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Taking On The Pragmatic Advice

It doesn't matter what industry you are in, we're all being bombarded with messages to take care, look to our wellbeing and others as we head to the end of this crazy year. And while this information is vitally important, I'm finding many people put the message about self-care in the 'for others not me' pile. ( I don't have time, too many things to do, people need it more than me - sound familiar?)

Last night I attended a workshop run by the Australian Council of Education Leaders with Kristen Douglas, National Manager of headspace Schools. Kristen works at all parts of intervention for mental health - from the pointy end of crisis situations, including Christchurch following the terrorist attacks through to skilling people and organisations up at the other end - prevention. Kristen has been speaking across a variety of professions and sectors over these last few months on this very subject. She is pragmatic, knowledgeable and clear. Her strong message?



Kristen used the battery metaphor and asked us to identify how at what level our battery was at. It's a great visual to acknowledge that taking time to refuel is needed. She gave us some useful tips to identify when our battery is becoming 'red' such as noticing when we have reduced tolerance and coping threshold; trouble concentrating or remembering things ( mmm anyone else...?) changes in appetite and sleep (mmm me also).

She also gave us a great acronym NIP (NIP it in the bud). This is useful for using on ourselves, or raising the issue with others:

Notice - what behaviour/ thinking/ feeling is shifting from the usual?

Inquire - what might be causing these changes?

Plan - address the stressors and imbalances with useful health and wellbeing strategies.

Kristen suggested a way to discuss this with others is to ask them where they felt on a 1 -10 scale (Notice) and then follow up with a 'tell me about the 6' (Inquire) as a way to encourage them to articulate where they may be at.

Useful, practical tips to help us all.

This quote from Shawn Anchor, author of The Happiness Advantage is a beauty for the year that's been:

'Resilience is about how you recharge, not about how you endure.’

Harvard Business Review, June 2016

I'm heading to a Relax + Restore Your Resilience few hours on Saturday afternoon to top my battery back up and recharge.

I hope you are also doing something just for you. How many people have you suggested the same thing too, and not done it yourself?


Some early morning phone calls make you fall off your chair in surprise! I am honoured to have been awarded a 2020 National Fellowship by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. Such a privilege to have this recognition from ACEL in this of all years! Congratulations to the other recipients around Australia. Thank you ACEL for continuing to shine a light on what great leadership is and the impact it makes on the educational outcomes for students and the culture of organisations. Thanks Barb Watterson for making my year with your phone call.

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Please stay well and safe wherever you are. You know where I am. With my virtual Tracey studio I can now go wherever at the push of a button. Not quite a teleport situation but the next closest thing. Sending you much energy and support for whatever your circumstances.