Speaker: Samuel Eddy, Workplace wellbeing educator and executive coach.
Successful health and safety strategies must start with people, but how can we create safe and thriving workplaces if our employees are overwhelmed and stressed? And in the midst of COVID-19, employer mental health and wellbeing support for their workforce is more critical than ever. In this Safe Work Month interactive session, Samuel demonstrates how both employees and organisations can collectively reduce their 'stress temperature' and set up simple but powerful wellbeing anchors that will enable workplaces to not only be safe and healthy, but to thrive and boost productivity. With special guest and Registered Mental Health Nurse, Sarah Kavanagh, this will be a practical session, not just about theory, where you will get to experience these tools for yourself and take away learnings for your organisation.
Hi folks, thanks for tuning in for another special presentation from Workplace Health and Safety, Queensland. This morning, it's all about wellbeing anchors at work. Powerful tools to improve workplace health safety, productivity and build resilience in crisis. Our presenters this morning are Samuel Eddy and Sarah Kavanaugh. Samuel will be using Menti for a poll for his presentation. All you have to do to join in that poll is click onto www.menti.com, use the code 1001643. We'd love you to join in and get those figures up and running. That's during Samuel's presentation. I'm Chris Bumblus, Media Manager for the Office of Industrial Relations, your MC for today. Firstly, can I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet today, and pay my respects to their elders, past, present, and emerging. I'd like to extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples watching today. Safe Work Month is held every October, and is all about raising awareness of work health and safety. This year's Safe Work Month looks a little different, thanks to COVID-19. Our events are live, and being brought to you digitally this time. Successful health and safety strategies must start with people, but how can we create safe and thriving workplaces, if our employees are overwhelmed and stressed? And, in the midst of COVID-19, employ a mental health and wellbeing support for their workforce is more critical than ever. In this session, Samuel Eddy will demonstrate how both employees and organizations, can collectively reduce their stress temperature and set up simple but powerful wellbeing anchors that will enable workplaces to not only be safe and healthy, but thrive and boost productivity. With special guest, and presenter, and registered nurse, a mental health nurse here at Cavana. This will be a practical session, not just about theory, where you will get to experience these tools for yourself, and take away learnings for your organization. our first presenter, as I said, is workplace wellbeing educator and executive coach, Samuel Eddy. Samuel specializes in helping individuals and organizations across a range of industries improve wellbeing, maintain mental health, and prevent burnout, throughout online webinar events and workshops. His session is designed to be practical and simple to understand. Using interactive models, he has developed, including, the stress temperature check-in and wellbeing anchors. Samuel has a Master of Science, Psychology, from the University of East London, and trained with No Panic NHS fund in UK, not for profit organization, helping clients manage anxiety and related disorders. He is also a qualified mental health first aider. After that, we'll hear from Sarah Kavanaugh, a friend and colleague of Sam. Sara is a registered mental health nurse, and has a private practice specializing in helping people who are experiencing crisis, or highly stressed events in their life. Don't forget, we welcome your questions and comments. All you have to do is use the chat box, and we'll get to as many of those questions and comments as we can. For now though, let's welcome in Samuel and Sara from Melbourne.
Thanks so much, Chris. Thanks for that lovely introduction. Welcome to everyone, Sarah, welcome to you. It's great to be here. As Chris mentioned, we're coming from Melbourne, so we're still unfortunately in lockdown. So I guess at least for me, it reminds us of the importance of wellbeing, no matter what's going on in your world. We talk about resilience, We talk about uncertainty often in my workshops. We talk about the fact that we never know what's coming our way, and who would have thought we would be here, particularly in Melbourne, but of course COVID is something that's still affecting us across the nation. For those in Queensland, of course, you might be doing better than us. But of course, some people have the anxiety around what might happen, and whether that be to do with COVID, or it could just be to do with the everyday personal pressures of living, parenting, kids at school, studying, working of course, and also professional challenges of keeping business going, and the competing demands. So it's great that you're all here, just to take really 60 minutes or 45 minutes to focus on yourself from a wellbeing perspective first and foremost. But we're gonna ask you to have two hats on. So I'm conscious that there's a range of people online with a range of expertise, and people in of course, occupational health and safety, maybe business owners, human resources, and a range of other leaders. When I talk about wellbeing, we talk about focusing on yourself first. So that's gonna be the first part of the presentation. And then we're gonna be talking about how do we set up a framework at work, to really build a resilience shield for your culture, but also for your workforce as well? Look, I didn't sleep particularly well last night. So I know for me, focusing on my well-being anchors, I will explain shortly, are really important. But Sarah, I just want to welcome you. I just thought I'd, as I flush out a bit more about our backgrounds, just check in with you to see how you're doing, 'cause obviously you're in Melbourne with me.
Yeah, and thanks for having me, Sam. I think in our workforce for now, we're the lucky few that if anything, our work has ramped up. So I too need to be practicing what we're teaching and preaching. My workload is very busy and very varied, and dealing with a lot of people who are under significant stress. So more so than ever, it's really important that I walk my talk as I get out into the world and be working with other people. And I guess that's kind of what we're looking at today, isn't it, Sam? And the leaders of industry being able to walk their talk and work more effectively with those around them.
Indeed, and look, speaking of that, the reason why I'm so passionate about this is that I actually had a corporate background. If anyone's ever received a credit card offer in the mail, that was me flogging credit cards for many years. No, nothing of course wrong with that. But for me, I worked hard. My only goal was to get up the corporate ladder, earn more money, have a bigger team. And again, I really enjoyed elements of that career. I moved to the UK, worked hard, played pretty hard for a number of years. And that manifested me in experiencing my own form of burnout, that manifested in my anxiety or panic. So if there's anyone listening or watching, who's experienced something like that, you know it's really tough. But I guess it may have forced me to really slow down. And once I was able to start to really focus on wellbeing in my life, did a lot of research to find some good tools to really be able to recover. Then I was able to start to really thrive in my career. I moved into the FinTech startup world, re-trained, as Chris said, and now I've been doing this workplace education and consultancy for the last four years. And Sarah, you and I work together regularly on this stuff. With your healthcare background and my corporate we sort of tend to combine both expertise, don't we?
Yeah, it's an absolute pleasure to work with you, Sam. I feel like our skills compliment each other. A little like Sam, I went into nursing to help people, as most people go into work to help others. And very soon discovered a couple of months in that I was rapidly approaching burnout. So I branched off and started to study wellbeing and human development. And in time realized all the things I'd learned outside of nursing were the things that really enabled me to be an effective nurse. I really enjoy nursing, so I love to share the things that changed my life, and continue to transform my life, hoping that it can assist others who are perhaps under significant amounts of stress to get out from under it and learn to thrive perhaps in the eye of the storm, as we talk about Sam.
