An extended Easter weekend brings us time to stop and spend time with friends and whanau. It also means two short working weeks with the inevitable pressure of getting everything done in less time. We thought it would be timely this week to reflect on the importance of always being well to enable us to do our job well.

Sarah Laurie, founder of Take a Breath, captivated our audience with her scientific, informed and deeply personal presentation at NZPIC24. With changes to our planning system happening at pace, your professional and personal wellbeing has never been more important. One of NZPI’s five Strategic Pillars – Pou is Membership, where we work to give members a sense of pride and belonging. We want to retain planners in the profession, gain your trust and help to look after your mental health. Here’s some highlights from Sarah’s session, kindly brought to conference by SparkIoT.

Who knew how powerful our bodies can be. Our Reticulated Activator System is our filter but when it can’t keep up with what’s coming at us and the filter breaks down. This is when we experience overwhelm. Sound familiar? We can always change our course.

  • Start by taking the time to be proactive, deliberate about what your priority is this week. This will help you to reduce the impact of these other things.
  • Think about the energy you have based on who you spend time with. We can learn in part by mimicking the behaviour of others, and inevitably our energy is affected by other people.
  • Explore the science of joy and downtime.

Your brain does more important work when you’re in downtime than any other time. It’s where we restore our memory, become more productive, and join the dots in life. We need to counter the fact that even at the traffic lights, we pick up our phones. But our brains are not designed to be hyper focused all the time. In the days when we didn’t have mobile phones or computers that drove the work we do, we went home at the end of the day and that was it. We’ve lost that, and in our thirst for keeping busy we keep cutting down our down time.

Sarah says that we fall into the trap of thinking that joy is something that only happens when we’ve done our work, a nice to have, and that we don’t have time in our lives for joy. But to be healthy and balanced we need to find joy at all times and in whatever we’re doing.

Our brains look for patterns. We fall into a state of mind, often one of being constantly on high alert. Think about how it takes time to wind down while on holiday and find a new pattern.

Sarah shared access to her Take a Breath App and has invited planners to share this access with friends, family colleagues. To download the Take a Breath App for free, sign-up using Voucher Code TABGIFT24.

Compete the 7 Day Challenge and use the Breath-trainer and experience the results.

These are all things that allow us to be happy high performing humans in the challenging environment that we work in. Pause and think about what it would look like if you are going to do it differently.