Wellness at Work Arc-amples

Be inspired by your Arc colleagues sharing their wellness journeys

Dash

Volunteer Army Coordinator

What healthy habits have you started since working from home? 

I have never really been a gym person (always found it quite intimidating haha!) but during this quarantine, I came across some really great workout videos on Youtube! There are heaps of amazing beginner-style workouts out there that are achievable and quick yet are still challenging and intense. I even did this awesome song workout that was pretty cool!

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

I have done these workouts in the morning right after my yoga sessions and have found it amazing! The balance between mind and body has brought a great kick to my mental and physical health. Further, I find that determination and energy that I need to get through a workout (haha!) sets a valuable mindset for the rest of the day in terms of addressing obstacles and difficult situations. 

How do you stay ‘connected’ to family and friends while working from home?

The nerd within me remembers this awesome message from one of my favourite poems, Robert Frost’s Tuft of Flowers, which is that you don’t need to be physically close to someone to feel and stay connected! 

On a personal note, with the more time on my hands, I have been able to connect more with my family and friends! In the case of my family, it’s been lovely to take the time to have lunch and dinner together, and chat about topics that we otherwise don't have the time to freely discuss. For example, I have heard all these funny stories about their childhood in Sri Lanka. I have definitely valued the family bonding time that has come out of this lockdown. 

What are other members of your household (or friends, neighbours) doing for their wellbeing during this time?

I find my family is doing all these household tasks they have put off as a way to maintain their sanity and productivity! My sister is painting the ‘Little Blue Lake’ in Tasmania that she can then hang in her apartment, my dad is cleaning out our (messy!) garage and my mum is teaching me how to cook (because that is important for her wellbeing haha!) 

Your wellness/self-care while Working From Home tip is....

Remember something you have done before this lockdown period and continue with it! I think one of the best ways to handle this pandemic is to maintain some level of normality in your mind and in what you do :) For me, I have been passionate about my work with Volunteer Army and wanted to ensure that I continued to support it during this time : )

Lilian

Data Analyst

What healthy habits have you started since working from home?

I’ve started running or walking around my block every day (either in the early mornings or evenings) and I’m currently working towards running 5k under 28 mins.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

I feel incredible! Not only has my cardio gotten better, but just taking a jog or walk also clears my mind every time. If I’m doing a morning run, it sets a really great mood for the rest of the day. If I’m doing an evening walk, it’s refreshing and I feel a lot more relaxed before bedtime.

How do you stay ‘connected’ to family and friends while working from home?

Regular Zoom calls/Facetime and frequent messages in between! I like to check in on friends and see how they’re doing. With friends who are going through similar challenges (e.g. exams), we set goals together and support each other. I’ve also started discussing books I’m reading with friends.

What are other members of your household (or friends, neighbours) doing for their wellbeing during this time?

My mum has been cooking a lot and experimenting with new recipes. She’s baking cheesecake and bread for the first time and loving it! (Her food tastes fantastic as well)

Your wellness/self-care while Working From Home tip is....

Rediscover old hobbies or try new things! I’ve been reading for fun a lot again and it’s been really relaxing.

Bernice

Marketing Assistant

What healthy habits have you started since working from home?
I make sure I'm going for daily walks as it's so easy to let the day go by without leaving my desk. I usually put on a podcast and stay out for the duration of it so I don't get bored and turn around and go home! I've also been loving the barre and yoga workouts that Psycle London have been doing on IG Live and uploading to IGTV. 

 What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Getting fresh air has been great for clearing my head and giving my eyes a break from the 10 hour daily average screen time I've been having. Plus it's been nice to spot all the neighbourhood dogs I didn't know were around!

How do you stay ‘connected’ to family and friends while working from home?

Baking together over Facetime and tagging each other in Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens.

What are other members of your household (or friends, neighbours) doing for their wellbeing during this time?

My sister has gotten into yoga as well as workouts from Barry's and Chris Hemsworth's app. My parents take daily walks as well, and occasionally get takeaway from a restaurant they would visit weekly before all of this happened - it's nice to have a bit of normality. Optional: 

What is a healthy recipe you love (maybe something you can make with household staples?)

These chickpea blondies are vegan, gluten free can be made in just a food processor, have easily substitutable ingredients and make a really good afternoon snack.

Your wellness/self-care while Working From Home tip is....

No matter how bored or stir-crazy you get, don't cut yourself bangs :)))) don't ask how I know

Luke

Director of Corporate Services

What healthy habits have you started since working from home?

I’ve started running again, I stopped before Christmas as I went back to the UK for a month and got out of shape. 

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

It’s been really hard to start running after such a long gap however I’ve seen some good results after a month and my 5K time is back to what it used to be.

How do you stay ‘connected’ to family and friends while working from home?

To me with family it’s been no different as all my calls to them are via FaceTime anyway as they are all in the UK.

What has been difficult speaking to my friends who have lost their jobs in the city or lost their businesses due to the Coronavirus.

What are other members of your household (or friends, neighbours) doing for their wellbeing during this time?

My son has endless bounds of energy as he's only six so I try to take him for a walk or out on his bike twice a day for half an hour, my wife then does yoga, kickboxing or pilates.

What is a healthy recipe you love (maybe something you can make with household staples?)

I spend a very brief period working for Gordon Ramsay in the early 90s that put me off cooking for life...

Your wellness/self-care while Working From Home tip is....

6 pm margarita time sitting on the balcony, not very healthy I know but it keeps me sane (see photo).

Ranjana

IT Support Analyst

What healthy habits have you started since working from home?

  1. Before I started working from home, my day used to start at 5AM in the morning with some body stretching (Yoga+Zumba). Now that I am working from home, it gives me a little more time to be on the bed(hehe). Now I get up from bed by 6:30AM, after freshening up I take a ginger and clove tea which is very useful for sore throat and normal cold and flu. Then I do some body stretching,5 min meditation and go for a short walk(1km). if I can’t go out, I walk in my balcony, enjoy the Sunshine. Once I am back, I take a quick shower, have my breakfast and I am at work by 9AM. 
  2. It's very important to use the right posture when working for long hours and taking regular breaks,40-50 min work then a 5-10 min break).In my case, I utilize this break to keep a check on my lil monster, my daughter and give her some activities, checking whatsapp messages, daily dose of world news. 
  3. I have also started connecting to my old school and college friends which gives me a good dose of energy laughter and keeps me active. 
  4. Lastly, I a m big time foodie so for me cooking is a major stress buster. I am trying new dish every now. Have also started gardening.it really feels great when you see the tiny flowers fruits growing from the scratch.

What were the results? How did it make you feel? 

  1. Sleeping for a good 7hours keeps me quiet active throughout the day.
  2. I am spending more time with my family & friends.
  3. I am finding myself more productive and energetic as my travel time is reduced by 3 hour

How do you stay ‘connected’ to family and friends while working from home? 

During my break time,I do Face time, video calls, Whatsapp and keep myself connected and entertained. 

What are other members of your household (or friends, neighbours) doing for their wellbeing during this time? 

Everybody is trying their own way to be positive, healthy and occupied in this new normal. My daughter spends her time, colouring reading cycling walking and asking questions which are most of the times too many to answer.. Mostly all my friends & neighbours are staying indoors and going out only for essentials which is good. 

What is a healthy recipe you love?

Well there are many but this one is sure shot hit with all my family and friends.Especially with the kids

Its “Stir Fried Veggies with Pasta” In boiling water, add your fav chopped veggies like carrot, beans sweet corns, cauliflower, peas. Once blanched, on a hot frying pan, add 1tsp olive oil and a lil bit of butter for that yum flavour, sauté 3-4 crushed garlic to remove the rawness, add your blanched veggies with some bell pepper for that beautiful color, for 3-4 mins, add boiled pasta, crushed black pepper, some pink salt. .Garnish it with some lemon juice. I also add some salad seasoning if I have(Italian+orange honey dressing). 

Your wellness/self-care while Working From Home tip is....  

Eat healthy, sleep correctly, exercise wisely and remain positive and most importantly, enjoy your day.

A-Train (aka Adrian)

Graphic Designer

What healthy habits have you started since working from home?

2 things. well 3, but the 3rd one is a bit wack.

  1. Creating a really structured morning before work. I bounce out of bed at 6:30. Shower. Coffee. Social Media. Stretch. Walk. As soon as I get back from my walk, it's work time.
  2. Getting outside and going for a walk multiple times a day. Usually three times, before work, lunch and then after work. Leaving the house before work is a big one.
  3. I've named items around my house after Arc Staff and will have meetings or chats throughout the day. Each room/area in my house is a different department. oh and the printer is now my BBQ. I go and yell at it multiple times throughout the day. 

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

  1. I've found this really helps me stay focused. I've discovered over the years, how i start my day will determine how i feel/act for the rest of the day. ticking these routine things off my list motivates me to keep going and flows into my work day.
  2. i need sunshine and i need to get my heart rate up. I just get sluggish, lazy and then distracted.
  3. It made me feel OK, my housemates think I'm crazy. I had company birthday cake the other day, but everyone was too busy so I had to walk around to each department with my cake.

How do you stay ‘connected’ to family and friends while working from home?

I shoot off soooo many texts these days. when i'm sitting at my desk i'm just firing off texts left, right and centre.

What are other members of your household (or friends, neighbours) doing for their wellbeing during this time?

Haha they're going for heaps of runs and meditating. Also I feel like everyone is connecting more. Everyone seems to be checking up on each other which is great.

Your wellness/self-care while Working From Home tip is....

Walks. Walk walk walk.

Leave your house before you start work for the day. Like Lucas said, even if it's just around the block for 2-3 mins. Just get out and enjoy that fresh air and sunshine.

Thomas

Sports Casual

What healthy habits have you started? 

I’ve finally got back into the habit of waking up early again! Waking up early helps me feel like I have so much more time in the day and its always great getting a head start on the long list of tasks for the day ahead! With the University term back in full swing it’s helped me maintain a more consistent sleeping schedule, waking up at 3:30 am and going for a light morning jog for about an hour, cleaning the house, shaving my head, and then making my way to University just seems to flow so much more smoothly now! Although, I do always make sure to go bed by 9:30 pm to ensure I get a full night of rest ready for the day ahead!


What were the results? How did it make you feel? 
It’s always so refreshing and calming waking up early and going for a run, being able to spend that time alone with your thoughts and the world. It always helps me put things in perspective and always gives me a gentle reminder to be kinder to the world and everyone in it!