Yes, we do, we do. I'm sort of trying to manage the stress, or manage the challenges, but still find some sort of foundation of peace, no matter what's coming our way, and I guess that's the essence of resilience. And look, COVID's brought up a number of challenges. But the good thing, I guess for us in our work, Sarah, is that we've run a whole range of workshops on resilience, mental health wellbeing, leadership, for a range of organizations across industries. Education, health care, government, banking, infrastructure, telecoms, even done some work for some vets. So we know that these simple tools tend to work for a lot of people. And with the advent of people being willing to get online, we've been able to measure the results of that work. And that's probably what we wanted to come to talk about with you today. And so we're really pleased to be invited by the Queensland government to do this. And we know that just by simply offering, say a three-part wellbeing webinar series over three weeks, we've noticed that employees are reporting back a 30% stress reduction, and an almost 40% increases in experiences of wellbeing. And that's in a pretty short space of time. So we know that simple tools really resonate across industries, because I know at least in my journey, and I know you're on the same page, a lot of their mental health and wellbeing tools are often over complicated. And they're not necessarily connected to productivity, and all the stuff that we need to get done as a business. So we found that those simple tools resonate across industries, Sarah.
Yeah, I love these tools, they don't cost a thing. They're available to us 24/7, and they can transform our experience in the moment, and they can transform our experience, I mean, an entire role or organization or culture. And that's something Sam and I are passionate about, is really getting in and start to turn around some of these cultures, particularly in places where our industries are stressful. And there are things that we can start to enact that can change that stress level in a couple of seconds. And that's what we're all about.
So what are we gonna do today? We're just gonna get back to basics at the start. And as I said, the first part is very much around time for you just to reflect on what your wellbeing, or your stress temperature is, and I'll define that a bit more. But as late, as professionals, if we're not walking the talk, if we're not aware of our own stress temperature, or how stress impacts us, then it's very hard to then lead cultures of well-being in organizations. Often, sometimes we find that leaders feel that wellbeing is something for their workforce, which is great and of use. But if we're not practicing it ourselves, we're already behind the eight ball. So to really get back to the basics, we're gonna talk about what's normal and what's problematic. Because we hear about stress a lot, but it's not always bad. So we'll talk about the differences. We'll go through the stress temperature check tool that I've mentioned a few times, and then what can we do once we realize perhaps that our stress temperature is elevated? What anchors can we set up on an individual level to really lower the stress temperature? And these are tools we use in our workshops regularly. So you'll get a chance to think about those, or reflect on those for yourself. We'll also talk about the resilience shield. So what can you do then, as a leader in your organization, to really help your workforce withstand the winds of change and all the challenges that come, that we know what they're gonna come along, whether they be global challenges like COVID or everyday challenges. And then we'll go through a couple of case studies of organization that we have worked with in different industries, that have used elements of the resilience shield with great success. And we'll finish up with these resources for you to take away with. So in terms of normal stress as you're sitting there, wherever you are, probably mostly in Queensland, but I'm sure there's people tuning in from around the country. I just want you to cast your minds to Africa. Because when we're talking about stress and the stress response, it's good to remind ourselves of what's normal by looking at the animal world, because there's a very clear distinction between what's normal and what's problematic when it comes to human stress. So you might think about a zebra happily grazing in the Sahara, minding its own business, chewing on some beautiful food, when out of the blue it spots a lion. So the senses pick up the lion, the heart starts to race, the adrenaline surges to all the muscles in the body, the oxygen surges as well. So the zebra's got plenty of energy in order to run from the danger, to freeze and hide, or turn and fight. And that's a really good example of the stress response, because we want that to happen. in that moment, the zebra's only need is to really survive. Nothing else matters. So that's a good example of what's normal from a stress response. If we think about ourselves, if we're being chased by a vicious dog in the street, we want that same response to kick in, so we can survive or escape from the danger. Of course, at the moment, there's a whole range of triggers for us that might not be physical danger, but with us humans, we can trigger the same stress response as thought alone. It might be a news article about COVID. In Melbourne, everyone's obsessed with the numbers count, and that can trigger the same stress response. So we can be hiking up our stress response without even realizing it. So it's good to have a think about, what your triggers are. In a lot of the workshops we do, we get people to actually write down what are your current challenges and triggers that are currently activating your stress response? So you can start to see where it might be coming problematic. So if you think about, again, the zebra. The danger's passed, it's realized the lion's disappeared, it goes back to grazing normally. The immune system kicks back in, digestion starts kicking back in, and we really want that to happen. So the zebra has got plenty of time to regenerate, for the cells to regenerate, for the systems to work properly. We need plenty of time in that zone for overall health and wellbeing. But Sarah, of course, I always ask the question if a poor old zebra thought, like one of us humans, what would go through its mind when the danger passes? What are some of the things that come up?
Yeah, the difference between us and the zebra is, we still have the instinctual quality, but we also have the mind. One of the byproducts of being under intense stress is the mind then likes to go into planning mode, kind of planning for every worst case scenario. Hopefully I guess, under the belief that should that worst case scenario come our way, that we will be prepared for it. So the mind will start to think, how did I get into this predicament? What have I done wrong? What can I do to stop this from happening? What if this keeps happening to me? And as Sam quickly touched on, the body doesn't know the difference between it actually happening to us, and us just thinking about it happening. So unlike the zebra that doesn't have the thought process that goes and the stress hormones just kind of leave the system and it becomes calm, we can keep those stress hormones coursing through the body by just thinking about what happened, and then projecting it into the future as a possibility of something that's gonna repeat itself and happen again.
So to really be effective as leaders, Sarah, we've gotta be able to find out when our mind starts to rise and when stress does start to become problematic, don't we? Otherwise it's very difficult for us to then help our employees, or to create that culture that we want.
Absolutely, Sam, if we could start to recognize, even by planning these worst case scenarios, then that could be an indication that we ourselves are in a state of stress. I tend to work it backwards. And if I notice myself doing that, I'm like, okay, I'm still under the hormones of stress. My first priority is to get those down. So then I can start to think about this in a manner that's much more conducive to where I wanna be and where I'm heading to in the future.
Thanks for that, Sarah. And so this kind of leads me to our stress temperature, which I've mentioned a few times. I often say to people, wouldn't it be great if we could wake up in the morning, put a thermometer under our tongue and go, how hot is my stress temperature today? 'Cause if we could all do that, then we'd be in a more powerful position to go well, okay. If I'm waking up and I'm in stress, I'm getting, tension, tightness in the chest, my heart's racing. I'm getting all these physical symptoms of stress, for example, then I might start to make different choices. So as I'm talking through this slide, I encourage everyone to think about where your stress temperature is on the scale, because we're not always at one level, we might be going up and down. So maybe have a think about where you are over the past week. And of course, Chris mentioned at the start, going to menti.com, so M-E-N-T-I.com, and using the code 1001643. There's a poll we've put up just to ask you that question. What has your range been over the past week? So if you get that up on your tab, on your laptop, if you get it up on your mobile, then I'll just start talking through the slide. And we've got a few answers already, I see, which is great. So if you look at the thermometer down the bottom, we've got is what I call mindful living. So that's seen as the ideal place to be in terms of regulating our stress response. If you're sitting there listening to this, hopefully you're not worried about all the stuff that you've gotta do in the future. You're not going over all the stuff from the past. You're just in the moment. And when we are just in the moment, it has a lovely, positive or calming effect on our thoughts. We're thinking slower, our nervous system's a lot calmer, our immune system's working well, digestion, et cetera. So we need plenty of time in green zone for our overall health and wellbeing. Of course, we've already talked about some of the challenges, Sarah, there's lots going on. So all of us can be busy but well. so it means we might have stuff going on, but we've got plenty of outlets for it. So we might have plenty of wellbeing anchors or stuff that we're doing, whether it be exercise, meditation, connecting with people that we love, to have enough outlets for all the stress that we're feeling. But then again, if we're not getting any, if we're aware of where our stress temperature is, busy that well can easily start to turn into stress. And we can kinda get into that orange or red zone. I mean, so Sarah, how can you tell when you might be going from busy but well to stress, for example?
