Bodily wellbeing

If you start feeling tight, numb, painful or generally unwell in your body, it can be a sign that you are experiencing stress or traumatic symptoms. It can also be illness-related, so it’s worth visiting your GP to discuss what’s going on.

This topic presents some suggestions for maintaining your sense of bodily wellbeing.

Eating well

The goal here is to include a healthy mix of foods in your everyday diet. This means regular fruit, nuts, seeds, protein and vegetables, and it includes treats and comfort foods.

Sleep

Keeping to a reasonably steady sleep schedule is important, because sleep is when the brain processes the day’s experiences into memories, and also repairs your body.

Exercise

You don’t need to be an athlete to do peer navigation work. Mostly, it’s sitting down. A moderate amount of exercise can help your overall sense of wellbeing – and provide a distraction or transition from work time when you need one. The goal is to do 20 minutes exercise about five times per week. Anything that can raise your heart rate counts, from a brisk walk to a short workout or a brief dance party in your lounge room. You could also propose having walking meetings with your manager/supervisor and workmates.

There are two short work-outs that you can do in just seven minutes:

  1. Workout for people who can do floor work (e.g. lying down)
  2. Workout for people who prefer standing work-outs

It can also be helpful to do some stretching exercises. They can help reduce your tension and maintain good posture and mobility. You may be able to find a stretch class or mat Pilates class, or look up stretches on Youtube.

Alternatively, a physiotherapist or osteopath, or an exercise physiologist, can assess your needs and give you exercises to do at home or in a park. You can ask your GP for a Chronic Disease Management plan (formerly known as Enhanced Primary Care or ‘EPC’) for subsidised access to care from allied health providers.

Accessing health care and support services

Sometimes you may need to access a service provided by your own organisation, or a partner service you have engaged with in your work. The Dual Role principle indicates that peer navigators have the right to access services as well as being a worker/provider, and requires that providers treat navigators with confidentiality and respect. You can be upfront ‘today I am here as a client and outside this room I am your colleague.’

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