How do you manage stress? 
Meditating! I find that meditating helps a lot. It’s a great way to get clarity and take a step back from whatever you’re currently working on. Whenever I’m feeling stressed and I give myself a short break just to sit down and meditate and focus on my breath, I always feel so much better by the end of it! Meditating can be something that's hard to get into, but even just getting the chance to spend 3 minutes being mindful of your surroundings can help you feel more in control mentally, physically, and emotionally!

What is a healthy recipe you love?  
I’m not the best cook, nor do I have an extensive range of recipes to even choose from, but my go to recipe is always quinoa with steamed salmon and a large serving of steamed vegetables!

What do you do for self-care? 
I love listening to Podcasts! Whenever I get spare time or on my daily commute, I love plugging in and catching up on a few of my favourite podcast episodes! Some of my go to podcasts are Dear Hank & John, Hello Internet, Science Vs, Intelligence Squared, Reply All, Radio Lab, Reply All, and Found My Fitness! 

Your wellness at work tip is... 
Ask people how they’re doing! It’s always a good idea to check on your work mates and see how they are going! Sometimes people will have an exciting story to tell you, a new accomplishment they’ve achieved, or a wonderful TV show recommendation! Other times they may be stressed or just need a helping hand and it’s always great to be there when people need!

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” - Bob Kerrey

Lisa

Clubs Coordinator

What healthy habits have you started?

I started riding my bike to work! It was a bit tough at first because there’s two big hills on the way but once I got used to it, I started enjoying it.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

After a while, I started feeling stronger and more energised overall and began looking forward to getting on my bike in the mornings! Added bonus is that I’m getting an hour of easy exercise now, just through my commute. If you don’t live too far away, I definitely recommend biking to work. It’s so fun to cruise by the backed up traffic.

What do you do for self-care?

I make sure to spend some quality time each week doing things I enjoy, both alone and with friends, where I focus on being in the moment and don’t let life stressors creep into mind. I particularly enjoy horse-riding, playing piano and going for a stroll along the beach.

Your wellness at work tip is...

Get outside! Not only is sunlight good for you but it’s also a nice way to break up the day. If you have a laptop, find a nice shady bench to catch up on emails, and try not to have lunch sitting at your desk! This tip is especially important as we head into the colder months because the days are shorter and sunny days are harder to come by! If you’re already good at spending some time outside, take it to the next level and see if you can convince a team member to join you, or host an outdoor meeting.


Janvi

What healthy habits have you started?

It sounds crazy, but a healthy habit I’ve started is reducing the amount of naps I take to try and improve my sleep schedule! I’ve always been a terrible sleeper in terms of both quality and quantity, consistently waking up multiple times throughout the night. Towards the end of high school and beginning of uni, I found myself hitting this bump of exhaustion in the late afternoon daily and used to take a nap, but now I push through and make myself busy instead knowing I’m better off saving that sleep for night time.

In addition, I’ve implemented a “no caffeine after 3pm” rule. This was really rough for me, not because I’m a huge coffee person, but because it’s tradition for my mum and I to have a cup of tea while we catch up on our day when she comes home from work at 6pm. I didn’t think one cup of tea would affect my sleep so much, but oh was I wrong. I definitely haven’t cut tea time out of my day though, I’ve just replaced it with decaf tea instead (tastes exactly the same!!)

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

The results were so positive!!! I sleep so much better at night because I’m EXHAUSTED and I’m more likely not to wake up throughout the night! I’m also a lot more productive since I have extra time during the afternoon when I’m not napping. 

How do you manage stress? 

I manage the bigger stresses in my life by talking about it with my psychologist and building a management plan. It’s really helped me ground myself and actually work towards getting things done or working around barriers, rather than getting bogged down in the negativity of any stressful situations and just spiralling from there. 

What do you do for self-care?  I find that if I look good, I’m more likely to feel good. So a lot of my self care involves face masks, baths, doing my nails, washing my hair and setting my curls. If anyone is feeling particularly stressed or just wants to chill out, hit me up for a day of pampering!!

Your wellness at work tip is... My wellness tip at work is make sure you take breaks and talk to people! It’s so easy to get stuck in your own little bubble but studies show that we’re more productive and pay greater attention if we work for 40 minutes, take a 10 minute break and work for another 40 rather than do a full 80 with no breaks. So take a break, grab some water and have a chat!!

Ruslana

Orientation & International Experience Coordinator

What healthy habits have you started? What were the results? How did it make you feel? 

I have recently started dancing (inspired by Wellness!), freediving and intermittent fasting! All was on my wish list for quite a while and I’m so happy to finally get into it.

Dancing classes let all my energy explode during the session, that’s why I really like to try the new dancing style each week! On the opposite side is Freediving, which has more to do with meditation, than with swimming. The idea of it -- is for your body to consume as less oxygen as possible, so you can stay underwater longer. Every thought, move or even a blink consumes oxygen on the breath hold. So, the calmer you are, the longer bottom time you get to enjoy and explore surroundings. After Freediving I literally feel blessed living my life. 

Coming after Holidays I decided to cut down the amount of food I eat! I use a 16/8 fasting plan, which is 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of actually eating (almost non-stop in my case XD. As a result I feel lighter, energized and ready to cut down more hours of food. Would love to run on sun in the future :D

What do you do for self-care? 

I get up early and have one hour of “me” time.
• 20 min for body (yoga, exercises, breathing techniques);
• 20 min for peace (meditation);
• 5 min for positive emotions (gratitude practice);
• 10 min for beauty (face massage and face building);
• 5 mins for the day (visualisation, law of attraction)

Your wellness at work tip is... 

My tip is: Do not ignore Wellness emails. Get involved in the activities and get up from your chairs!

Kasey

What healthy habits have you started?

Recently I have started stretching every night before bed. Also working on phone free power hour, putting down my phone an hour before bed and doing something wholesome like reading or a short meditation.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Stretching regularly means fewer muscle aches and pains post gym workouts, generally it just feels good to give back to my body. Starting to (work in progress haha) go phone free for an hour before bed helps me switch off, stops me from heading down the tunnel of mindless scrolling and I reckon, helps me get to sleep quicker.

How do you manage stress?

Get to the gym for a HIT workout. Gives me time to clear my mind and work through anything I might need too. And generally just grinding through a hard class fills me with the feel goods. I am also loving Yoga and Pilates at the moment, gives me time to listen to my body and check in with myself.

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

I make an epic Kumara, pumpkin seed, and halloumi salad, super easy and always a winner. Perfect for summer picnics, hit me up for top tips on the recipe.

What do you do for self-care?

Self-care for me can be me time or having a laugh with friends so I will get amongst one of two things: face masks, podcast/book and a cup of tea OR get outside for a run or walk with a friend. If you are looking for a bit of perspective, I can’t recommend enough going for a walk up a hill or to somewhere with a view, nothing compares to seeing a place from an entirely fresh viewpoint and getting a sweat up while you are at it. 

Your wellness at work tip is...

Get outside for a bit of a stroll at some point of the day, with so much sunshine why not get away from your desk and enjoy it! And, take meetings outside of the office when you can, grab a coffee/tea, sit somewhere outside, a change of scene is refreshing.

Kieran

Art & Design Manager

What healthy habits have you started? 

I quit drinking coffee and beat my caffeine addiction! My coffee drinking was starting to get pretty intense (I was drinking almost 3 large black coffees a day!) and so I decided to quit for 3 - 4 months cold turkey.

What were the results? How did it make you feel? 

Now I don't crave coffee anymore and can drink it occasionally without feeling hooked. I'm saving money, sleeping better and feel like I can focus more on tasks at hand. I'm also drinking more water as a result. I'm not saying this is for everyone, but I was able to recognise a bad habit and make a change which I am trying to do more proactively to be better.

How do you manage stress? 

Breathing, communication, and time for myself.

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

Rougaille! Some of the best Mauritian comfort food. Picture a french stew combined with eastern herbs and spices that you can cook with any meat or vegan alternative! Best cooked with a bit of white wine

Lucas

Sport Manager

What healthy habits have you started?

A healthy habit I have started doing is Batching my work. Essentially it is where, if I have similar tasks I will link them and do them all at the same time, e.g. emails, phone calls, specific programs

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

I am more productive but also I have that feeling of getting so much more done, that feeling of focus and paying attention to one thing.

How do you manage stress?

Stress relief for me is to things – sport (physical activity) and planning (writing things down). 

What do you do for self-care? 

Self-care habits I do is drinking water, exercise and laughing!!

Ariana

Designer

How do you manage stress?

When I get stressed I like to talk it through with my family and friends. I find that they can really put my stresses in perspective and are there to brighten my mood. It also becomes a great opportunity to take a break and have a laugh.

What healthy habits have you started?

About a 2 years ago I started taking barre classes, which is a mix between pilates, yoga and ballet. I usually go five times a week either in the morning before work or in the evenings.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Not only have I gained more strength, I have really noticed a significant improvement in my mood so much so that when I don’t do a class I notice the difference. I find that right after class those happy endorphins run through me and lift my mood instantly. It’s a great way to start or finish my day and is something that I really look forward to.

Your wellness at work tip is...

Drink lots of water! I know this sounds like an obvious one but there are so many amazing benefits you can experience when you drink more water through out the work day. Once you get in the habit of keeping a water bottle at your desk at all times, getting the 3 litre quota becomes easy. If you are not a huge fan of water you can spice it up a bit by squeezing in a fresh lemon or lime (or both).

Rhonda

O-Week Coordinator

What healthy habits have you started?

I have a Fitbit that I bought late last year and I make sure I always wear it so I can monitor my steps, sleep and activity! It also encourages me to go for runs because it will monitor my heart rate and it’s super easy to start recording an activity.

There’s also little things like trying to bring food from home more which is good for both my health and wallet, trying to eat vegetables more (I am infamous amongst my friends for my strong dislike of vegetables) and doing oztag weekly and dabbling in netball a bit as well.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

It’s made me keenly aware of how much (or how little) exercise I’m doing in a week and how much I’m moving, particularly with the reminders to take steps if I haven’t taken 250 steps each hour.

I’ve learned that although I’m not particularly good at team sports, I really enjoy them! It also allows me to get some exercise in a social environment, which is good for my mental health. It’s nice to set some time specifically for being with friends, particularly because some friends I wouldn’t see otherwise if not for sport.

What do you do for self-care?

Taking time for myself, lying in bed and allowing myself to have a restful night of sleep. I'm also trying to not be too hard on myself!

Your wellness at work tip is...

Be conscious of your posture where you can (obviously easier said than done) and make sure you stay hydrated!

Natalie

Receptionist

What healthy habits have you started? 