Our body is forever giving us feedback about where we're actually sitting along this stress temperature check. So it starts to be about paying attention to the body. Sam, you and I always talk about, we often experience these symptoms, or we notice these things, and then we just push through. It's actually about no longer pushing through, but paying attention to what the body is telling us, which will give us feedback about where we're sitting on that stress temperature. As you and I talk about Sam, some people are more likely to notice that it's body sensations, and others may more likely be changing due to how their thoughts change. And, obviously when our thoughts change and our feelings change, our behaviors can also start to change. So in any given moment, we constantly have feedback about how high our stress levels are.
So look, in workshops, when we've got more time, Sarah, we often get people to write this stuff down, don't we? We get them to reflect on what are your physical symptoms of stress? What are your behaviors? Do you get irritable when your stress temperature goes up? What are some of the things that come up for you? Just so as individuals, employees, this is primarily an individual tool at the start, at least. But then if we're all doing it together at work, if we're collectively checking in with our stress temperature and not taking it personal, 'cause we knowing that we all going to red, then we're more in more powerful position collectively to do something about it, but be aware of what our body's doing, or what our symptoms are happening that might be hiking up our stress temperature. And often we override don't we, as well, Sarah? We sort of push through when perhaps we shouldn't?
We constantly push through, and we live in a society that kind of values stress as it's something, if we're really stressed, or constantly stressed it kinda signals that we're doing well in the world. And then we're hit by the pharmaceutical companies that encourage us to take a pill and soldier on. And as we talk about the body is forever calibrating where we're at, and if we continue to push on, then we're moving into dangerous territory.
And so you might think about your own example. Have you been sort of sitting at your computer, get a sore back, get a headache, then you, what do you do? You get another cup of coffee to boost you, or as Sarah said, you might pop a Panadol. You might do something that overrides the warning signs. Now I'm not saying it's always problematic to do that, but if we're doing it over time, then we're just hiking up our stress temperature bit by bit. We're putting more pressure on the nervous system. So in my experience, if you had asked me where I was on the scale, I would have, before I burnt out, I would have said probably yellow zone. But I was probably really already in red anxiety zone, because I'd been overriding for so many years. I was getting tonsillitis four times a year, was getting getting frustrated with myself, and not heeding those warning signs that we're getting. So for all that sort of do this, check in with ourselves. Then we're in a more powerful position to do something about it. I'm just saying some of the results come up. It looks like so far, and I'm not sure if we're sharing these results, Dan, behind the scenes. But it looks like unfortunately, none of us really at the moment, it was very few people having time in green. So most of us are kind of in yellow to red. Sarah, I'm not sure if you can see those results as well.
No, I can't see them coming through, Sam, but, I think it's timely that we're running this seminar. It's really important that we're tracking where this temperature's going and as we talked about, the body will rebound back. So the idea is to start to implement some of these practices that we're gonna put in place, before the body eventually crashes and burns.
And so for those who have completed the survey, thank you. Or the poll. What we do with this tool is help people come up with different actions, and go, okay, well, if I'm finding myself in green zone, then that's a great way from an organizational perspective to get involved in the innovation, creativity side of the business. Then if you're listening, you've been in workshops, and you thought, oh, I'm gonna come up with a new plan for this. But if we're all in kind of red zone, it's very hard to come up with new ideas. 'Cause we're in survival mode, and all we're doing is looking for the short term stuff. So we've got to get down into green zone before we can problem solve, be really creative. And that obviously has additional impacts in terms of our physical health, the immune system's working well. So we need plenty of time in there for our overall health and wellbeing. It's a great time to do vision stuff from a strategic perspective, from the business. I do a lot of leadership training, helping people to get into green zone for that reason, strategy development. If we're in yellow zone, nothing wrong with having a bit of energy in the system. That can be called the focus zone, or we can be more efficient, we can power through some tasks. If we're aware of it, we're more decisive. We can take action. We can do tactical planning, for example. we can then also be trying to be aware, have one eye or one sense on our stress levels to ensure we're not going into red. But the more we're in tune with this stuff, we're starting to not be caught out by the bluff of stress, and then make different choices instead of pushing through all the time. And Sarah, so what happens when we get into red zone? What are sort of the problems with that?
Well, when we talked about red zone's all about survival. It's not a time for us to be thinking, it's not a time for us to be making decisions. It's not a time for us to be planning. So our focus can become very narrow, which can result in us becoming very fixated on things, not able to think laterally, not able to see the gray areas in life. So we become mentally fatigued. It's hard for us to communicate to each other, easily frustrated, easily triggered. We make lots of mistakes, and all we seem to see around us are more mistakes, and look for more things to be frustrated about. So everything kind of starts spiraling out of control. As we talked about earlier, Sam, not all of these colors are needed, and are part of the human condition, and they all serve a purpose. So neither is good nor bad. It's very much about recognizing where we're at, and making a choice about, is this the best place for me to be at this point in time? And the work that we're doing is giving us the skills. If we recognize where we're at is not ideal, putting these skills in place so we can start to shift our gears effectively so we can align to what we're trying to achieve.
And of course we're talking about personal wellbeing, and we're all humans first and foremost, we want everyone to be well and happy. But the reality is that, this has benefits for business as well. I have a corporate background. I know that I had to make sales. Organizations need to make money or deliver services in order to survive. So there's nothing wrong with connecting well-being to the bottom line, and know that if we are in red, our customers aren't gonna be happy if our employees aren't happy. That's gonna cost more time and money to try and deal with customer issues, not deliver on what we're promising, and we're gonna make more errors. So there's safety risks. Often a lot of organizations look at safety, but without considering the mental health and wellbeing as an underlying foundation. Or if you're calm, well, you've got plenty of time in green. You're gonna create a better safety plan, for example. So we're talking about emotional wellbeing, stability, happiness of course, first and foremost, but that has a huge number of benefits for organizations. Which is why I see things in this area really picking up. And this is a great, simple tool to be able to look through. And so we've talked about the, probably the most important thing. we're checking individually on our stress temperature. We've started talking about how we can do it from a collective perspective. And so Sarah, what do we have to do about it, once we realize we're in stress or even just generally, 'cause we want to maintain a state of green. What do we have to do about it from a wellbeing anchors perspective?
