Most of us have a physical fitness program we follow more or less, but how many of us also have a mental fitness program? With more Australians reporting that they feel stressed than ever before, it’s important that we think just as seriously about how we prioritise building and supporting our mental health as we do our physical health. And if you’re an employer, that also means making sure your workplace wellness initiatives incorporate stress management tips and positive mental health habit formers.
Our mission at Icon Group is to deliver the best care possible to as many people as possible as close to home as possible, and that means we have lots of team members who encounter stressful situations on a regular basis. Caring for people when they are very ill takes a great deal of mental strength which can take it’s toll on our front line team members, and life in a high growth business which is constantly building and opening new centres in new regions isn’t always easy for our support teams either!
When a few of us had the opportunity to hear Chelsea Pottenger speak at a Business Chicks event earlier this year, we knew her message was one that our Iconic people needed to hear. Chelsea’s advice is evidence based and grounded in science – crucial when you’re dealing with an audience of health care professionals – but at the same time very accessible and within everyone’s capacity for personal action.
We had over fifty people attend Chelsea’s session in Brisbane last month, and it has reached many many more across the Icon world who watched it online. The feedback has been fantastic, with so many people reaching out to say how valuable the session was and how much they have taken away from it.
I know I’ve made changes personally that have benefited me – I’ve cut out looking at my phone for 30 minutes before I go to bed and am definitely sleeping better as a result, and I no longer reach for it to check my emails (or Instagram…) the second I wake up in the morning!
Another fantastic thing is the way it’s encouraged people to have open conversations about mental health at work, sharing the things they were struggling with and what they had found to help them cope. We saw this same effect after our Iconic Women Financial Literacy seminar last year, where money tips became the topic of water cooler conversation for many weeks after the session.
Today on RUOK Day I want to say a big thank you to Chelsea for the impact that she’s had at Icon, and to encourage everyone to place just as much priority on designing and committing to a mental health fitness routine as we do to those focused on our physical fitness.