Positive Pause – 12th December, 2016 – The Wonder of Oz
My first impression of Sydney was of how incredibly green it is; an appealing combination of the abundance of flowers and trees and of being in a major city at the same time. It also helps that my lovely sister in-law lives in the leafy suburb of Forestville where we were staying. the wonder of Oz
On Tuesday, after claiming that jet lag doesn’t really exist, I found myself in bed wide awake at 4.am, totally confused as to whether it was day or night. I broke my “no device in bed rule” in order to find out not only what
time it was but also what day! In doing this, I stumbled across an article in Psychology Today about the Hadza, an indigenous ethnic group in north-central Tanzania and one of the last remaining hunter/gather peoples in Africa. The article was particularly about the link between their active lifestyle and their very low levels of cardiovascular disease.
Constantly sitting down is the new smoking and a sedentary lifestyle causes untold problems for both physical and mental health.
My sister-in-law is a personal trainer and gives incredible meta-fit classes. This new form of keep-fit is taking off here in Australia and in other places. It is an intense workout that lasts just twenty minutes so I just had to try it. I must confess that while I loved it my muscles were not so forgiving the next day!
The citizens of Australia may not need to forage for food like hunter/gatherers but they certainly appear to get plenty of exercise! Everywhere you look someone is running or doing a boot camp, playing cricket or tennis or football not to mention the surfing and meta-fit classes.
As a country, Australia promotes physical well-being; there are signs everywhere telling you not to drive when you are tired, to drink enough water, to protect yourself from the harmful effects of UV; in some restaurants they even offer complimentary bottles of sunscreen on your table. The wonder of Oz is that it also aware of the importance of good mental health. For example, along the beautiful cliff walk, The Gap, there are signs aimed at those who may be suicidal saying, “We care. We can help. Day or Night ” and a number to call.
If Australia was a mother it would make a very good one, always caring, always protecting and wanting the best for her children; as a result its citizens flourish. There is a real positivity and genuine helpfulness in the people – they stop to ask you if you need help without you even asking, they are inquisitive and stop to have a chat, some people we don’t even know, (neighbours and friends of the family) are lending us their car. In general and from my experience to date, Australians are relaxed, open, friendly and navigate their way through life with an abundance of everything I believe in.
As Christmas approaches and routines start to crack, please emulate the Australian desire for physical exercise by doing some sport or physical exercise. I know we don’t quite enjoy the same climate but make it your business to get out when you can and go to the gym or even do some keep-fit at home. As you know, the mind and body are totally interlinked – the cliche is true:
A healthy body = a healthy mind.
The converse is also true – if you don’t look after your physical healthy your mind will suffer.
I feel very privileged to be here and to see all the wonder of Oz. It is truly amazing to travel to the other side of the world and at the same time feel completely at home in a nation that welcomes me like a long lost daughter and reminds me to take good care of myself. As always, I ask you to do just that.
Please take the time to look at my new weekly video series – Sunday Share & Care – How to Stay Mentally Fit. I share tips, tools, insights that are both practical and informative. The Sunday Share & Care videos teach you to train your brain for positivity.
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