It's good for us to take time outs as we're doing now, and think about the things that can anchor us back into the green. Obviously, we will have different anchors for different times, and people will have different anchors. It's about picking out which one's more appropriate. Often, the higher up the tree we are with the stress temperature, perhaps things such as meditation don't feel right at that point in time. But perhaps doing some exercise, and dancings, and reaching out to a friend. And it can be quite fun to start to think about and explore what your wellbeing anchors are. And also collectively as an organization, what are some of the things that we can be putting in place when we recognize we're perhaps moving into the red? So we can start to back up the truck and have us moving to places towards the yellow or the green.
And I always talk about that we need to have, we need to look at the whole picture, don't we, Sarah? We've got to ensure that all the cogs, all the human cogs are turning, 'cause if we're neglecting one, then it's gonna sort of bang out the system in a whole range of ways. And as you said, Sarah, we've gotta find out the ones that are right for us. So that's why we have the physical anchors to burn off excess adrenaline and tension in the system for overall health. The spirit anchors, particularly in COVID. I know this is important for Melbournians, Sarah, just to have downtime, disconnection time from the news, catch up with that friend on Zoom or in a park that we're allowed to do now, just to have a bit of fun. So we need to have all, let's consider all these anchors. Are we connecting with people enough? Are we having enough stuff to calm the mind down as well, to slow thinking, which has a lovely calming effect on the nervous system to drop down the stress temperature? I had a client who I was doing some one-to-one coaching with. New parent, working very hard, very successful, but was unable to go home and just have not three devices on. So the mind was constantly switched on, nervous system always elevated, so very difficult to then get into that green creative zone because he was constantly switched on. So we know that if we're not aware of this stuff, it can become problematic. And of course the check in is also a key wellbeing anchor as well.
And so this is just to give you an example of what happens in terms of some of the work Sarah and I have done together. So in just a short period of time, you're at, just say the 21 days, or the time it takes to form a new habit. Even just implementing say, foundations of resilience and wellbeing training which is sort of a core training that we do. People have been able to eliminate red zone stress. I mean, the poll that we've taken today we had about, I think, probably, maybe under a third of people in red, but a lot of people in orange and yellow. So in a short space of time, focusing anchors, doing some additional training, we can actually get out of these red zones very, very quickly, as long as we're aware of it. And that has the benefits, as I talked about before, you're lowering the safety risk, burnout prevention, reducing absenteeism, preventing fatigue at work, which we know is a huge problem. And then once you're out of red zone, you can do other trainings. So we do a lot of leadership training as well which might focus on basics. Like, do you have a vision and a plan for your team? What are the roles and responsibilities? Are you doing clear communication? Often leadership training is talked about outside of wellbeing, but it's a key part of it. Because a lot of the wellbeing issues, or stress and burnout issues come from leadership issues, or people who are great as an employee in an area of expertise, but aren't necessarily great as a manager, because they haven't been empowered with the right skills to lead a team. And then if we are able to focus on that, we're improving productivity, reducing presenteeism. So ensuring people are really engaged when they come to work, we can be innovative and creative. And so we get some lovely feedback from this work as well, which is really lovely to say. Sarah, anything else to add from you on this?
Yeah, we've kinda danced around it a little bit, but a couple of thoughts just to link together some of the slides we've been talking about, Sam. Are these stress temperatures contagious? And this is the why it's really important as leaders, whether we're family leaders, or leaders in an organization, that we are monitoring our stress temperature. Remember, think about to the zebra. If the zebra can pick up that one of his fellow mates is under threat, I need to know that, that's advantageous for me to do that. So we are also clued into each other's stress temperature. If one person is stressed, we're likely to follow that leash. The issue is it's not possible from the red zone. The red zone's all about survival. It's about looking after the self. So the core of teamwork and leadership can't be accomplished when we were in the red. But by later starting to learn how to bring themselves out of the red, the people around them, their nervous systems, their stress temperatures will also start to drop. So we really need to lead by example when we're talking about wellbeing and leadership.
I mean that's a great way to sort of finish off this section, Sarah. So thank you for that. And it leads me on to then the resilience shield, I mean this is all of course linked together. We've been focused on primarily what we can do individually, but we've started to talk about the collective stress temperature. I've put together this framework based on the work I've done with a lot of the clients that I've talked about already across a range of industries. But we can actually put it together a framework to really ensure that we're creating a resilience shield around our business, to ensure that our employees have the best, or we're creating an environment whereby our team's workforce and employees have the best chance to withstand all the change, uncertainty, and conflict and difficulties that will come up in life. Because we're not pretending that's not gonna happen, but we're talking about, well, do we have all these key organizational anchors? We've talked about the individual anchors, but do we have the key organizational anchors in place to ensure that we can pick up, move forward, or at least catch things before they become highly problematic? So the first two steps are really doing a current state assessment. So then what we have to do, and what I do, we do a lot of work with organizations, is trying to gauge that individual stress temperature through training, but also the organizational stress temperature. It might just be doing it with a certain department, or a smaller department. It could be with a small business. It could be with a certain team. But once we know where we're at, then again, we've got more power to then start to use that color-coded decision model that I talked through on the stress temperature, to know what action we need. And so once we've done the current state assessment, what I really wanted to talk about was sort of the resilience shield part. So those four areas in green. So the first part of this is training and development. So as we're just talking through this, I want everyone to have a reflect on, now, what training and development do you have at the moment to ensure that your overall stress temperature is as close to green as possible often? Do you have the leadership and performance training in place that we talked about? I'm all about focusing on wellbeing, balance, burnout prevention, general resilience, confidence with career. Often, confidence is not talked about. Once you've got a strategic program in place that you're doing regularly, then you're checking in with people. You're giving people education tools and empowerment to be able to really take control of their overall wellbeing. And then the business will see the benefits as well. Often we hear of, one-off lunch and learn training which is of course great and really useful. But what we're arguing here is for a more strategic approach. I mean, that would be the same for your background in healthcare, wouldn't it, Sarah?
Absolutely, and fortunately, Sam, I've worked among a number of organizations, and the whole concept of wellbeing kinda becomes lip service. It needs to be underpinned by this stress temperature and something that's constantly taken and worked with. Remember, as we talked about when we're in the red, it's not time to learn, not time to implement new things. So it doesn't matter what we're trying to put in place. If we're not receptive to those new things that are coming our way, effectively it's a waste of our time and energy.
