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Mindfulness and Selfcare...

8 Dec 2013 4:45 PM - Snippets from the Gawler Foundation Sustainable Wellbeing conference 2013
Shaking the Tree Choir...fabulous!

I recently attended the Gawler Foundation Sustainable Wellbeing conference.  This is probably the 4th time I have attended in the last 8 or so years.  If you don’t know the Gawler Foundation, they are based in the Yarra Valley and provide diet and lifestyle programmes to assist people primarily living with cancer or multiple sclerosis.  I like to attend as someone who has had first-hand experience of having a cancer as well as to broaden my professional knowledge.

There were many wonderful speakers over the two days but here are just a couple of the things I took away with me:

Rasmus Hougaard from the Potential Project spoke about mindfulness and its benefits for our wellbeing.  He says many of us live in the P.A.I.D. world…Pressured, Always “on”, Information overloaded and Distracted.  Consequently we have difficulty being in the moment.  There are so many distractions and things pulling us in multiple directions simultaneously.  And it has been shown that our wellbeing is at its best when we are in the present moment…regardless of what we are doing at that moment.  As he says...It’s pleasant to be present”. 

I believe there is something to that and practicing mindfulness is certainly a part of my clinical approach with many of my clients.  It can be very helpful.

His advice is to drop the multitasking, focus on doing one thing at a time and take regular breaks of 30 seconds to a couple of minutes to focus on a few deep breaths.

Professor Marc Cohen spoke about wellness and the importance of prevention of illness.  He believes the best prevention for chronic illness or disease is to be the healthiest we can be.  This gives us the greatest buffer between us and illness.  However, many of us live with “average” health.

Again, I agree with this sentiment.  Many of us settle for average and put up with annoying little issues until things progress to the point of where we can't ignore them.  If that sounds like you...it's time to give yourself a health audit.

And finally, Dr Helena Popovich reminded us that self-care is not self-ish…you have to live to give!

That sounds like good advice to me....

In good health,


Kaye Wright
Naturopath
Melbourne CBD

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