I have recently joined the UNSW Warriors as a dancer which means that I go to dance training twice a week. Dancing was something I always loved to do in high school, but was pushed to the side when I got older and went to Uni. Not dancing very much was really tough for me as dancing was something I was so passionate about for such a long time. But this year I decided to throw myself back into competition dancing and am now a part of 2 teams on the Society and it has felt great! Weekly training in Jazz and Pom has allowed to me to work on my strength, flexibility, dance technique and overall fitness, while trying out and learning a new style of dance that I have never done before (Pom). While great for fitness, it has also been great for my mental wellbeing and I get to spend time with some amazing people who are quickly becoming close friends. It’s been great getting more involved in Uni life and is a really healthy little break from studying every week.  

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

I feel so much happier and much more a part of Uni life which is making the university experience so much more fun. It feels amazing, especially at competitions, to be a part of a fun and supportive team just knowing that everyone has your back. I love having something fun to focus on on the side and the endorphins I get from dancing have definitely helped to motivate my study habits and to just be a healthier person overall. It’s also improved my eating habits as I feel like I need to eat the right foods to make sure I get enough nutrients to get me through training and competitions. I feel stronger, more confident, more flexible and my fitness has improved a great deal.  

How do you manage stress? 

I like doing Yoga when I have the chance, which I’ll admit is not often, but it really is super important to make time for yoga or some kind of meditation/relaxation. It is amazing how relaxed you feel after a class and you can feel all the stress melting away. It is especially good after a really long tiring day or stressful week. I like to go in the evening because you can leave behind everything from the day and it also helps you sleep well! I also love taking long, hot baths! They’re super relaxing! 

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

At the moment I am obsessed with roasting mushrooms! I use whatever mushrooms I can get (or whatever is cheapest!): buttons, portobellos or flat mushrooms and toss them in a bowl with lots of garlic and olive oil and then just pop them in the oven for half an hour or so or however long you want to cook them for: the longer you leave them the richer and more intense the flavour gets as the garlic really infuses the longer you leave it in. The bottom of the mushrooms also gets super caramelised and slightly burnt the longer you leave it in which just tastes so delicious! So easy to eat as a main or a side to get some extra veggies in! 

I also have a great recipe from Taste.com for a pumpkin, spinach and lentil lasagna which I absolutely love! I make it in bulk and freeze it to have ready-made meals for the week. It’s packed with nutrients and veggies and is super filling so it saves a lot of money while also getting a lot of health benefits. I like to replace the pasta sheets with lightly roasted Eggplant slices and I also replace the ricotta with cottage cheese just to make it that little bit healthier and it is just as delicious! Here’s the recipe: https://www.taste.com.au/recip...

What do you do for self-care? 

I make sure that I drink plenty of water every day and eat a wide variety of vegetables to keep myself feeling good. I believe that doing this definitely fights off any incoming viruses! Echinacea and garlic are also my go to natural supplements if I feel a cold coming on. It’s also really really important for me to find some down time where I can just relax at home, not think about uni work, other stresses, upcoming events or things from the past and just let my mind switch off for a little while. Usually I like watching something fun and light (my favourites right now are Friends and Younger!).  

Your wellness at work tip is... 

Get up and walk around as often as possible. There is nothing worse than getting cramped legs from sitting for too long. Even if it’s just walking to the kitchen to get a glass of water, making a coffee or cleaning up the office a little, getting up from your desk regularly makes such a difference to your blood flow and will help to prevent pain in your legs, back and shoulders or practically anywhere! I also like standing when I’m responding to emails and sometimes doing some calf raises at the desk which actually targets so many more muscles than you would think!

Michael

Street Team Coordinator

What help habits have you started?

I have had an awful on-again-off-again relationship with healthy habits but three things I am proud of is cutting down my fast food, boba tea and coffee consumption. Fast-food used to be an almost daily occurrence (I was a sucker for KFC and Macca’s McNuggets), boba tea was whenever the mood hit me (which was every other day), and coffee was intense (four coffees daily). Since then, fast-food is only when there is nothing else available, Boba is at most once a fortnight, and I only drink coffee once/twice a week!

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Besides my wallet thanking me, I started to feel less sluggish. With the way terms hit everyone at uni, I wouldn’t say my sleep schedule has changed as a result of my consumption. But all-in-all, I feel a little happier now that I’m treating my body in the right way!

How do I deal with stress?

I TRY to prioritise what I need to do and commit to doing a set list of things, and schedule time for myself to just chill. We all need that break, even if it is for 20 minutes.

What do you do for selfcare?

I always loved shower thoughts so even before I take a shower I sit down on the bathroom floor and meditate for 20 or so minutes (before I get yelled at to hurry up and take a shower). I also go to hairdressers that wash my hair (Korean hairdressers are amazing at this), because it means I have to schedule time out of my day to sit there and relax. Also, whatever shampoo they use I love it!

Steph

Wellness Coordinator

What healthy habits have you started? 

I am very good at forgetting to take care of myself. To change this, I’ve started giving more time for myself in order to make sure I’m making time for important doctors appointments, life admin and me time! I got very good at procrastinating very important things but making small changes and giving myself more dedicated me time has meant that I’m able to make decisions that are good for me!

What were the results? How did it make you feel? 

I’m so proud of myself!! I feel amazing every time I tick something off the list or take an hour here and there to do something that makes me feel better. It has been a really big learning curve for me to know when I need a break, when I need to take care of myself, and when its time to do things that I may not like right now but will be super good in the future.

How do you manage stress? 

I love a good to-do list. When I get everything out of my brain and put it in a list it gets rid of the racing thoughts and general feeling of ‘I’m forgetting something’. Having things on paper that I can tackle one by one makes everything seem very doable. I also love that dopamine hit when I get to tick something off!!

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

I have a sweet tooth so I am always looking for some delish desserts to make. Currently I’ve been loving stewed apples! All you have to do is cut up apples, add them to a pot with some lemon zest, and cover with water (if you’re feeling naughty add a sprinkle of brown sugar too!). Simmer until they are soft and eat up! They are fantastic with some Greek yogurt as well

Duncan

Bar Manager

What healthy habits have you started? 

A healthy habit that I have got myself back into in the last months is getting back into healthier reading habits. There are so many things to be distracted by and I find that being able to focus my attention on a book that I am genuinely interested in allows a state of mindfulness that I don’t get from scrolling through reddit or other phone related pursuits.

What were the results? How did it make you feel? 

I find that even a short time reading, 10 mins on a lunch break even, gets my brain going in a creative problem solving kinda way. I just feel that I am able to think a little more outside of the box and that this is beneficial to work and home Duncan is so many ways.

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

Croissants Jambon a la Suisse

Swiss style Ham croissants (no cheese) that you cannot find in Oz. The swiss sausage roll equivalent, solid beer food…
• Store bought puff pastry
• 200g cream
• 150g good ham chopped up
• Crushed garlic, like a 1TBS
• Dijon mustard
• 2-3 Cornichons (little gherkins)
• Parsley, 1 bunch, chopped fine
• Egg yolk

Combine all ingredients in a big bowl and mix. Cut your pastry into croissant shapes (big long triangles that you stretch and then roll up) put desired amount into pastry and roll, they are super easy. 20 mins @ 220° C should do it. 

Your wellness at work tip is... 

Wellness tip? Enjoy your day! I try hard to shoehorn a couple of things into my work day to get me through to 6pm smiling and good at my job. I’ll listen to the baseball on the bus in, put on some internet radio (BBC Radio 6, KEXP & KCRW are all exceptional!) in the office and force myself to read my book over lunch. Even on the insane days of long hours and heaps to do, this serves me well to maintain focus on the things that need to be done; almost giving myself intentional distractions so I don’t actually get distracted from the task at hand if that makes sense?

Jess

What healthy habits have you started? 

My New Years resolution was to be less on my phone and be more present with friends. Whenever I am out with friends or family I put my phone on silent and put it in my bag instead of leaving it on the table. I also suggest to my friends that they don’t check their phone throughout our catch up. I have charge my phone in the loungeroom overnight instead of allowing it to light up my room when I get notifications at all hours of the night. Recently I have started knitting, whenever I am at home and have the urge to check my phone I decide to pick up my needles and knit away!

What were the results? How did it make you feel? 
I actually have much better sleep since charging my phone in another room than when I was charging it next to my bed with the light buzzing throughout the night. Also conversations with friends and family are much more interesting and engaging. I am ¾ way through knitting a scarf - it’s quite amazing what you can achieve when you are not glued to your phone!

How do you manage stress? 

ANIMALS! Hanging with my cat I honestly feel he brings so much calmness and helps me to be present. When I was travelling for 18 months I patted sooo many dogs and cats upon my journey.

What is a healthy recipe you love? 
Chickpea curry (vegan friendly)
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan add 1 x brown thinly sliced onion and 1 – 2 x cloves of garlic and gently fry until the onion is soft.
Add 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric and ½ cup fresh or dried coriander then fry until fragrant.
Add 1 tin of diced tomatoes let simmer then add 1 tin of coconut milk or cream.
Simmer for a few minutes then add 1 can of drained chickpeas.
Serve with rice or cauliflower rice!

*You can add chilli and extra vegies to this, I usually add mushroom and baby spinach!

What do you do for self-care? 
Having “Me time” I find this is so important = Netflix and chill! I usually go for a swim every morning which really helps me to set my intentions for the day 

Your wellness at work tip is... 
Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed out going for a short walk around the campus is the best way I clear my head. Sometimes when I don’t have the time just simply making a cup of tea and taking 5 for myself really makes a difference! 

Miles

What healthy habits have you started?

I've started targeting my diet, reducing the meat consumption (the only red meat I eat now is kangaroo) and increasing vegetable and fruit intake. 

Also, I ride my bike everywhere. I find it's a good way to get around and listen to podcasts (in one ear) while I do it.

Also this year I started playing touch football till I twisted my ankle and did some damage, but with physio, hopefully I can get back on the field soon

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Reducing the meat felt really good, both physically and for reducing my personal impacts on the environment. I love riding my bike and playing touch, so I hope to get my ankle back up and running soon

How do you manage stress?

Normally I write a list. Breaking whatever I need down into smaller and more manageable chunks. Then I often talk it out with someone else, and ask for help.

What is a healthy recipe you love?

Nothing specific, but when you start with garlic and onions you can't go wrong.

What do you do for self-care?

Recently I've gotten a lot of joy finding plants on gumtree and turning my house into a jungle. Not sure if it counts as self care, but it's a dream and it's mine.

Your wellness at work tip is...

Don't eat lunch at your desk...even if you do it at someone elses desk that variety is important for your brain

Joelle

Executive Assistant & Project Officer

What healthy habits have you started?