And so what we have next is sort of the anchor for it, if you like, is the network of support. So we're doing some training, but once you do some training with people like us or another organization, or you might have some great internal training available to you, what do you leave people with? What's the network of support that people can go to, to reach out for help? Because a one-off training, as I've talked about is a great start. It might help with the foundation building of resilience, but are there internal mentors that are being called out and we're aware of, or who have volunteered to really help people. Whether it be through career challenges or wellbeing challenges. They might be leaders within the business. You might have, of course your external support. So counseling through an EAP provider. Often EAP is seen as the overall wellbeing program. Also it's a really important tool and a safety net. It doesn't necessarily help organizations get on the front foot. It's generally what I refer to as a back foot only approach, of course important. Professional coaching is becoming more important in some of the areas I've talked about, helping people with thought leadership to really innovate, be creative within the business. So we need that strong network of support available as well. Step five, we're talking about executive sponsorship. And this is just starting to touch on what Sarah was talking about. Often the challenge I get from people coming to me for work, is the challenge of getting leaders involved in the business, getting key decision makers involved. Does the wellbeing program or framework have executive sponsorship from the top? And to do that, we often have to make the business case for it. We have to connect well-being with productivity, boosting the bottom line, all those things that maybe are unpleasant to talk about, but to my mind is a win-win. And that ensures that if we're able to make that business case, it gets budgeted prioritization. So we're not sort of scrounging around just to find extra resources or slotting it in between other priorities. If we can connect it to the bottom line to give that strategic focus. I mean, Sarah, any thoughts on this?
This is absolutely connected to the bottom line. We're looking at things like recruitment and retention. We're looking at job satisfaction. We're looking at people who are really unable to connect with why they've come to the workforce, why they're doing that role, and to be able to enjoy being there. And that, of course, filters right down to our clients, the clients who also enjoy the experience of utilizing our services. And hopefully when the time comes, that will be at the team minds because we are actually offering something different to other organizations.
And of course we have to then do the remind and review. So once we've sort of gone around the resilience shield, we've identified perhaps some gaps in training, we've had a look at what the needs are, we've checked in regularly with our stress temperature. We kinda have some framework in place to keep doing it again, to keep checking in. Otherwise gaps in the shield can start to form, people leave, we get into green zone, which is great. But then green zone can often mean we go, okay, everything's going fine now. But some of the stresses will come up again, so we've got to be aware of those as well. So it's important that we sort of keep circulating around, have strategic check-in points where we're actually getting out of the business, so to speak, and do the check-in and go, where are we at the moment, what's working, and what's not? Pretty simple stuff, but I'll argue really powerful and important. And so for the next slide, Sarah, you're just gonna talk through an example in terms of a local health care provider that's implemented the first part of the resilience shield. Other parts too, but we're just really talking about the first part, aren't we, for this example?
Yeah, I obviously working as a nurse work on a lot of in-patient wards, so I've never been anywhere where the stress temperature is so red. For majority of the time, that's kind of our baseline where we run. So it's very easy for us to become easily stressed, burnt out, we start calling in sick, and that affects right down to the patients. So we've done a little bit of this stress temperature training. And the first thing we do when we walk in individually, is to be clocking where our stress temperature is. The more way down lower in the green as we come in, we can then clock the stress temperature of the actual ward and also our work colleagues as we start to come in. So we use a really simple language. The red, yellow, green is a great, simple shortcut that gives people an idea of where we're at without having to go into all the details. So even just being able to vocalize where we're at and get a sense of where the different theme leaders are at, we're gonna allocate work accordingly. If we decide that we need to actually put a couple of interventions in place for ourselves first before we start work, then we can sit together. As we talked about, these only take a couple of minutes to start to bring it down. So the beauty of this work is it's not personalized. We recognize that it's part of the human condition, to be stressed is part of the human condition. And there are things we can put in place to start to turn it around. So it starts to bring the team together in a cohesive manner. And that then kind of resources us in skills also and prepares us to move out onto the floor when we're working with consumers. So we're also experiencing the same things they are, which is stress. Though when I'm able to use this stress temperature and use this language, it enables me, and when I'm working with my nurses, or with the patients that's the end user, we can talk about where we're sitting on the stress temperature, and we can make a decision about is it time for us to put an intervention in place? Or, before we start talking or working around this, do we need to do a number of activities to bring us back down to the green? So we can approach this from another way. I've found it invaluable to know when I step in, when I step back, if I'm gonna step in, how I'm going to step in. And I find that when I'm working with patients, that they're much more open to your suggestions when you can time them according to where they're sitting on the stress temperature.
So it's actually bringing greater awareness, isn't it? And I love how you talk that, I mean, it's fairly simple doing a check in in the morning, just to sort of gauge where everyone's at. It's almost an outlet in itself. It's a bit of a wellbeing anchor. You can use it for when stuff goes wrong, it's a debrief. Where are we on the stress temperature scale? We pause, we get out of what you're saying around the personalization, or taking things personally, or judging people as grumpy, irritable, or frustrated, and just go, Oh, I've been in red zone for a while because I haven't been sleeping well or I'm overwhelmed. So it allows us to then find a productive way forward. And it's so powerful that Sarah, you've been able to use this of course, with patients. And we often get that feedback, don't we, that it goes right down to the end customer, or the user of a service, particularly in healthcare.
Absolutely, it's transformed the entire ward.
And so the final example we're gonna talk through is just something that I do a lot of work with manufacturers, in banking. And it's interesting how similar tools can work across both. So this is kind of going through the training and development, but also the network of support. So doing some general group-wide resilience training, a three-part series for example, is really important in terms of helping businesses really understand where the business is at. Of course it can get people out of red zone initially, we can then use that to really look at things like leadership and performance management. It can help with a business case, just to do a general check in and go, okay, this is where the organization's at, we've made some good progress. But this is where the gaps are now. So then we can decide what further training is needed. If you do something basic that's general, that can help you evaluate what the gaps are in your resilience shield, so that's really important. We talked about confidence a bit, but a couple of organizations I worked with, do stuff around confidence leadership. So how do leaders or particularly new managers define their leadership landscape to know who the stakeholders are, to know their roles and responsibilities, to create a vision for their team so they can be effective leaders. Basic things around communications, team meetings, setting one-to-one cat shops are often where a lot of the stress and the stress temperatures hike. So we've just gotta be aware of it. So some great examples in industry of coaching programs being used to that effect. And of course setting up a network of support both individually, but also as a group, has been really useful as well. So hopefully that's just giving you a bit of an example. I've just got here a slide, which we can share later on if you're interested, of examples of that professional self-help, family and friend support, a whole range of different areas that people can go to depending on where they are on the stress temperature scale. But just for the last few minutes what I wanted to do was just do a short mindfulness exercise. Because from a personal perspective I've already checked in on the stress temperature. We've talked about how we can set up wellbeing anchors for yourself, for those listening, but also potentially the group-wide organizational anchors to build that resilience shield. But I just wanted to give you a taste of mindfulness, which is one of those anchors we talked about early on, just to see if in a really short space of time, we can get people to start to drop their stress temperature. So just for the next four minutes or so, I'll just get you to sit back and relax in your chairs. If you've not done mindfulness or meditation before, I'm just gonna talk you through a short body scan, where I'm gonna get you to relax your muscles all the way from your feet to the top of your head. And then we could just take note of how you feel now, and how you feel after. So, just getting comfortable in your chair, feet flat on the floor. Just closing your eyes. Just slowing the rate of my speech down, just to help take the edge off tired, nervous systems. And as we're just sitting there, just focusing on your feet and your toes. Just noticing the connection of your feet to the floor. Just letting all the muscles in the feet and the toes go nice and loose. But the lower legs and the upper legs. Scanning the muscles for any tension. Just letting all the muscles in the legs go nice, and loose, and relaxed. Not trying to control them at all. Just let the legs go as loose as best you can. Thinking about the stomach and the lower back, often a source of tension for many. Just letting the stomach go nice and loose. Just imagine any tension escaping from the lower back. If any thoughts come in about the day, stuff you've gotta do, if the mind wanders, that's normal. Just gently bringing the mind back to the body, just letting their stomach muscles go nice, and loose, and relaxed. Thinking about your shoulders now. Just letting the shoulders drop a little. Often lots of tension in the shoulders as we hunch them up. Suddenly the muscles in the shoulders go loose, muscles in the chest go nice and loose. Just focusing on the arms now, the muscles in the upper arms, forearms, hands and fingers, letting the arms fall loosely by your side, or loosely in your lap. Just letting the whole arms go nice, and loose, and relaxed. Think about the head, neck, and face, often lots of tension here for many as well. Just imagine the neck muscles letting go a little, muscles on the scalp loosening up, muscles in the forehead letting go, muscles around the eyes letting go, letting the jaw open slightly. Suddenly, all the muscles in the head, neck, and face, going nice and loose. Just letting your whole body now sink into the chair, just letting the whole body go nice, and loose, and relaxed. And just for a moment sitting in silence. Just reconnecting with the feet, the legs, stomach, back, shoulders, arms, head, face. Just thinking about the room that you're in, the conversation we've been having today, and when you're ready, just start opening your eyes. How are you Sarah, are you still with us?
