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Slowing Down for R U OK Day



For R U OK? Day which was on Thursday 14 September, the Rowe & Associates team made our way to what is becoming our annual pilgrimage to the Billabong Retreat for some self-care and de-stressing time with our colleagues.


Nestled within tall trees and overlooking an idyllic billabong, it was impossible not to relax and find moments for mindfulness. Listening to the birds chirping in the trees, feeling the cool water on our toes and the sun on our backs while swinging in the hammock seats, all of us reflected on how rejuvenating experiences like this are… and then chastised ourselves for not doing it more often!


After some individually selected treatments and some gentle wind down time we meandered down to the yoga room overhanging the billabong. With the group’s yoga experience ranging from “total newbie” to “total Yogi”, some of us started this session with more apprehension than others. However, it quickly became clear that any trepidation was misplaced, as our instructor Anika guided us through a series of poses with options for every level. Where we were unsteady on our feet, Anika reminded us to “embrace the wobbles,” the wobbles being the body’s messages to the brain for it to formulate a steadying reaction.


At the time, I took this to mean the physical wobbles, but reflecting on it, I think that is a nice metaphor for mental wobbles as well…


In the afternoon, Anika did a great job of tailoring a workshop on stress relief to a room full of professionals who know and advise our clients on this every day, yet often fail to follow our own advice!


These included a range of tips for us to utilise in the few moments we have between clients, as well as a few things we can do at home to set up or wind down from our day.


They are relatively small simple things, that given the right attitude, we can all do them!

Some of the things we were reminded to do:

• Mindfully get out in nature, actively feel the sun on your face, hear the wind in the trees, listen to the birds or hunt out some insects or animals.

• Pucker up! … seriously, a mindful 6 second kiss, or an in-the-moment face-to-face 20 second hug builds connection, creates physical touch, and builds appreciation between individuals. Just remember to ask first! Or… try it on your pet…

• Consider moving as a way to create stillness. When trying to meditate sitting still it often feels unnatural to tell our minds to switch off and the opposite can happen, which then feels like failure. So, allow yourself to try to quiet your mind while moving. You might want to try this via a stretching meditation, a walking meditation, or even while doing a daily task such as brushing your teeth.

• Seek out creative and artistic ways to express yourself. Something as simple as sitting and colouring in, using your hands to build something, bake a cake, or write your thoughts down in a diary. You never know, you may just have that great novel in you busting to get out.


It was a great day to take some self-care with our colleagues and ask each other, R U OK?


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