What are your strengths?

I was doing a bit of a quiz today and it assessed that ‘Love of Learning’ was high on my strengths list. So it seems, on the weekend I was playing to my strengths and I learnt (or rather was reminded of) all of these lessons:

  • There is something super special about pleasant unexpected events – you see, with my husband, we went on a bit of an adventure on the weekend – what I’d imagined was pretty average – but in fact what we got was so much more enriching than I thought it would have been!  And to be honest, I’m still on a high!
  • Going somewhere you have never been before every once in awhile is refreshing.  The Dalai Lama was spot on.  I have felt more receptive and present since going there.
  • Meeting good people restores your faith that they still exist.  People who are genuine and authentic are the ones who fit into my ‘good people’ category.  The type who do what they say they will for no personal gain.  If you are looking for some of these, I honestly believe they are at a higher saturation in rural areas.
  • Rural communities are truly extraordinary.  What you see is what you get.  The common goal is appreciation of just how lucky we are as humans to live where we live.
  • Laughter really is good for you – How good would it be if, that as a health professional, I could advise someone to ‘…go and have a good belly laugh…’  And to inform them they aren’t doing it right until they are struggling to breath due to their intense laughter!  I had one of these laughs on the weekend, and still 24 hours later, even the thought of that time makes me chuckle.  The long lasting happy effects of a good belly laugh cannot be ignored!
  • Reliving happy days from your younger years can be a whole lot of fun.  On the weekend, I felt like I had ‘gone back in time’ and was reliving my youth – in a good way, for sure!  Thus, proving, deja vu can be awesome!
  • You can’t plan everything – wisely or not, I went along with my husband making most of the plans for the weekend we just had.  There was a moment last week that a little anxiety struck me, but as it turned out, I had nothing to worry about – things just worked out!
  • Just enjoy the ride – normally, I’m the planner, but something else I learnt on the weekend is that sometimes you need to ‘let it go’ (for all the Frozen fans, and their parents!)  Sometimes just going along for the ride is all part of the learning.

Reflecting on the positives of an experience a valuable exercise, as is knowing your strengths.

Do you know your strengths?

If not, how about this week you set about discovering them?  There are many websites that you can help, but to get the ball rolling, ask someone close to you if you need somewhere to start!  You might just be pleasantly surprised!

Are you SunSmart?

So, its only 32 days until Christmas, which means Summer is upon us! With summer comes more outdoorsy activities, and with that comes more exposure to the Sun and it’s harmful effects.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone needs some time in the sun to keep their Vitamin D levels up, but you just need to be smart about it, get it, SunSmart, hehehe (apologies for the Dad joke!)

This week its National Skin Care Action week, an annual event reminding Australians of just how important it is to stay protected from the sun!

Skin cancer kills more than 5 people per day. (Source: Cancer Council Australia)

With that statistic in mind, can you remember your #SunSmart5 this summer??  C’mon who remembers the advertisements – first, like when I was at school (ok, it was a little while ago now!) it was just Slip, Slop Slap and since we have wised up, we’ve added Seek shade and Slide on sunglasses.

Just by doing the SunSmart5 – you are significantly reducing your skin cancer risk.

So we’re clear and directly quoting the Cancer Council Australia:

During National Skin Cancer Action Week, we are reminding Australians to slip on sun-protective clothing, slop on SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, slap on a broad-brimmed hat, seek shade and slide on sunglasses.

Its simple – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.

Ok, so you’ve mastered the SunSmart5 – what else can you do?

  • Understand what the UV rating scale is all about – sometimes its at the end of the news, in the weather section – Tip:  if the UV rating is lower than 3 – that might be a good time to get your dose of Vitamin D mentioned above.
  • If you want a tan – go fake! (Wellness Assist absolutely does not encourage ‘fakeness’ in any other situation! At any other time we are about being real, honest, sustainable, balanced and achieveable!)
  • Do regular skin checks – know what’s your ‘normal’ – if anything changes, get it checked out as a matter of urgency.

SunSmart5 + Wellness Assist’s 3 tips – whilst there are no guarantees, this advice should see you well placed to being proactive on taking care of your skin.

You’re welcome.

‘Preserving the miracle of antibiotics’

When was the last time you took a course of antibiotics?  Were you very unwell, or did you take them ‘just in case’?

This week’s topic may not seem particularly exciting.  But antibiotic resistance is already a serious health issue that will have more and more impacts if we don’t change the way we use them. End of story.

Does it surprise you to hear, as quoted by National Prescribing Service (NPS) Medicinewise that ‘The reality is that antibiotics are already losing their power’  – I don’t know about you, but that is a terrifying thought?!  What if you were the one with a superbug and it couldn’t be treated because the bacteria was resistant?