Working at Arc is now so much closer to home than my old CBD job, but instead of sleeping in (which is super tempting some mornings!), I’ve been walking to and from work whenever I can. It helps me wake up properly and gets me moving – especially on the days that I’m not particularly active! I still get home earlier than when I commuted to the city, so I feel extra lazy if I get the bus. 

What were the results? How did it make you feel?
The fresh air before work means that by the time I get here I’m much more switched-on, and I’ve noticed I’m in a better mood than if I drive / bus to work. I also tend to sleep better those evenings (which is a godsend because I’m an awful sleeper). 

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

Nice-cream!! Blend up frozen bananas with cocoa or peanut butter (or both), and a dash of almond/oat milk, and you’ve got yourself some healthy ice-cream. 

How do you manage stress?

I’m really awful at this! But notice that whenever I get out for a big hike, I come back feeling so knackered that I don’t have the energy to be stressed.. I might just be kicking the can down the road, but it works most of the time (at least short-term).

What do you do for self-care?

I’m a big believer in therapy. Venting to your friends over cheese and wine is amazing, but they might not always have the emotional capacity to be your unofficial counsellors. 

Your wellness at work tip is...

Keeping a bottle of water on your desk – I subconsciously drink so much more then I can see it in front of me. I took my water bottle home a few weeks ago, and didn’t drink any water the next day at work :/ Bonus – if you’re drinking lots of water, you’ll get up from your desk to fill up your bottle (or to pee) much more often . 

Sharon

What healthy habits have you started? 

I have been consciously been incorporating fruits, vegetables and nuts in my diet. Eating a balanced diet was unintentional in Kenya as at home, I was not in charge of the menu. Mum would make sure we always have fruits and veggies. Since starting my studies in Australia away from home, I would go for easy ready-made meals that I would get at cafes or shops, to save on time so meals like just, rice and beef, noodles or chicken and potatoes, basically just carbs and protein.

The other habit I have starting doing is, to sleep and rest for at least 6 hours. I used to find myself sleeping really late talking to my friends and family back in Kenya. Due to the time difference, I would at times find myself awake at 2 am and end up getting only 4 hours of sleep if I had to be awake early the following morning. On Mondays especially, I would often wake up feeling so fatigued and it would affect my energy levels all through the week.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Sleeping longer has made me more productive and more energetic during the day. I now have to talk with my family mostly on weekends. On the other hand, eating healthy foods i.e. more vegetables, fruits and nuts helps me maintain a healthy BMI. As a plus, I have also gotten to learn more healthy vegetarian recipes and salads.

What do you do for selfcare? 

I spend more time in the bathroom on weekends, because that’s when I do a lot of selfcare. By doing facial and hair treatments I feel rejuvenated and pampered. I would normally use aromatic with amazing scents, such as vanilla, blackcurrant, citric and berry flavours.

Another routine of selfcare that I regularly have is taking herbal and fruity teas. My home town in Kenya is a tea producing region and I have grown up in that environment so, even if I don’t have any infusion teas, I always take milked tea before bed.

Your Wellness at work tip

Have a balance between work, personal and family time. It is really about balancing the body, mind and soul/spirit. I don’t think you can harness the power of your mind without having a healthy body and having healthy relationships. Being African, social events, community expressions and religion resonate more with me. Basically, church and brunch on Sunday with family, thanksgiving and prayer every night, sleepovers at my aunties, weekend runs with my uncle, “chama” nights and all kinds of social gatherings were occasions to recharge and breathe from work stress.

The other important thing I would recommend is taking frequent and regular breaks to do anything that reenergizes you like for example, making a cup of tea or chatting with a colleague.


India

Cookbook Coordinator

What healthy habits have you started? 

During high school, I almost definitely did not have breakfast every day, which was always a super bad habit. However, a new habit that I have just recently brought on is tucking into some apple crumble granola with low fat vanilla yoghurt every morning. Granola is a great breakfast for me because it's tasty and it lasts for hours! Another habit that I have adopted is finding time to go to the gym for around 2x 1 hour sessions per week to work on muscle gain and cardio fitness around my sailing racing and training. After every session I spend there, I feel great!

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Having a good breakfast every day has really changed my life, as I feel like I can focus for longer in the mornings without feeling super hungry! Last week whilst I was racing up in Port Stephens, I ran out of granola for the last 2 days of the regatta and was starving by 11am! This meant that I felt a lot weaker and had a lot less energy in my day to be running around on the boat pulling sails up and down! As for the gymming habit, I definitely feel stronger after my weights sessions, but I also feel accomplished and have a higher self-esteem after my cardio sessions. I don't find cardio easy, in fact I hate it, but pushing through that difficulty barrier allows me to feel like I've achieved something great and knowing that it is benefiting my overall health and fitness in my everyday life and for my sailing feels great. 

How do you manage stress?

In order to manage stress, I do lots of sailing - mainly racing. Whenever I'm not at uni or work, I'm on the water enjoying the harbour or the ocean with friends. Going to sailing allows me to really wind down because I don't need to talk about what's stressing me out at the yacht club, but instead I can focus on the tactics and strategy of winning the race which I enjoy. Furthermore, sailing gives me so many goals to strive for in terms of which boats I can get a ride on for certain events, whereby when I achieve certain goals in my sailing adventures, I feel proud, satisfied and accomplished with my performance. These feelings in turn raise my happiness and well-being levels and suppress my stress levels. In addition to inshore racing whereby the tactics and strategy are more common points of discussion, offshore sailing really allows me to wind down from the stress at sailing, whereby I can go to sea with the crew for 3-4 days at a time and end up in a completely different city to where we started! Offshore sailing to me is about the journey and the crew instead of the tactics so much, whereby you are allowed to just forget about what's going on in the real world for a second by switching off your phone for a couple of days and just enjoying the beautiful nature that we have here in our country!

What is a healthy recipe you love?

I really love a prawn, avocado and mango salad. It is the best recipe for summer because of the prawns and mango, but it is so light and filling, as well as super easy to make! The best part about it is that you can make it how you want. I tend to use iceberg lettuce with cooked and shelled prawns, sliced/diced mango and sliced/diced avocado with a pink seafood sauce. However, if you are into chilli, that would be a great addition, but if you're not, you don't have to add it! Similarly, if you want to change the sauce to a vinaigrette, go ahead! This salad comes in so many variations, so it's best to customise it to how you like it!

What do you do for self-care?

I try to watch what I eat for meals to help my self-care. I think it's super easy to eat unhealthy things for lunch every day, and it often ends up in me feeling a bit gross after eating it, but the answer is that you don't have to if you do a little meal prep. I try to cook more than I buy because it ends up being healthier for me, which makes me feel less bloated, more energetic and happier overall. For example, I try to eat less simple fats (i.e. sugar, oil etc.) and more of the healthier fats (i.e. yoghurt, mayonnaise, avocado etc.), as the healthier fats definitely keep you going for longer in terms of energy levels. Eating more protein than carbs is also a must for me, however, eating some complex carbs during the week is still a must for a good boost in energy after a good work out! I also feel like meal substitution is a great way of doing things, for example, if a meal comes with rice, you can substitute it for salad instead if you want to cut down on carbs. I feel like watching what one eats is not only very important for one's overall health, but it is important to keep one's skin clear. A little effort in meal prepping at home is definitely a little self-care going a long way!

Your wellness at work tip is...

I find that eating outside with a colleague or a friend in the fresh air is really good for you. Eating at your desk always seems a bit cramped and getting some Vitamin D from the sun is never an issue! Also eating with friends or chatting away about your interests or hobbies not only allows you to get to know your colleague on a friendly level, but it allows us to feel less lonely and more social! Humans are naturally social creatures, so don't fight socialising! If you're shy, I encourage you to leave your comfort zone and approach someone you've never really spoken to before and attempt to get to know them. You never know what the future might hold for that relationship! It's also important to stay hydrated in your day, especially if you're doing exercise in the evenings. Your brain needs the hydration in order to function properly! 

James (Yaui)

What healthy habits have you started? 

I’ve started attending Yoga with the wonderful Tegn on Friday mornings. Even though my downward dog needs a lot of work, I’ve loved attending with our little Arc yogi crew and really enjoyed the session and feeling better afterwards #bebetter #adjustmentsforlyf. I’ve found myself doing more stretches throughout the week because of it as well.

I also started playing Futsal with a bunch of old high school friends on Sunday nights after we had our deleted year reunion recently. Also restarted touch footy, as well as social sport Oztag and Volleyball with Arc teams. Been playing some doubles tennis recently, its amazing how much more fun tennis can be once you work out how to serve… It sounds like a lot of sport but it is all pretty social. It’s about catching up with people as much as it is about chasing a ball. 

What were the results? How did it make you feel?  

The Yoga has been so good, I feel like I walk out with better posture, a bit more limber and a bit less achy, and that lasts for days. 

It’s also been good to rekindle old friendship groups as well as catching up with work folk at social sport and yoga and not just talk about work. Having a run around on evenings has encouraged me to be healthier during the day and on weekends (relatively). The social aspects, having a laugh before, during and after the game etc, that’s why I sign up. Might explain why I only play team sports and get bored within 5 mins of going for a jog. 

James (Yaui)

How do you manage stress?

- Hang with friends that are outside of the causes of stress. If work is stressing me out I hang with my housemate or school mates or old uni friends. If I’m stressed about family I have a laugh with work ppl etc. 

- Watch/play sport - Playstation - Board games/ Cards - Doggo, this is Lotus our family dog. She is the best. No matter what, she is happy to see you.  

- Play with my friends kids. It seems like all my friends have kids these days. Which means I get to play with them and be the fun uncle… and then return them before the kids get grumpy and have to go bathe and go to bed and stuff. It’s the best. Working in Student Development and sport all these years has really prepared me well to be able to entertain groups of kids. Organising a water fight for a 4yr old birthday party is easy compared to being on call at Unigames/Nationals..  

What is a healthy recipe you love?  

Make Miso Soup with boiling water and miso paste. (Dashi Miso tastes best) add in Cooked rice, crack an egg if you like. Stir. Eat.  


Your wellness at work tip is...

1. Drink more water, most staff probably know that Eric and I drink a lot of coca cola…sugar is a terrible addiction, delicious and refreshing yes, but it’s so hard to kick. I try to start by substituting one soft drink or coffee with a cold water. Build on that. So lucky we have the cold Zip water taps in the office now, no more filling up water bottles in the RH bathrooms like we did in the old office. 


