Corporate Wellbeing Specialist

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Sarah McGuinness / Blog  / Insights
Five tips take care festive season

Five tips to take care this festive season

Those long summer days are so close now that it's almost possible to taste the sweet ice-cream and feel the sticky sunscreen mixed with sand. While the summer festive season can be a wonderful time to take a break from the pressures of work and other commitments, it can also be a stressful time for many. It can be tricky navigating the expectations of family, friends, and colleagues, and managing the rituals of socialising with food and alcohol. Add in travel commitments, financial pressures, school holidays and the rest, and it's easy to see why most people look a little tired and in need of a chance to take care. Certainly, I know what it's like trying to juggle it all and can emphasize with the pressure...

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Give up guilt for good: What you need to know

One night after work last year, I was sitting in a large auditorium, full of busy professional women, listening to advice on wellbeing. Much of it was good advice but were a few things that set off little red flags in my head. And no sooner had the presentation finished when one of the women turned to me and said, “Oh I feel so guilty, I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to drink tap water. I thought it was ok. How am I going to afford a filter on my tap?” Now you might laugh at that statement and think, "how could she think that?" But I was so mad that this woman had come away from the presentation believing her efforts to take care of herself...

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Upcoming teachers’ strike: Tips for parents and workplaces

While the details of the upcoming nationwide teachers strike on Wednesday 29 May are not yet clear, many working parents will already be wondering how to accommodate children not able to attend school on that day? New Zealand has over 800,000 primary and secondary school students, which means it is likely to be a very disruptive day for families and businesses around the country. For some working parents, it will be relatively easy day to manage. However, for other working parents, particularly those in customer-facing industries or industries with higher health and safety risks, the day may prove more challenging to negotiate with children in tow. Here are three tips for workplaces, and three tips for parents to help make the day a little easier for everyone.   Tips for workplaces: 1....

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To my darling daughter: What I can say about body image

I had been dreading it. I knew, despite my best efforts, it would only be a matter of time before it happened. And then suddenly, we were there, having that conversation - my four-year old daughter and me. As we climbed into the car after pre-school, she touched her hair tentatively and said to me, "Mumma, do I have boy hair? The other children say I have boy hair because my hair is short and curly. But I’m not a boy, am I Mumma?” “I wish my hair was long and straight and pretty like the other girls, so I looked like a girl." At that moment, my brain froze. I wanted to scream. I wanted to undo time so that I could have done something – anything...

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Story behind the self care cards

Self care is one of the most important things you can do for your mental fitness and wellbeing, and for living a balanced life. Yet, I know from my professional and personal experience, most of us struggle to make the time. Recognising there was a need for a resource that would make self care easy and accessible, I set about designing something I would happily give to friends and family during times of celebration, and times of stress and sorrow. I wanted the resource to be compassionate, welcoming, thoughtful and practical, and something that could be used anywhere. After much thought, the pack of 30 self care cards was born. The self care idea on each card is drawn from my psychology background and experience as a wife, mum, friend, colleague, sister, and...

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NZ workplace wellness trends 2018

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M93PCtlZrKA[/embed] Over the past few months, I've interviewed a number of organisations about workplace wellness. I wanted to understand what was really happening out there - rather than what the stats were telling us. I uncovered some interesting trends, and those trends have, in part, changed my focus for the year. Watch the video to find out more, and if you can relate to my findings on workplace wellness champions - drop me a line! Love to hear from you. Join our champions group and get the support you need to make a difference in your organisation....

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What is wellness?

What is wellness? That’s probably the question I get asked most often. In my new ‘whiteboard sessions’ series for 2018, we’ll explore what it means to be healthy and happy – at work and at home. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO7YhZR-yM0[/embed] In this first session, find out what wellness means and why there is often a disconnect between what employees and what organisations view wellness as being. I hope these sessions will give you a chance to ask your burning questions on health and wellbeing at work and home. Have a question you’d like answered on a whiteboard session? Email us via the contacts page....

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Giving back through wellness

We all have a responsibility to inspire and enable wellbeing in our community. Here's one idea for your workplace wellbeing programme for 2018.   Wellbeing is not on the agenda One of the greatest challenges for not-for-profit organisations/social enterprises is that there is very little (or none at all!) money to spend on employee wellbeing. One colleague from a not-for-profit recently told me that they couldn’t even afford to buy pens for their employees to use. Yet, her organisation works in an area of the community that requires incredible effort, compassion and dedication. They deal with some incredibly complex situations and the staff desperately need some light relief for their own wellbeing. We know employee wellbeing is critical for organisational and individual success, so it got me thinking about what we could...

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Mentor for social enterprise

[embed]https://youtu.be/EExOMV9TSI8?list=PL229NLDDcsz2LDk7Dywwa1TVrj5qaedyf[/embed] The Social Enterprise World Forum, held in Christchurch in September 2017, was an amazing event for social enterprises to come together from around the globe to learn, share ideas, and network. As part of the Forum, I was privileged to be a mentor on the Kiwibank Mentor Bar. The Mentor Bar was an opportunity for social enterprises to get advice from experienced business professionals on a range different topics – including wellbeing. I met some incredible people doing some amazing work and I wish them all the very best as they start to create real, positive change in our world. Thank you to Kiwibank and ChristchurchNZ, and the many others, who made the event possible.  ...

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Why a fruit bowl is not a wellness plan

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that wellness at their workplace consisted of a fruit bowl, I’d be able to buy an orchard and go into the fruit business myself. Obviously, a fruit bowl is not the juiciest segment of a wellness plan. Don’t get me wrong, I like a fruit bowl. It’s a great start to supporting employee health. However, the weekly fruit bowl doesn’t fulfil all of employees’ wellness needs. At best, it’s a tasty starter. At worst, it’s a “tick and flick” taste test that shows a company “cares”.   Go for larger fruit A fruit bowl can be a bite-sized element of a more substantial strategic approach to wellness. With a more satisfying strategy, you can achieve full organisational change. Ask yourself the...

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Self Care Cards: This year, give the gift that takes care. Dismiss