Yeah, that was great, thank you, Sam. Just wanna touch on that sometimes that's easier to do than others, and Sam and I always talk about this being a lifestyle practice. So sometimes I'm wonderful and straight into the green when you do it, Sam, and other times, my mind is still going. And even just how I respond to tapping into one of those anchors can give me more feedback about where my stress levels are currently sitting. So it's always providing valuable feedback, whether it gets the results we are after, or whether it's providing us more information about what's happening around us, so think about that.
Yeah, great advice. And look, I just put some resources up. So if you found this stress temperature check useful, you can actually go onto my website and just do a short questionnaire, just to see where you're at. If you had trouble, like Sarah's saying, I'm not sure what's normal for me. You can answer a questionnaire. You can email me, or just shoot a message through the website to get a copy of the resilience shield checklist. Just a reflective questionnaire I've prepared just to help you figure out or start to create a resilience shield for your business. And if you go to the blog part of the website, there's a link to a YouTube extended version of that meditation, if you found it useful, and you might like to try it. Love to know where you guys are all from. I haven't sort of seen the chat or the comments, but love to know if you're able to just check your stress temperature. If you're able to relax a little, take the tension off, and I'm sure we will open for questions soon. We do have a workshop on the 24th of November, at 10:00 AM, just an extended version, or a complete version, of part one of a wellbeing foundation workshop, which we've already done sort of bits of today, but hopefully that's given you enough as a starting point. And Chris, I think I might hand it back to you.
Thanks Samuel, appreciate that. Look, I do have one quick question. We've got lots of comments, lots of questions coming up, and lots of people being very respectful to you guys in Victoria, saying, our thoughts and prayers are with you guys doing it tough down in Victoria. So that's great to hear that you've got some support from friends in Queensland.
That's lovely, thank you.
As far as questions are concerned you did the mindfulness exercise. And normally I would struggle with that exercise because I just cannot switch off. Do you have advice for people who just can't switch off, where they really wanna do the mindful thing, and escape through a little wall and rejuvenate, but they just can't seem to switch off?
Yeah, look, it's fine, it's marvelous. A lot of clients say the same thing and it's a great comment. I always say, just try and reduce any expectations. Often when trying to achieve something in mindfulness, and all we're doing is following simple instructions, and we're not trying to achieve anything as such. So often people think that we just wanna have a still mind. And if my mind is racing and I can't sit still, then that's a failure. But every time you realize your mind is racing, that's success, even if you do it once in a 20 minute meditation. So just going with the process without expectation, and just being aware of racing thoughts, for example, particularly if it's new to you, is success, and then the benefits build up over time. So the more you do it cumulatively, you start to really calm the nervous system over time. If that makes sense.
No, so really I shouldn't stress that I've failed. I've actually achieved something, even though my mind's still racing?
Absolutely, Sarah, would you agree?
Yeah, absolutely, we talk about it being like a practice. Unfortunately, we'd love to go to the gym once and have a fabulous body, but it kind of doesn't work that way. So by having an expectation when we go in or by judging how it went when we were there, effectively just creates more stress. So it's about kind of embodying a sense of inquisitiveness, of understanding that if I continue to practice that I will get the results I'm looking for. The other thing Sam and I really love about this work is when we can really understand why it's helpful. It can become easier to dedicate some time to it.
Right, let's get to the proper questions. I've had enough self-indulgence. Adam asks, can you discuss the workplace factors that in your view may impact psychological safety?
Sarah, do you want me to?
Yeah, you can start, Sam.
So look, psychological safety is an interesting term because I guess it's varied, depending on the organization that you're in. But generally, trauma is one thing that can impact psychological safety. So it depends of course, on the industry. But a lot of people who are in caring roles talk about vicarious trauma. So they're having to deal with problems from other people. Obviously nurses is a good example, Sarah. So they might be experiencing trauma from other people. They can be things like bullying. So conflict at work, people feeling isolated at work, people being pressured to do work that they don't wanna do. I would sort of argue some of those examples, are more of the extreme version of what I term psychological safety, where people aren't feel safe, or don't have confidence, or don't have the emotional skills to be able to push back, or pathways within an organization to report these things and feel safe. Sarah, do you have anything to add?
Yeah, to flip it the other way, I kind of look at stress as the way that our body reacts to demands or challenges. But when I think about someone being unsafe, it suggests to me that perhaps more resources need to be put in place to help people effectively deal with those challenges, so they're not feeling overwhelmed. So that's kind of an underlying way in which I approach that. So anything to do with safety is building up skills and resources. So people don't get to that state of feeling overwhelmed.
All right, just along these lines, Bruce has asked. Individuals may be reluctant to disclose when they are being impacted psychologically by workplace or personal factors. What are some practical tips on how to foster open discussion of these factors? The yanks that builds up into long-term stress?
Well, look, I mean, I'm obviously biased, Chris, but I would say running a seminar like today, because it's been interesting running these webinars. I used to do a lot of this training in person. But as soon as you do the stress temperature check in with people, as soon as someone who's running the training or leaders show a bit of vulnerability, and talk about people's experience of going into red zone. As Sarah said earlier, it makes it not personal. People can actually ask questions anonymously in these scenarios online, but also they can complete the survey. And it's been interesting to see how much more engagement we've had online by using the stress temperature model, because everyone can relate to it. We talk about, we all go into red, we all get annoyed. We all get irritable, we all get judgment, we judge people. We have issues at home with our partner, with our kids. So we get people to reflect on all the personal challenges they have got. And those who are more confident to share in these seminars, open the forum up for those who are less comfortable to share. And it's been really amazing in terms of some of the stuff that has come up that people didn't know about each other. So having someone to facilitate the conversation, showing a bit of vulnerability themselves, but also ensuring that people know that all these feelings are normal, and they're not gonna be judged or blamed. It's been a really powerful position to be in just to see how much people are actually willing to share a facilitated conversation with a simple tool in the right way.