2. Leave a pair of runners and some shorts and a t-shirt in a work drawer. That way you can sub in for a social sport team or go for a walk if the sun comes out during lunch. Or go to the beach after work etc….
3. Have the occasional lunch by yourself and away from your desk. Read a book or just sit in the sunshine. Have a proper break. 

Stephanie

Assistant Retail Store Manager

What healthy habits have you started? 

A big one I’ve started is to meditate, even for only 10-15 minutes nearly every day. I walk my dog every night and live by a river path so it’s always refreshing to take a break half way and sit next to the river and just get rid of any other worries in my life and really ground myself. Along with this I try to practice “daily gratitude” where you think of three new things you’re grateful for every day.

What were the results? How did it make you feel? 

I’ve always struggled with anxiety and started meditating as a recommendation from a therapist I was seeing and I’m amazing by how much it’s helped to lessen my anxiety and has made me feel a lot more connected and energetic. The daily gratitude practice has also helped me turn some of my negative thoughts around and see the positive side of most situations and just made me an all around happier person.

How do you manage stress?

I have to say that I don’t get very stressed out at work. If I do, I always ask myself “Who/how is this helping the situation?” and that really grounds me and makes me realize that stressing out isn’t going to do anything but make you more stressed out! If I feel very stressed out often just making a list of tasks that need to be completed and seeing my progress through the list helps make it feel more achievable and alleviate that stress.


Your wellness at work tip is… 

My #1 is always to remember to take time for yourself, ESPECIALLY when you’re stressed out or have a full work load to help you refresh. I find after even a five minute break I feel like I can put my all back into working instead of feeling frazzled and drained.

Jeeves

How do you manage stress? 

I don’t often get stressed, but when I do I use a combination of introspection and perspective as a sort of self-psychoanalytical therapy. For me, introspection involves asking myself why I’m stressed – pinpointing exactly what it is I’m stressed about – it usually always boils down to “someone expects me to deliver something” or “I’m so single”. 

‘Perspective’ is something that helps me contextualize the stress in terms of relevance. I usually ask questions like “am I under any current threat or danger?”, “what is at stake?”, “what would it look like if the stakes were higher?”. Asking these questions help me realize that my stressors are personal, not actual (actual stress would be like if I was homeless and starving), which for me means my stressors have been created in my own mind. My logic is that I’ve created it in my mind, I can dismantle it there, as well.  

These questions usually lend itself to finding practical solutions that address the core reason of my stress and will sound something like “talk to the person and pitch a reasonable solution” or “use this opportunity to learn a lesson and do better next time”.  

What healthy habits have you started?
Trying to practice a little self-respect. I often find a lot of my unhealthy habits stem from not appreciating myself and being too self-critical.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?
It was probably the biggest reason that had me go through with my stomach stapling procedure. I’ve been battling with this idea for over 3 years – but I had it done, I’ve lost 35kg - best gift I’ve ever given myself.

Your wellness at work tip is...
Tell other people they’re doing a good job and take time to appreciate the work of others. It creates an amazing sense of positivity and sense of achievement around the workplace! Scarlett and I will sometimes call Joe or someone in IT and tell them that everything is fine, we don’t need anything from them and that they’re doing a good job – it makes us laugh at their reaction but feels good, too. 

Sarah

Sport Clubs Coordinator

How do you manage stress?

I try not to sweat the small stuff. I tend to make highly inappropriate jokes when I’m stressed as it makes me laugh and forget about the stress. Don’t mind a five minute walk outdoors either to calm the tense energy.

What healthy habits have you started?

I try to swim as much as possible!

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

I find swimming very relaxing and it helps me de-stress whenever I feel tense. It has a calming effect for me.

What do you do for self-care? 
Recently I’ve been trying to be more confident in myself and not doubt myself as much. Self-positivity has definitely helped me with self-care.

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

Whatever Mum is willing to cook.

Your wellness at work tip is...
I try to do a lap (walking, of course) of the VG at least once a day. It takes 5 min 30 sec to complete from Sam Crack, around the oval and back up and is a great way to get out of the office and into the breeze. I do my best not to look at my phone and just take in the natural serenity instead.

Andrew

Marketing Executive

How do you manage stress?

Horribly. But getting better at it all the time! It can go one of two ways for me, either I'll flip out and panic or embrace it and run on adrenaline. I feel most stressed when I feel that I don't know the answer to problem or I'm unsure of the next step is in getting a task done. I've found the best way to manage stress for me is to try and be methodical about resolving it. Thinking, "ok, why am I stressed", getting to the root and figuring out how I can alleviate it. Nine times out of ten, it comes down to asking for help, which is so important not to be afraid to do. If you don't know the answer to something, ask - people love to help.

What healthy habits have you started?

It's a constant battle but prioritising the things I need to be happy, get shit done and be less stressed seems to work a treat. Is there something that you feel is lacking in your personal life that you can make better? Do something about it (for me it's going to the gym more, or trying at least). Is there something at work which will make you or your team more productive? Implement it or chat to your manager about it. Don't be afraid to have an opinion, a viewpoint and a vision - and don't be afraid to communicate them either. If things ever get really tough, talk to someone about it, you'd be surprised by the amount of people who suffer from stress, anxiety and the rest who will be more than happy to give you their time to talk.

Also - make time to see your mates. Those guys are cool.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

I've been feeling better than ever lately. Keeping on top of all of our priorities these days can be intense sometimes. Try and be balanced, figure out how things work for you and commit to making it work.

Your wellness at work tip is... Have fun, enjoy spending time with your colleagues, don't be afraid to be a bit silly sometimes and generally just be yourself. 

Abby

Venue and Events Intern

What healthy habits have you started?

It’s a pretty simple one but getting up earlier and making the most of the morning! No better feeling than getting that earlier bus, slipping in a quick dip at Coogee or having enough time to walk instead of bus, and doing it all before the hectic crowds of people wake up.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

I was definitely not impressed with past-Abby for forcing myself to set that early alarm and get out of bed when I’m in peak comfy mode. However, as soon as I’m up and at ‘em, not rushing for the bus and being productive before even getting into work – it’s all worth it! Not only am I being tons more productive, I feel super energised and ready for the day ahead.

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

Can’t go past my mum’s famous Chicken Satay Pizza… Slather on some satay sauce on a wholemeal base then add chicken, sweet potato, corn, spinach and a bit of fetta and you’re done! Thank me later 

What do you do for self-care? 

There’s nothing better than grabbing some friends, wine and cheese and having a cosy night-in every now and again!

How do you manage stress?

Keeping organised! My Google calendar, journal and Trello to-do list have become my best friends in making sure I never forget a thing and stay on top of everything going on.

Your wellness at work tip is...

I’ve found that a super quick and simple way to re-energise is to jump up and take a five minute stroll in the sun! Getting that vitamin D and peeling my eyes away from computer is always great every hour or so.

Anna

Student Engagement Coordinator

What healthy habits have you started?

I have started doing yoga stretches and breathing exercises every morning before the whole family gets up. It gives me the energy to start my day with a clear mind (and a stretched back!).

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Doing this for one month in a row I have noticed that I am getting more mindful during the day. Also, my neck pain has been reduced dramatically. Making the habit to spend 20mins every morning for myself, it’s given me the motivation to start adding more small goals in my daily routine.

 How do you manage stress?

I do not often get stressed. I always manage to be prepared and have plans B and C in my pocket. However, there are busier times in my life where I can feel a bit overwhelmed. In that case, I allocate a time where I switch off completely and I play with my son, bake and meet friends. Socialising always helps me relax.

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

Lately, I make a lot of banana bread. Here is the recipe: 

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 100gr olive oil
  • cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 250gr self raising flour

Mix everything together and bake for 25mins, 190degrees.

Your wellness at work tip is...Remember to stretch and take small walks.

Jeanne

Receptionist

What healthy habits have you started?

I’ve started running! It was definitely something I did not think I would enjoy before but after quitting the gym I found that running was an easy way to keep fit as well as get some fresh air.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

It was hard to get used to but I’m definitely feeling a lot more motivated and clearheaded about my problems or even stress. It’s a good way to kill two birds with one stone!

How do you manage stress?

I like to rewind alone usually at a high place so I’ll often just sit and enjoy the view from a balcony or rooftop!

What is a healthy recipe you love? 

Homemade protein balls, they make good snacks and you don’t feel too guilty about them!

What do you do for self-care? 

I like to rewind and just listen to music, putting on a face mask also does the trick! 

Your wellness at work tip is...

Take regular breaks especially if you’ve just been sitting down and looking at the computer all day! Get up to refill your bottle (stay hydrated!) or even just a quick walk around the office

Burny

IT Intern

How do you manage stress?

I am usually not stressed but when exam and assignments start pilling in, that is when I am most stressed. This usually means using break assessments into manageable chunks. This helps me to take a methodical approach to the assessments and make the end seem reachable. I find music also works to alleviate the stress. I will listen to music when I am doing a task which I hate to do. This seems make doing the task seem achievable and able to power through it and get it done.

What healthy habits have you started?

I have recently been parking my car around 15 mins from uni. This allows me to take a 15mins walk to uni each day. This allows me to refreshen my mind and collect my thoughts before uni and work. As a morning person, I have been waking up early recently. This allows me to get work done before I head to uni and make me in the zone already for uni but I need to get back into my routine again. I also try to catch up with friends at least once a month to have some fun. It is always FUN!!!! I would love to do it more but uni commitments.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

All methods have helped me in getting things done and minimising the cause of the stress. I feel a lot less stressed nowadays, as I have completed work before hand and avoiding leaving it to the last minute and cramming.

Your wellness at work tip is…

When you reach a roadblock, try to go for a walk or take 2 or 3 mins break. It will refresh your mind and you will solve it in no time. 

Maejoy

How do you manage stress?

1. Decluttering my space: Whether it’s at work, my study desk or my room, a clear physical space helps clear my mind.

2. Writing lists: As you can tell from this list, I like lists. I always carry a notepad and if not, a serviette at a restaurant works fine for this. I often feel like my thoughts are jumbled and running at 1000km per hour when I’m stressed. I manage this by writing out a list of whatever thoughts are on my mind – and I mean literally anything. It feels good ticking off little achievements throughout the day, even if it’s something as simple as starting a to-do list!

3. Me time: In a world that glorifies busyness, it can be difficult to take time off purely for ourselves. Self-care is usually the first to go in our busy schedules. This year instead of studying on my daily commutes to and from work, I dedicate this time to doing something I enjoy. Today, I listened to an Oprah podcast and had Matt Corby serenade me on my way to work. Best way to start the day.

What healthy habits have you started?

