Stephanie Allison is a familiar face both on-farm and in the clinic in the West. As a tech, her routine varies, with early starts and long days, maintaining a healthy balance is something we all struggle with when things get tough.
Out of the clinic, you are likely to see Steph in the squash courts or spending time with family on the farm, but these actions are decisions she actively makes to look after her mental well-being.
With this week’s focus on how we can look after ourselves when the pressure is on, Steph has kindly shared with us how she looks after her own well-being. Her motivation is a great influence on those around her. Thanks Steph!
I used to be one of those people who used to think that getting up early and going to the gym was a real waste of valuable sleep time and all I can say to that is - don’t knock it until you try it. Getting up and going to a gym class in the morning gives me a real sense of purpose and achievement. Anyone that knows me knows that I love my sleep so it is a real challenge to get to that class sometimes - but it is oh so worth it. It helped me to realise that I also love routine and consistently getting up at the same time in the morning to go to the gym gets me in sync with my body clock.
I believe that what you put into your body is what you get out of it. When my eating is on track I definitely notice a difference in myself, my body and my energy levels. Being perfect all the time is impossible though with everything that goes on in today's world; morning tea shouts, social gatherings - there are always delicious treats served up, but food is definitely something that I strive to make good choices around and always on the forefront of my mind. Being able to forgive yourself is equally important - it’s what you do all of the time that matters, not some of the time! .
If you’re feeling a bit down or are in a negative mindset it can be really hard to motivate yourself to do what you know is going to be good for your mental health and bring you joy. For example, I love reading a good book, but I rarely do because I always go to bed and scroll through Facebook. Last month when I went to bed I read a book instead, and I enjoyed reading that book so much more than endless scrolling on Facebook. Knowing where your weaknesses are is also important to be able to avoid doing things that impact you negatively. I know when I am not organised and am tired from having an early at work I could very easily make poor decisions that afternoon that might impact me negatively - fall asleep on the couch, binge watch a Netflix series. To avoid this I try to plan what I could do to fill in my afternoons. Lists are great and I love crossing things off! I might go for a walk up Forest Hill, mow the lawns, go and visit family and friends, do a puzzle, or make my lunch for the week to name a few. I get satisfaction out of these things and I find that all it takes is one positive choice to lead into more positive choices, and equally one negative choice can lead into more negative choices.
I hope that these insights and tips and tricks have helped you and if anything brought you a little bit of inspiration if you are struggling out there. I am very lucky and forever grateful to have such amazing family and friends to help me on my journey and realise these life hacks.
- Stephanie Allison