.”

Oliver Burkhard, 10 Oct 2022

When reading Oliver Burkhard’s post on LinkedIn yesterday (link here) from where the above quote was taken, it really resonated with me, the importance leadership has on the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees, regardless of job role, industry or location. This is going to continue to grow in critical importance now and with the future of work. This is where professional qualified Career Development Practitioners can support employers and employees, in developing skills, strategies etc to embed wellbeing and lifelong career development competencies into the workplace and beyond.

In Australia, we have the ‘Australian Blueprint for Career Development’ (there are similar ones available in other countries), which includes lifelong Career Management Competencies. Although there are more competencies listed in the Blueprint, below are a few which demonstrate the importance of developing self-care / resilience / mental wellbeing strategies, which will assist a person to handle changing life and work roles throughout life. These competencies also help to build resilience and navigate ‘road bumps’ when they occur.

Australian Blueprint for Career Development / Career Management Competencies

AREA A:  PERSONAL MANAGEMENT

1. Build and maintain a positive self-concept

2. Interact positively and effectively with others

3. Change and grow throughout life

AREA B: LEARNING & WORK EXPLORATION

4. Participate in lifelong learning supportive of career goals

AREA C: CAREER BUILDING

9. Maintain balanced life and work roles

10. Understanding the changing nature of life and work roles

Wherever you are in the world, I hope that are aware of how to access support to help with navigating life’s challenges.

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