Patricia then asks what are some organizational indicators that someone could look at work, to work out if there are risks to worker well-being that are going unaddressed. So the thing just is bubbling under the surface, bring it to the forefront.
Sarah, did you wanna?
I think absenteeism has to be absolutely the top one up there. I noticed myself and my working in workforces, people start to call in sick, we have to use more temps. You can generally get a feeling by the water cooler conversations. Lots of toxicity can start to run through the workforce. People start to lose faith in the fact that their leaders are actually leading, or that the leader is actually even care. So open lines of communication are really, really important. And it's important if leaders are asking for those lines to be open, that they actually listen and do something about the feedback that they're given.
Yeah, and I'll just add to that. Any change of behavior, so as Sarah was saying, people who are organized who are suddenly not organized, people who are normally engaged who aren't as engaged, they're not contributing, they're not going out to lunch with other employees. If there's certain departments where people don't speak up at meetings can be a bit of a red flag as well. So that's good to unpack. But yes, your other metrics, like Sarah said, of absenteeism, even error rights, if you're in say, manufacturing environment or somewhere more practical, you can see the amount of errors that might be coming up within the business, loss of productivity. You might have engagement scores as well. You might do formal engagement scores through surveys. Again, depending on what access you have to technology to set those things up and the size of your business.
Pat Watson joins us. And we thank Pat and everybody else who's been with us for the session, says hi, do you think businesses should have an identification process for these stress identifier levels? And we all have increased exposure to screens and visual stimulants that can increase stress, giving workers the ability to identify when they are stressed and can go offline?
Absolutely, I work in some organizations, I worked for emergency services, and they acknowledged that, and we have 10 minutes screen breaks every hour and half. Those couple of minutes just to step away, can increase your productivity. We're much better to have short periods of being really productive than having elongated periods where our productivity has started to drop off. So it's actually about supporting people so they can bring their best to the game. And if we can understand that a couple of minutes out every hour is gonna enable to bring people best to each moment, then I think it more than makes up for those couple of minutes where perhaps once upon a time, we may have been deemed as being not productive.
And what you can do with the stress temperature combined with the wellbeing anchors, often in training, what we do is, we get everyone to check in with their stress temperature. We go through what wellbeing anchors work individually for people, but also what works collectively for people. And then they can establish or create their own measures. Okay, as a team, what do we need to be doing to support each other? How many, are we checking in on people taking breaks? Are we ensuring that someone to champion for this week to ensure people are logging off, particularly with lots of working from home or not might working at the moment. So people aren't working all the time. And those measures work effectively the best when people are contributing to them. So leaders are talking with their employees and team to go, what's the status quo? These are the tools that we've agreed will work well, how do we set up the framework to say yep, this is what we think is gonna keep us all closer to green, and how do we flag it when it's not working? And that tends to get the best engagement.
Solace James has joined us as well and asks, is the stress temperature test available consistently for organizations to support staff, and where can you download the stress temperature chart?
Yes, so if you go to the website, to my website, to the homepage. So samueleddy.com, I might just put that. I don't know if you can still see the slides. There's a small version of it there, but I believe the full chart will be in the pack that you sent out as part of Work Safe Month afterwards. I do ask people that use it, obviously it's something that I've developed as part of my business. So very happy for people to use it, but just not share it outside for your own personal use. But absolutely it will be coming. A copy of it will be coming to you as part of the pack.
Samuel Tenure asks, great to hear the case study. Is there also an evidence-based research that supports the stress temperature test?
Yeah, so I've just used it as a snapshot. And so what I've been doing is just using it as a guide. So it's not supposed to be a formal diagnosis of stress in an organization. It's supposed to be a guide to help people establish their current reality. And so it is used as a relative tool. But what I am doing, I'm working in the future potentially with a couple of universities to try and do some further research behind it. So that we can do a bit more of a quantitative research behind it as well. So that will be coming at some point in the future. But it's a good question.
Kylie says, hi guys, hope you are both doing okay in Melbourne, your Queensland friends are thinking of you all. My question is what strategies do you personally employ to maintain good mental health? And has that changed or adjusted because of our friend COVID-19?
I would prefer it if, Sarah, do you mind if I go first?
All right, Sam.
Look, I mean, you have to live and breathe this stuff, so it's a great question. So, and thank you to everyone who's asked the questions too. We love to know more about you all and your specific situations but obviously it's hard on this forum. But for me, meditation is my go to. So for me, I recognize my stress temperature in my body. So the physical symptoms of stress, whether it be the tension in the throat, lump in the throat, shallow breathing, sweaty palms, kind of for me, that stress is going up. And so meditation is my core, that I do at least 20 minutes a day, sometimes 40 minutes. And I've really had to double down on it, particularly in COVID, just to stay away from things like the news, to not get lost in all the news, and the doom, and gloom, and the drama, because we know the news is negative anyway, but it's particularly negative at the moment. So meditation is one of my core things, as well as exercise. I know that when I go for a run, step away from the computer, I feel fresh. It releases endorphins. So those two things are probably my core tools that I use. I know Sarah, you have some as well.
I would absolutely second you on the meditation. I would preempt that by saying I really struggled with it to start with. So even though Sam and I are using it as gold standards, just know that it doesn't mean that we pick it up and we're running with it from day one. We've been practicing it over years. Also in the green for me very much is about creativity. So whether I'm just creating in the garden, or I'm cooking, or, and creating anything just that brings me joy, and just for the sake of bringing me joy. And connection is one of my big ones. And of course, being in COVID it's been really important that I maintain that. So lots of reaching out to other people. And music is one of my biggest ones. If I pick up that I'm stressed, just a great, one of my great anthems or theme songs that I love, I just put it on really loud, have a sing and have a dance, and that can shift something in a matter of seconds.
And I'll just add that it's just important to be, have your non-negotiables. Because if you get excited with work, you're pumping through some work and then the wellbeing anchors disappear. So just take time to write down what are your non-negotiables, because if they're not in place at some point, your stress temperature will spike, and if the habits fall away or are not formed, it's harder to get back into it.
I would second that. It's not about doing these if we have time, it's actually about putting those things in place first, and letting everything else drop around them.
Sara, just quickly on that, any chance of getting a Tik Tok version of you singing and dancing just to play later.
You wouldn't wanna see that.
I couldn't resist, sorry.