NPS Medicinewise also points out that ‘The more antibiotics are used, the more chances bacteria have to become resistant to them. You can help preserve the miracle of antibiotics by  being part of the solution – there are simple actions individuals can do to help  stop the spread of antibiotic  resistant infections.’

So, I can hear some people saying, well, I can’t do anything about that, well, actually, you can.  Here’s some simple steps you can take to get involved:

  • The next time you might require antibiotics – have a discussion with your doctor about the risks vs benefits and ascertain if antibiotics are really required esp. in time limiting conditions. (Good healthcare professionals want to know their consumers are informed and making the best health decisions they can with the information at hand)
  • If you do need antibiotics, and of course there will be times you do – take them exactly as directed  – this stops bacteria becoming resistant to  antibiotics in the future.

You can find more of the facts at http://www.nps.org.au/about-us/what-we-do/campaigns-events/antibiotic-awareness-week

This week, which is actually Antibiotic Awareness Week, the conversation needs to be about ….preserving the miracle of antibiotics….

Featured Image courtesy of NPS Medicinewise AAW2016

World Diabetes Day

I’m on my high horse about Diabetes again for this blog.  Yes, someone I love has diabetes and next Monday 14 November is World Diabetes Day.

Imagine having to give yourself multiple needles per day – could you do it?

Imagine being told you have to do this for the rest of your life – this is not a temporary arrangement.

Take a minute to consider there are no ‘days off’ or ‘holidays’ from diabetes.

Imagine someone questioning why you need to worry so much about your blood glucose levels – I’m guilty of this, but the other way around – I have been more worried with the lack of concern for the blood sugar than the person with the diabetes!  I promise though it has been out of genuine concern!  I can imagine my loved one’s inside face was just like Elmo’s (in the picture) though?!

FACT:  Diabetes is a Chronic Disease – it is persistent and relentless.

Each day there is so much to think of as a person with diabetes – so much so that it is or can be ‘hard work’ just to keep it under control.

Do you know a person with diabetes?  Have you ever respectfully asked them what their condition means to them and how it affects their everyday?  By having a greater level of understanding about the condition, it allows us to increase our awareness of why their self-care is so important.

So this World Diabetes Day – Monday 14 November – take some time to:

  • recognise that diabetes management can be exhausting (as with any chronic disease) and
  • acknowledge those with this condition and maybe even, if appropriate, praise them for dealing with diabetes, every, single day.


Featured Image Credit- http://insulinnation.com/wpcontent/uploads/2015/09/Anger_meme_620px.jpg

Technology – good or bad?

Did you know that putting your wet phone in a ziplock bag with uncooked rice actually works to dry it out?  You see, I have used this hack once before and on the weekend had to use it again, thanks to an upside down waterbottle in my bag….gggrrr!!  It’s all good now, as far as I’m aware, every feature on my phone is now functioning again, however, I’m not going to lie, there were a few nervous moments at the thought my phone may not work ever again!

Apps, photos, phone numbers, videos of my children completing random activities – all pieces that I didn’t have backed up anywhere else – could have been gone for good!!  I have backed them up now, you’ll be glad to know!  I can laugh about it now and feel super relieved, but it got me to thinking how reliant I’ve become on this said device – and I’m a digital immigrant!!  It did make me spare a thought for the digital natives, ie. those who have never known a life without technology, esp smartphones!!

For all it’s negatives, technology brings us lots of positives everyday.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to recommend a few apps that I personally use frequently (and would have missed dearly had my phone not recovered!):

SmilingMind – is a modern mediation app – comes from a Not For Profit organisation (of the same name) and helps people integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives.  There are programs for children 7 years and up.  Seeing the picture is the perfect reminder for me to practise meditation – with busy lives, we all need reminders!

MyFitnessPal – this one helps me be more conscious of what I’m eating and the nutrients that make up different foods.  There is also an exercise component and it keeps me honest (most of the time!)  You can even add friends to this one if you are looking for that added accountability!)

My Asics – as a runner, I like to use this app to guide my running plan – I put in the event that I’d like to train for and some other basic info and it comes up with the plan – the challenge is actually getting all the runs done!

The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet – I used this app religiously when I first started learning about the low FODMAP arrangement.  It contains very detailed information about ingredients and recommendations for anyone following this way of eating.

So anyways, I think technology sometimes gets a bad rap.  I don’t believe it is neither good or bad – it is how we use it that determines its usefulness – it’s up to us!

I’d like to think I use it to my advantage, do you?

Do you rely on YOUR smartphone as much as I clearly do??

What technology would you miss if you had to go without?

Featured Image – Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/photos/apple/”>VisualHunt</a&gt;