I’ve practiced yoga intermittently throughout the past few years, however a few months ago I made a commitment to myself to practice at least three times a week. My initial intention was to improve myself physically, however the unexpected growth is in how much it’s helping my spiritual and psychological development too. I’ve felt this trickle into other aspects of my life – for instance, I’m more conscious and aware about daily decisions I make. I’m now trying to be more intentional in the things that I do, by devoting 100% of my attention to that task or person. It’s helped ground me during stressful periods in my life and on days when I’m not feeling the best. It’s become my favourite way to practice self-love.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Yoga has given me a safe space when the world moves too fast by quieting my mind and bringing a sense of awareness. I’ve come to a point now where my mind and body crave yoga if I’ve missed a few days. I guess we can call this a healthy addiction!

Your wellness at work tip is...

Schedule five minutes of “me time” into your Outlook calendar each day. Download Stand Up! Timer on Chrome (thanks Natasha!). Seek support when you feel like work is becoming overwhelming. Clear that desk, write a list of those dusty thoughts that are collecting in your mind, and let Oprah sweet talk you on your way home from work today.

Claire

Receptionist

How do you manage stress?

I would say my biggest strength is time management, which definitely helps with managing stress. I am someone who thrives being ‘busy’ and juggling uni/work/social life etc. Nonetheless, every now and then I do get stressed and go a bit MIA and procrastinate doing anything else but the task at hand (e.g. eating, exercising, social media, Netflix, even cleaning) until the last possible moment and then buckle down and get the job done.

What healthy habits have you started?

My relationship with exercise and food has always been temperamental… I’ve been doing F45 since January, which has really helped me incorporate consistent and high intensity exercise into my weekly routine. I’ve also tried to adopt a more healthy and balanced approach to my diet. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t eat certain food groups or stop eating dessert/yummy things if I feel like eating it! If I do, it motivates me to work a bit harder at the gym the next day.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Don’t get me wrong I am not a morning person and I HATE waking up at 6:30am for my gym class and I HATE every minute of the workout BUT I feel like the epitome of health and fitness for the rest of the day. This has also forced me into a good routine where I sleep so much earlier, have so much more energy during the day, and I don’t even usually need a coffee!!!

Your wellness at work tip is... work is a part of life, life doesn’t revolve around work. Try to find a routine that works for you and actively incorporates things that you enjoy, you look forward to, motivate you, and make you feel good! 

Jessica

Student Engagement Coordinator (Events)

How do you manage stress?

I find stress often creeps up on me when I’m not taking care of myself. What I’ll do when I feel stress coming on, is I’ll sit back and think about all the things I’m stressed about. I make two lists on two pieces of paper: things I cannot change, and things I can. I take the list of things I can’t do anything about, and literally rip it out of my book, SCRUMPLE IT UP and TOSS IT (try it- it feels so good!) Then I focus on the other list and begin to make a plan. The important thing for me isn’t that everything is fixed, but that I have a plan. I’m working on it.

What healthy habits have you started?

I do a few things. I LOVE to cook for others. Making a healthy, delicious meal is therapeutic for me, especially when it turns out well! I love the look on my friends or my family’s faces when they’re biting into something yummy.

I also love bike riding and going for walks. The last few years, my partner and I will take road trips into the trees or the mountains, and just walk around, enjoying the scenery.

Another thing I do is called “me time”. This is when I take a few hours and just do something that only involves me, myself, and I. Sometimes I’ll put on a face mask or do a hair treatment, other times I’ll try to learn a new thing (right now my thing are languages). Another thing I do is get a coffee or tea and walk around the shops, window shopping and people watching. Sometimes I’ll even clean out my closet- it sounds lame but I love a clean, organised space.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Satisfied, definitely! I love feeling like I’ve done SOMEthing about it. So whatever that ‘thing’ is… whether I’ve made a list about it, started to fix the issue or even just taken a breather to set myself up for the next day, knowing that I’ve done SOMEthing about it makes me feel better.

Your wellness at work tip is...

For me, it’s all about those baby steps. What can you do NOW? It really doesn’t matter the size of the task, as long as it’s helping you out in the long run.

If you really can’t do anything at the moment, then take a breath and set yourself up for tomorrow. It’s a new day, after all!

Greta

E-reuse Student Coordinator

How do you manage stress?

I try and be proactive about potentially stressful situations, as I know I get grumpy when I’m stressed and that doesn’t help anyone. But if I am stressed, I try and take a set break without any screens and have a cup of tea and read a book or plan how I’m going to get around the tasks at hand, and if it’s really bad I’ll go for a run.

What healthy habits have you started?

I’ve started doing 15 minutes of yoga every night before I go to bed (I want to work up to 30 minutes a day). I also have tried to start meditating, haven’t quite got it yet though. Also trying to up my runs to 4 a week, aiming for 100km total in August.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Exercise is a big one for me, I feel a lot more accomplished knowing I’ve done something active, and really makes me feel better mentally and physically, not to mention I’m normally more productive after. Yoga has been really nice, and it’s really satisfying noticing improvements, and I feel a lot more relaxed going to bed after.

Your wellness at work tip is…

Drink tea and water, and take a walk or a stretch very once in a while. Also talk to people, having a break and a chat always improves my day

Natasha

Executive Assistant

How do you manage stress?

I have lived overseas for going on half my life, so homesickness is something that I must manage on a regular basis. Homesickness occurs on a 3-month cycle, so I always make sure that every 3 months I have something to look forward to. This is usually a trip somewhere to get away from everything for a change of scene. I first started recommending this when I was training new teachers in Japan, who thank me for giving them this advice whenever I meet up with them again. Having something to look forward to makes the stress easier to manage, and when you go away somewhere, it can make you appreciate what you have.

What healthy habits have you started? What were the results? How did it make you feel?
I really like cooking and trying out new recipes. Recently I have been trying to eat better by eating seasonally. I have found the flavour is better, it’s better for your budget and the environment. It also makes me appreciate each individual season more. I also like to have a look at apps and Chrome extensions that I might help me to develop healthier habits. Currently, I use a chrome extension called Outstanding to remind me to stand up and take a break from the screen every 30 minutes to every hour. I am slowly getting better at standing up and taking a break as I recognise how it, improves my moods and helps me focus better on what I am doing. I usually only manage to do so every hour as it is amazing how quickly 30 minutes goes by! Instead of getting upset by the fact my bus doesn’t turn up when it should, I frequently decide to walk to the train station. This feels like I have more control over the situation, I am using my time more productively, I manage to get some exercise, and I am not just standing around wasting my time.

Your wellness at work tip is...
My wellness at work tip is to look at some of the apps in the app store and the extensions on chrome. Ask around and see what other people use, try them out and see what works for you. Keep on trying new things until you find something that works for you.

Joanna

HR Manager

How do you manage stress?

Humour and laughter. Most of the times I’m able to dissipate stress by finding a funny or comic aspect of the situation. Humour also helps me to step away and see things from a different perspective. I always aim to surround myself with people that can make me laugh (and Arc is a perfect place for it!). In the very stressful moments of my life (when it’s hard to spark a laugh) I turn to my loved ones: family and friends for hugs and good word.

What healthy habits have you started?

I came to Australia with zero healthy habits and plenty of unhealthy ones (seriously - I was eating banana bread for breakfast thinking that it was healthy since it’s made with bananas..) Since then I read, researched, listened and managed to form a fair understating of what is or isn’t beneficial to my wellbeing. I created some nourishing eating habits, become physically active and strive for a decent sleep routine and mindful moments.

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

I feel that I’m more balanced in terms of my energy levels and mental dispositions and more happy in general. There is a dark side to the story though. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so there were times when I was getting obsessed with all things healthy and getting stressed that I’ve just ruined all my efforts of many years because I skipped a training or had a massive ice-cream. It’s ironic when something that was meant to be good for you starts stressing you out and a warning that a right BALANCE is always crucial. That also goes to changing the narrative of your inner voice to a gentler one.

Your wellness at work tip is...

We tend to take work problems too personally and give them more meaning than they deserve. There are so many more things in life that we should spend our mental currency on. Don’t hold on to negativity – let’s process it, live through it and let it go and spread positivity instead. Anything nice and positive, even the littlest action can cause a ripple effect and come back to you with more rainbows, fluffy bunnies and unicorns! Share a smile and appreciation whenever possible! 

Brittney

Senior Projects Manager

How do you manage stress?
ALCOHOL. 

Just kidding…..
When I am stressed I notice it is easier for me to fall into bad habits like eating junk food and staying up late and just generally not taking good care of myself. When I notice that I am stressed and starting to go down the unhealthy path, I try and go and do some exercise even it’s just a brisk walk or doing something related to self care like paint my nails or go get a massage. Also snuggling Archie, my baby, is a great stress relief and seeing his beautiful little care free smile. I’ve also been known to sing Celine Dion or Backstreet Boys

What healthy habits have you started?
I thought it would be a good idea to get fit after I had Archie so I started going to daily mums and bubs fitness classes and daily walks. It was a great way to get some fresh air and the habit stuck and now I am going to F45 classes near my house 5/6 times a week. I am still trying to go on a couple long walks on the weekend and generally choose healthy options when cooking and eating out. I think life’s about the good and the bad and will definitely not say no to some hot chips or a glass of wine or 5. 

What were the results? How did it make you feel?
As a result of the mums and bubs fitness classes I became in much better shape than I was even before I had Archie. It was great fitting into clothes that I hadn’t fit into in years. It was also nice feeling like I was doing something nice for my son and taking him on daily walks in Centennial Park and letting him get some fresh air and see the cockatoos and kookaburras.
I realized that getting into the habit of regular exercise was the hardest part for me and once I overcame that hurdle it became a bit easier. 

Your wellness at work tip is...
Before I went on leave I found it can be easy to get in the habit of having lunch at your desk especially in the winter when it is cold. It’s good to get up and go for a walk to get some fresh air and then come back feeling fresh and able to focus. Also when in doubt, listen to Celine Dion. 

Stephanie

Suggestion Box Coordinator

How do you manage stress?

I find that when I'm stressed, a lot of the overwhelmed feelings that I get are from not clearing up my thoughts. It's so easy to stress when your mind is all jumbled! Making a to do list of every little thing that I need to get done or look into, even if its simple things like 'remember to have lunch' or 'don’t forget laptop charger' helps immensely. I find this gives me so much more space to breathe and tackle daily life, study and work!  

What healthy habits have you started?

I've jumped on board the meditation train recently. I'm loving giving myself 10 minutes a couple times a week to really wind down and give myself a break from everything else going on. I have the attention span of a goldfish so I never thought this would be something that worked for me, but I never feel as centred as I do right after meditation!
I'm also working on kicking an old habit and eating breakfast every day, which means I've been experimenting with easy recipes (the latest of which is oat, coconut, and apple brekkie biscuits)!