I'm blushing just thinking about it
Nick has also got a question around COVID, which is obviously current and very pertinent at the moment, has the way you define positive mental health state changed due to COVID, EG, what is healthy in this situation? And what's concerning? How do I know if what I'm feeling is normal versus an issue? And at what point should I seek professional support? This feeling of being boxed in, and COVID, is there a new norm?
I mean, Sarah, if I just, I mean, I know you know this through our work, but the stress temperature of everyone is elevated at the moment. I think that was reflected in the poll today. There was very few people in green. So I reckon at least 20% across the board, so yes it is. So I think it's a good point around what's normal, it is relative to what's normal for you in some form. But when we've got global challenges like this and people are isolated at home, particularly in Melbourne still, they don't have access to some of the wellbeing anchors that they would normally use in the same way. It is absolutely normal for the stress temperature to be elevated and to be aware of. So yes, it's important to be aware of what's normal now. But often what crisis can do, or global challenges can do, they can actually make you realize, or make you become aware, of what your stress temperature was in the first place. And so I would say that yes, the normal's changed a little bit in terms of stress is being experienced a lot more than normal, but the tools are the same. So what it means to be resilient in my view is the same. The tools that we need to do are actually pretty simple. And one of those tools is reaching out to someone. So you don't have to be at a critical stage or in red zone to access EAP provider. There's nothing wrong with getting out of your own head to speak to someone one-on-one for an hour, particularly as it's free, through employers, or if you get onto a mental health plan through a GP, or use a coach, or, someone like us. Just to try and get a sense of what your reality is at the moment. And once you get out of your head, most people are pretty good at gauging, okay, what's normal or what's what's relative for me.
We're gonna have one final question, wrap up the session. We've gone a little bit over time, and thanks everyone, for joining us. We do have a quick comment, quickly, before I get to the last question. Kent Stacey says Melbourne here. I really needed that moment of mindfulness. So we've struck a chord, particularly with the people in Melbourne, and you guys are examples of, we probably need to take a deep breath every now and then.
Fantastic, that's great to hear.
Last question comes via the registration from Liz. How do I offer emotional support to friends, family, and coworkers who have been quarantined, having both lived and living through it. What support have you both found helpful? This is again about people being boxed in, about drastic changes to their life and work state.
Sarah, do you wanna go for that one?
My first piece of advice is to clock your own stress temperature. If you're wanting to reach out and support others, it's really important that we're as much in the green as possible. So we can reach out from a place where we're feeling calm and content. I think a couple of things to me, as soon as you say that, just knowing that we're being thought of, it can be a quick message, a surprise letter in the mail. Just something that people know that we're being held in heart and mind. And the other thing I found is when we are catching up, I really liked that side-by-side catch up. So I've found with friends rather than sitting on the Zoom, perhaps talking like this all the time that we'll have the Zoom in the corner, but we might be cooking dinner, and we might be just hanging out as if we would, if we'd come to visit each other. And it just feels more normal than constantly talking to people like this. So it's just like, it's we can infiltrate normal life while we're stuck within four walls, I guess.
I'll just add, I think that's a great response, Sarah. I'll just add that, also, not feeling like you need to save some money either. Often we get nervous around this conversation because we gotta fix it. And which is obviously coming from a really good place, but it's hard to do it. So you can use things like the wellbeing anchors and go into sort of coaching mode and say, look, I acknowledge what they're saying. And then you can even ask them, what would you normally do to help yourself move forward? I have as one of my key goals is just find a way to help someone move forward to the next thing, whatever it might be. It might be setting up one of Zoom catch up as Sarah suggested, it might be going for a run, and just getting them to talk through the strategy that might work for them, and find an alternative that might not be. If it's Jim's not available, he might be doing a yoga class in front of the TV, for example. So using the same tools, not feeling obliged to see them as Sarah said, making sure your wellbeing is strong first, so that you're able to then go into that sort of coaching mode with them to try and offer that support.
Now, before we officially say goodbye to you to Melbournians, a question without notice for you. Quickly, one key, take home message for everyone today from both of you.
Mine is just slow down. Once you slow life down, whether you talk slower, walk slower to pick up the keys, walk slower to the next meeting, not run to catch the train. You're already doing your nervous system a world of good. And then if you do encounter any challenge, you're already gonna have more clarity of mind to be able to deal with it. So if we all slowed down life by 10%, I think as a society we would be much better off.
Yeah, I would very much second that. And to understand that it's a practice. Sam and I talk about this. It's not something you listen to us here once and do at some point down the track. You get off and you do it in five minutes, and then you do it in the next five minutes, and you do it in the next five minutes. So we effectively talk about, while the mindfulness is lovely to go off and close our eyes, but we're talking about putting those things in place as we're moving around the world in every moment. I will, like Sam, slow down my movements, slow down my speech, create more gaps, open up more silence, and just give us more space to process what's happening for us.
Samuel and Sarah, thank you very much for joining us.
Thanks Chris, thanks everyone, thanks Sarah.
Thanks so much for having us. It's been wonderful, take care.
And just in summarizing from Workplace Health and Safety, just a couple of key tips. A mentally healthy workplace is one that promotes workplace practices that support positive mental health, eliminates and minimizes psychological health and safety risks through the identification and assessment of psychosocial hazards, builds knowledge, and skills, and the capabilities of workers to be resilient, and thrive at work is free of stigma and discrimination. Supports the recovery of workers returning after a physical or psychological injury. Workers who feel positive about the environment and culture in their workplace are less likely to experience work-related stress, sustain a psychological injury, or leave the workplace. And more likely to have better performance and engage in learning and self-development. WHSQ has a range of tools and resources that can assist you in identifying and managing work-related mental health hazards including stress, violence, bullying, and fatigue. visit worksafe.qld.gov.au to check these out. Including a number of existing webinar recordings, which may be of interest. If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out. A range of support services are on the screen. Lifeline is available 24/7. Again, thanks to Samuel and Sara. We really appreciate them joining us here today. A reminder for everyone to visit the Safe Work Month Virtual Exhibition. If you have registered for events, you will have received an email with a link to access the exhibition. You'll find a range of exhibitors online, waiting to chat with you and answer your questions, and let you know about what advice and services they can offer to you to help you improve your health safety, and return to work practice. You can also check out their virtual displays with information about their services, and download their brochures. Connect virtually by selecting the exhibitor you'd like to speak to, and clicking queue or live meeting to talk with exhibitors. Some of the exhibitors are running a competition, so you maybe in with a chance to win a great prize when you visit. All exhibitors will be ready and waiting to chat with you through the online portal straight after this presentation, right through until 2:00 PM. If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are in the final week of Safe Work Month 2020, but there are still a number of fabulous events for you to enjoy, including a chat with ex-olympian Hayley Lewis. All you have to do is register, it's absolutely free. You can also access heaps of free resources from our website worksafe.qld.gov.au including industry and topic specific video case studies, podcasts, speaker recordings, and webinars, and films, to help you improve your WHS and return to work outcomes. Today's session will be online shortly, just in case you missed something, or you'd like to share it with a colleague. Thanks everyone for tuning in today and supporting Safe Work Month. Remember, work safe, home safe.