Wellbeing & Support Update – 19 March

March 19, 2021

International Day of Happiness – 20 March 2021

The United Nations is celebrating this day to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world, as we face a global crisis together. Let’s find positive ways to look after ourselves and each other.

The theme for this year’s International Day of Happiness is ‘Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind’

  • Keep calm. Easier said than done and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at times. There is a helpful model referred to the Circle of Influence and Control. When you focus on what is in your control and not those things you cannot control, it allows you to be more in charge of the things you can be and reduces that feeling of being overwhelmed. Let’s remember to take a moment for ourselves and focus on what really matters so you can respond constructively.
  • Stay wise. Keep an open mind to the world around us, it keeps us wise and learning. Let’s choose positive actions that support our wellbeing and help others to do the same, e.g. choosing healthy rather than destructive coping mechanisms. Invite someone to go walking with you on the weekend or days off.
  • Be kind. We’re all in this together, even when we’re forced apart. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need.

So what can you do to celebrate International Happiness Day?

Here are some simple ideas that cultivate some happiness and that contributes to your wellbeing, and the wellbeing of others.

Practise Gratitude – Gratitude is strongly associated with improved wellbeing. Science indicates it is possible to become more grateful and strengthen the character trait of gratitude. Take some time to write down three things that you are grateful for or take time out of your day to say thanks to the person who may often be unappreciated. Go out of your way to thank a friend, partner, family member or work colleague for things and behaviours that have become routine or expected.

Complete a Random Act of Kindness – Deliberately practicing kindness and becoming more aware of your own kind behaviour toward other people can positively impact wellbeing.   Small acts of kindness can brighten another’s day. They also brighten yours. Kind actions give us stories to tell to help us savour happy times.

Smile – Did you know smiling is one of the most immediate and natural ways to shift yourself—and other people—into a positive mood.

Spend Five Minutes Being Mindful  –  Mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”.   The benefits of mindfulness are numerous. Being mindful makes it easier to savour the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. Being present sharpens your focus and helps you appreciate the little things.  Practice five minutes of mindfulness: try to use all of your senses to take in your surroundings, there could be a beautiful sunrise, or you might simply relish the taste of your lunch.

Returning to the Workplace

The vaccination rollout, along with 20 days of no new cases in Victoria, is welcome progress and has hopefully provided you with some relief and a sense of hope for the year ahead. Of course, that doesn’t mean the pace of work has slowed with much happening across our sites, but it has meant we’ve been able to welcome back some non-clinical colleagues or see more of each other as we are able to start to return to the physical workplace. I have heard many stories of people seeing their colleagues face to face for the first time for nearly 12 months!​ We appreciate your patience as we work through the complex arrangements to ensure a COVID-safe return to the office.

The past year has seen us all adapt and change the way we work and live. This has meant juggling work and personal commitments in new and different ways, and as we now return to life and work that more closely resembles pre-COVID times, you may find it a good time to reflect on some of the positive changes that you’d like to take forward – whether that’s lifestyle changes, a greater emphasis on wellbeing or learning new technology.

Some of us may still be feeling the impacts of 2020 and so please don’t forget if you are needing some additional support or someone to talk to confidentially you can reach out to Caraniche at Work at any stage to assist you.


Easter Effort Recovery

As we reach the end of the first quarter, it may be several months since you have been able to have a break from work. Please consider taking annual leave, whether at Easter or another time, where it is operationally possible to do so.

No matter when you plan to have a physical break from work, please read the tips on the on how to recoup your energy to ensure you are thriving and productive at both home and work.

Effort recovery has been shown to:

  • Boost positive emotion
  • Provide relaxation
  • Regain connections with valued others
  • Allow you to mentally detach from work (no rumination or thinking, planning for work)
  • Provide a sense of mastery and achievement

Have a safe, wonderful Easter.


Suellen Bruce

On behalf of the Executive Team