What were the results? How did it make you feel?
Meditation makes me feel amazing! I focus on mindfulness and find that it helps me find the head space to be kind to myself and others and really improve on positive self-talk. As cheesy as it sounds, the peace that I feel after meditation has become a reference that I now strive for each day.  

Your wellness at work tip is…

Know when your body needs a break and don’t feel guilty to give it one! As basic as it sounds, I know that I personally get too caught up in life to realise that I just need a break and that’s ok. If you find yourself reading the same sentence again and again, or watching that same lecture for the 3rd time, it's time to listen to your body and give it a well-deserved rest! It will make a world of difference, and the work that you will do after will be so much better! 

Joanne

The Grad Shop Manager

How do you manage stress?  

There can be times when being the manager of The Grad Shop can be very stressful, especially at graduation time, but having a good fitness routine is what I rely on to get the endorphins flowing. It’s that one part of the day that I call “me” time! There is nothing better than walking the esplanade at Cronulla right on dusk when a few surfers are still around or the rowing crews doing their thing, there is always something happening to take your mind off a hard day! Plus a shiraz on hump day signals the week is half over, add a bit of chocolate and the stress is long gone! It’s not always about doing something physical to combat stress, but emotional wellness is important and my family are a great support to each other, sometimes we just need a “hug!

What healthy habits have you started?

I am a member of Fitness First so that is where I start the day. I live at Cronulla but go to the Maroubra branch at 6.30am (mind you this is extremely hard in winter) but that way I beat the traffic on the Grand Parade, so it’s a win win! Weekdays are my healthy days where I make my lunch and breakfast the night before, the smoothie blender goes constantly at my house, I am annoyingly organised but it saves spending my precious half hour searching the campus for something good to eat. I have a background in dancing and last year went back to doing a dance class once a week. I think having variety in your life is the key to fitness, not just doing the same thing, mix it up with things you enjoy and make you feel good! 

What were the results?

The results that I want at my age is that I am strong and fit and maintain a good healthy weight. I work with staff at graduation time that are much much younger than me, so when we are still going at 9pm and I’ve started at 6am, I need to have the energy to keep the troops going, last man standing so they say! Sometimes I find it hard to fall asleep at night, thinking about the grad shop all the time…ha ha, so I need the exercise to help me sleep better.

How did it make you feel?
I think that my routine makes me feel really good, exercise has a very positive impact mentally and physically. I have always wanted to be a healthy role model to my children, one is now a personal trainer, so I am happy about that as good habits can start young.

Your wellness at work tip is...  
Take on board everything that the Wellness Working Group is doing for Wellness in the workplace. When I look back on my career, there weren’t these opportunities to relax, meditate, dance, exercise at work. If we got the 3pm slump we could only resort to a coffee to get us through, so embrace these opportunities to make your day at work include a focus on health and wellbeing! 

Amanda

Student Services Project Manager

How do you manage stress? 

When I'm stressed I need to get moving. Going for a walk and getting fresh air really helps me to focus and come up with solutions to problems. When I feel the physical symptoms of anxiety like racing heart and racing thoughts, I stop and breath! It only takes 3 deep and slow breaths for me to feel claimer. 

What healthy habits have you started?

I have started many healthy habits in the past 3 years which has been inspired by my work with Arc Wellness and honestly, I feel so much happier and healthier for it. 

Currently, I am focusing on mindfulness and self-compassion. I've recently started practicing mindfulness with the Smiling Mind app as part of a UNSW pilot. Two weeks ago Will and I attended the Happiness and It's Causes Conference. I heard a really motivating talk by Kristin Neff. After reflecting on it I released that I needed to work on my self-talk and self-compassion. Self-compassion is about how you treat yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. The idea is to treat yourself like you would treat a close friend who is struggling with the same problem.  

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

Mindfulness exercises that are 3-5 minutes are a great start to my day. I love doing them in the morning, they make feel energised, more content and focused. I find the longer mindfulness exercises harder to do as my thoughts wonder or I get sleepy but I'm improving daily. 

It's perfect timing to be working on self-compassion as I've been training for City2Surf (with Team Phil') and I'm finding it really hard as I have never been a runner. Taking notice of my inner voice has changed my training experience. A month ago jogging for just 1km was a struggle and I was really tough on myself about it. It's frustrating to not be good at things, I caught myself saying things to myself like "I'm so unfit" and "I simply can't do it". Now I'm focusing on how I'm improving instead of focusing on what I am not achieving. Doing Gemma's fitness classes really helped me with positive self-talk, she taught me the mantra "challenge brings change!"

I've noticed a huge change in my motivation and I'm starting to enjoy training more. I'm now jogging for 3km, I'm feeling physically and mentally stronger. I still have work to do but bring on the 14km and heartbreak hill!

Your wellness at work tip is…

Talk to your Arc colleagues about yours wellness goals. This has had a huge positive impact for me; I have been inspired, learnt helpful tips and tricks and felt accountable. Thank you to each of you that has helped in this way. And a special thank you to Carla for getting me to the gym countless times when I would have skipped it. 

My other tip is just to try new things and see if what works for you!

Matt

Sports Development Administrator

How do you manage stress? 

I usually manage stress by surrounding myself with positive people. I found my friends made everything feel more manageable than I thought. They are very much my support network for when things start to turn a little bit pair shaped and with a lot of people coming from different disciplines and cultures I have a higher chance of finding myself in a better place. Having recently moved away from home I might not be able to see my friends as frequently as I would like to, but that one phone call here and there where you can hear a reassuring voice can really make the distance feel quite insignificant. 

What healthy habits have you started?

Food has always been a big part of my upbringing. Growing up in an Italian household it got drilled in to me from a young age about the quality of the ingredients is what matters not the always the extravagance of the meal. By making things like pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes and herbs it really gives the food a more homelike feel as well as being something I know is 100000000x better than something I would get off the shelf. At least that’s what mum and nonna always told me. CLICK HERE TO GET THE RECIPE!

What were the results? How did it make you feel?

I love food! When I am cooking I feel in a whole other world where I get to experiment with different flavours and combinations. At the same time it gives me piece of mind to know what I put in my body helps fuel my performance for my work, sport and always reminds me of the home I come from. It always gives me a warm feeling inside and really that’s what food should be about!

Your wellness at work tip is…

Move move move! I am very much someone who wants to be doing more than just sitting at my computer all day. If that means I go kick a footy at lunch that’s what I will do to get the blood flowing a little
But I guess the biggest thing for me is making sure I enjoy my workplace. I spent a while where I just didn’t enjoy getting up in the morning to go to work. Have fun at work and joke around with your co-workers, laugh at how poor their sports team went on the weekend, and never be afraid to express yourself around them. 

Having the people you work with be not only your co-workers but your friends is a huge thing for keeping you in a positive mind. These are people you see every day, and it is a hell of a lot easier to get out of bed to know you are going to a place where you are surrounded by friends who care about you on a higher level than just as a colleague even if they occasionally hang shit on you for being from Melbourne…

Anna

Student Engagement Coordinator

How do you manage stress? 

There are times I feel under pressure, but I don’t get stressed easily. My moto is that there are worst things in life and I am grateful of what I've got. Also, I have learnt how to stay calm and relaxed due to a chronic medical condition which affected me negatively for long time (Hashimoto thyroid disease is a quite common disease but if you don’t treat it properly it affects people emotionally and might leads to depression).

However, having a full time job and being a mum, there are times that I feel overwhelmed. In that case, it helps me to be with my family and friends, go out and distance myself from my problem.

If I am really stressed, it sounds silly but I say out loud my problem (talk to myself in a way!). Listening to my concerns, thoughts or what stresses me out, 9/10 times makes me realise that it’s not so bad and makes me also realise what actions I need to take.

What healthy habits have you started?
I decrease eating sweets! Big step! Also, I make sure to have 6 meals per day (3 mains and 3 small ones). Plus drinking 2 liters water every day.

What were the results?How did it make you feel?
I lost most of my pregnancy weight! So yes, I feel good!! 

Your wellness at work tip is... 
Not exclusively work tip but it’s related to work : I know it’s hard, but try to stay away from any screen 30mins before going to bed. You will increase your sleep quality (I tried it and it works! I sleep easier and better!) which means that you are feeling better when you wake up to go at work.

Carla

Communications Coordinator

How do you manage stress? 

When I get stressed, I usually take some time to do something just for me, getting rid of any external distractions. This usually means heading solo to the movies, or if I'm at work going for a walk or listening to some music. Writing out a list of priorities and re-setting my own priorities also helps me work through the stress.

What healthy habits have you started?

I have always been into solo excercise, such as running or cycling but since the beginning of the year I have started going to the Uni Gym with Amanda, Demi and Mollie and attending the classes. This has really helped keep me motivated, as we can see ourselves improving weekly, and it's also a lot more fun to be able to go with someone who can push you to push yourself.

I have also recently changed up my diet - I'm now vegan, which means I spend more time cooking for myself than buying food and this has made me enjoy food a lot more.

What were the results?How did it make you feel?

I feel and am a lot stronger and more motivated on a daily basis. I am allergic to a lot of food, so the change in diet has also really impacted my health positively, meaning I can generally enjoy food more.

Your wellness at work tip is... 

Make time for yourself during the day ! Whether it's just a few minutes, it can really help for both mental and physical health to change up what you're doing and take some time to just breathe. Also! Head down and try one of Gemma's classes - she is SO encouraging, it almost makes exercising fun.

Kimberley

Administrative Assistant

How do you manage stress?  

Balancing a 30-hour working week and studying full time means there is always going to be some stress in my life. People who know me, know that I’m a stressor even when there is nothing to stress about! In saying this, I think a small amount it stress keeps you moving and on your toes. The way in which I manage my stress is to keep organised, planning my week using my Arc Diary and giving myself reminders of upcoming assessment and appointments to keep ahead of the game.  

What healthy habits have you started?
In additional to having a schedule I have been focusing on self-care. I try and do the Bay run at least 3 times a week to not only fit in some exercise but to help my mental state. Also spending time with friends and loved ones is another focus area in which I’m working on as it can easily be pushed aside when uni gets extra intense. 

What were the results?
My mental state has improved significantly and my mood. My back also has been less sore and tight which is an extra bonus! 

How did it make you feel?
Although I will always be a stressor these small changes have made me feel more in control and less panicked. Generally, just feeling happier in myself and my body. 

Your wellness at work tip is...  
3pm take a break and get a team together and do a small work out for 5 mins ie, planking, squats or push ups! It works a treat! 

Rhea

Shack Tutoring Coordinator

How do you manage stress?

I often find myself getting trapped in my own head, caught in cycles of my own negative thoughts as I forget about the real stuff in the world around me. I allow stressful thoughts play on repeat in my head, when I’ve always found that 90% of my stress is self-created (#woke). Learning to set healthy expectations and discern what is really important, helps me deal with stress on the daily. 

If I’m really feeling the pressure, I force myself to write down the specific things that are stressing me out. It helps me to feel less overwhelmed, but also seeing them written there on the paper reminds me how unnecessary a lot of those worries are.

Also, music gives me a sense of comfort in stepping away from whatever it is that is stressing me out. I pick a soundtrack with a good vibe and live in my own live music video- like Beyonce but with less sequins. It effectively lets me take a break from life and whether its discovering new songs, writing corny lyrics or making new playlists. 

What healthy habits have you started?

Something my mum used to always tell me, is to cure a bad mood by making someone else happy. It annoyed me at the time but it’s a philosophy I now live by in my everyday life. It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture and you don’t always have to go out of your way. Even when I’m at my most tense, I find that emanating positivity and improving someone else’s day, in whatever way, always makes me feel awesome. 

Whether its buying them a coffee without asking, showing them a dank meme or sharing a story, it’s the kind of energy that then gets shared and makes me feel more in control of my own happiness. There’s this French word I love, Sillage, it means:

“the scent that lingers in the air, the trail left in water, the impression made in space after something or someone has gone.”

Its super cheesy but it makes me think about what kind of impression I’m leaving behind after an interaction or a conversation and helps me live out moments that leave some sense of positivity in the air. 

What were the results? And how did it make you feel?

Not only did I feel better, but I made others feel better- and that was one of the most rewarding lessons I learnt. Life is a shared space, and so sharing the stress, ideas and positivity means we’re less likely to get stuck in our own heads and can really be in the moment.

#wholesome and more grounded. Talking with others gave me a much better sense of perspective in dealing with my own issues. 

Your wellness at work tip is...  

Have a quick chat to someone in the office ( if they aren’t busy). You’ll often find everyone is in need of a brain break and will really appreciate a few minutes away from their colour-coded spreadsheets. Not only to you make more friends but you start to realise that you share the same ideas and challenges and can do some #bonding around how you deal them. 

Adrian

Graphic Designer

How do you manage stress?  

I’m a ball of anxiety and stress. This is why I’m balding at such a young age (Still handsome though). Look the basics I try and stick to are eat right, exercise daily, meditate and read. At work if I’m having a mental block and I feel anxiety rising through my body I get up from my desk and go for a walk. Walking up basser steps is a favourite or walking to IGA for a snack. 

What healthy habits have you started?
Getting up earlier to stretch and exercise was a tough habit to start, but honestly I wish I’d started years ago. Starting my day with exercise helps me deal with whatever the day throws at me. Cooking my own meals has been great for my health and my bank account. Also I set daily activities at 3pm everyday, which is either a plank or some push ups.

What were the results?
The better I eat, the more energy I have. The more energy I have, the more I exercise. The more I exercise, the better I feel. I’ve been feeling really good lately, I’ve dropped 4-6kg in 2 months and I just feel more focused and happier. 

How did it make you feel?
Like a million bucks.

Your wellness at work tip is...  
Get up from your desk and move more. Move more everyday. Walk or ride to work, get off the bus a a few stops earlier, park further away from the office and walk in. 

Mitch

Membership and Communications Manager

How do you manage stress? 

I’m a self-confessed poor manager of stress I often find myself a little bit paralysed when there is a lot going on. I like to rack my brain and inbox to make lists, then number the list in order of priority. I block time in my calendar for each task and reward myself with a little walk after smashing it out. Keeping a diary helps me manage my time to the best of my ability. Saying no to ancillary tasks and being realistic about deadlines also helps to keep everything under control. But hey, sometimes a little stress ain’t so bad – I like to say to myself “Diamonds form under pressure”.

What healthy habits have you started?

I’ve been buying salad ingredients from IGA at the start of the week and making a tuna, lettuce, tomato, cheese salad for lunch and sometimes dinner every day. It’s waaaaay cheaper than buying individual meals and it stops me from getting unhealthy foods that I feel guilty about later. I add the variation with a salad dressing or each week getting something fun to add – this week I’ve added figs and kewpie mayonnaise!

What were the results?

The hardest part at first was remembering that it was there – and then of course the disappointment of throwing out sloppy lettuce at the end of the week. But gradually my memory got better and now I’m noticing a bit of extra cash at the end of the week. The health benefits of improved nutrition are nice too.

How did it make you feel?

Great! Just logically I can feel that it’s a good habit to be in.

Your wellness at work tip is... 

Exercise! For me, I struggle to motivate myself unless it’s in a group environment so team sports do just the trick! Anyone at Arc can get involved in the Arc staff Social Sport teams that play each Semester. It’s fun in the sun for everyone. Get in touch with me to find out more. 

Jeni

Digital Marketing Intern

How do you manage stress? 
When I get stressed I don’t really feel ‘stressed’ until it shows up in different ways - headaches, tiredness and an intense need for Nutella donuts. I manage this by making sure I’m aware of potential stressors and am on top of situations that I know will affect me. But if worse comes to worse, I have that Nutella donut and then start fresh the next day with a colour coded To Do list!

What healthy habits have you started?
Since getting a package of bath bombs last Christmas, I’ve starting having ‘Sunday Soaks’ where I turn my phone off, do a face mask and just RELAX.
I also try to turn all my screens off and read for half an hour before I go to bed, but that’s still a work in progress!

What were the results and how did it make you feel?
The Sunday Soak is a life changer! I find myself looking forward to it all week, and I feel so fresh and rejuvenated afterwards! It’s great doing it on a Sunday because it lets me start the week full of energy.
If I ACTUALLY turn my screens off and read before bed, I sleep so much better and wake up feeling alive. You’d think that that would be enough to get me doing it every night, right?

Your wellness at work tip is..
Eat a healthy lunch and eat it AWAY FROM YOUR DESK. It makes such a difference when we all go outside together to eat and talk about non-work related things!

Will

Wellness Coordinator

How do you manage stress?  

My New Years resolution was to care less about the small things, and sometimes even the big things. This has proved hard so far in 2018 as I have moved house and started a new job.To manage stress I constantly remind myself that, no matter how bad things may seem, you will still wake up tomorrow! I am making it my mission to tell myself to make the most of things while I am here.  

What healthy habits have you started? 
In high school I was a rower. In the years after stepping down from my crew I lost a heap of weight. As such, I have struggled immensely with my body image and weight. I have been through bouts of depression and anxiety because of it. So nowadays my healthy habits tend to be focused on my mental rather than physical wellness. No matter how tired I am, or what I have done the night before I try to wake up early(ish) every morning and go for a walk to the beach! I chuck in my headphones and tune into my favourite podcast or cheesiest playlist. I find that it is a great way to amp myself up for the day.

As corny as it sounds, I started yoga to help me release a lot of tension and forget the stresses of the day!  

Although my lunch meal is disgustingly boring (tuna salad GET AROUND IT) I promise I like to shake it up in other ways. I have lived my life in a routine bubble, I am keen to start bursting it!

What were the results and how did it make you feel? 
No day is complete without a stroll! As much as it makes me sound like a 70-year-old I love to walk. It is a great way to see the world and more importantly it helps put your issues into perspective. I now have a more balanced approach to exercise and physical health. I see it as something that is good to combat stress, anxiety and the occasional fluster.  

Yoga is incredible! I often walk out of the studio in a daze. I have noticed that I sleep better, worry less and seem more content with life after a long session on the mat.

I am determined to make 2018 my year for me! My new approach to healthy habits is all about putting myself first. As selfish as it sounds, I am loving my self-loving fest.

Your wellness at work tip is...  
I think its important to be yourself at work!  

Brad

Chief Executive Officer

How do you manage stress? 

I consciously focus on me controlling stress rather than stress controlling me. Pressure is inevitable, stress is not. Stress is when pressure gets on top of you. I have found over the years that most of my stress comes from worrying about deadlines and what I have to do to meet the deadline. Inevitably, it actually takes much less time than what I was stressing about and it wasn’t such a big deal after all. So I now focus on remaining calm and that it is not that big a deal.

What healthy habits have you started?

I went from being very sedentary with a poor diet. I was so out of shape, it was hard to get motivated to start. But once I started and saw results, the motivation looked after itself. I have stayed away from fad diets and exercise programs. I believe the best diet is one you can stick to and the best exercise program is one you enjoy doing. You have to think of this as a journey rather than a destination. So initially I gave up alcohol on week days, stayed away from processed carbs and ate clean. I increased my water consumption to four litres a day. 

Once I lost a bit of weight, I felt safe to start exercise. I now exercise 7 days a week and enjoy it tremendously.  

What were the results?

I lost 20kg in 20 weeks and I am now at 22kg total. I have gone down four shirt sizes and four pants/shorts sizes. I feel like have an incredible amount of energy all the time now. I used to suffer from sleep apnoea and needed to wear a mask to sleep with. I no longer require that and I wake rested every day. I also suffered terribly from plantar fasciitis and could not control it. Unsurprisingly, after losing 20kg, I have no symptoms of this anymore either. So sure, when you take control, you look better, but the way you feel is incredible. My focus is now on fitness/wellness rather than weight loss.

How does it make you feel?

I feel amazing. I have so much energy and physical tasks that used to tax me are now easy. I also find it much easier to stay focussed all day at work. 

Your wellness at work tip is... 

One big mistake I was making was eating lunch at my desk each day. If you do this, I challenge you to stop. At the simplest level, you are not paid for your lunch break, so if you take it at your desk and don’t take a break, you are giving that time back to Arc for free. We don’t expect that. But more importantly, you get a lunch break because it is healthy to take one. The work will still be there when you return and the world won’t end. Take the break for your own health. You don’t have to go and exercise, but at least get away from your work environment and really take a break.

I stopped taking my lunch at my desk and began walking to Coogee Beach every day. Not only does it help clear my head and de-stress me, I get the physical benefit of the walk.

Please note information provided in this guide is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a healthcare professional. Exercise, diet and health related matters can vary from person to person. Nothing on this page should be considered, or used as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any action taken based on the contents of this page is to be used solely at your own discretion, risk and liability. You should always consult the appropriate health professional on any matters related to your health and wellbeing before taking any action related to health related issues. While the information provided here is believed to be accurate, Arc assumes no liability for the use or misuse of information.

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