Welcome to our Thriver of the Month series, where we profile superstar Active & Thriving users who are kicking goals and climbing the leaderboards, showing us how it’s done. We’re starting off the series with Sue from the University of Queensland, who has been using the A&T app to enhance a healthier and more mindful lifestyle.
Could you tell us a little about yourself and your current role at UQ Wellness?
Sue Weir, working as Executive Assistant to Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Infrastructure) at The University of Queensland.
My role is sedentary, busy and sometimes stressful so this challenge for mind and body was excellent. I have worked for the University for nearly ten years and absolutely love my job and team. I am nearly 60 years old and have always done exercise for myself or in a group – swimming, yoga, gym – as it feels good to be pain free and mobile.
As kindness and social activity are just as important, I am in a book club, nurture our friendships and practice a ‘glass half full’ mentality – high on the list of priorities for everyday living.
In the past 12 months, have you started/stopped any routines or habits to improve your health and wellbeing?
As the work days are sometimes unpredictably long, my preferred gym sessions are now 5.30-6.15am, every week day. No more excuses for missing any sessions because of work. This means afternoon walks or activities are a bonus. So, we have to go to bed much earlier because of the earlier alarm, but the transition has been easy and the results great. Some days, I can fit in an evening yoga session, or swim. Our weekly team meetings have adopted a different format – sometimes with walks, always ending with trivia questions, so we have got to know each other better along the way.
What does work-life balance mean to you, and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-Life balance is very important as one feeds into the other and affects the balance of calm and wellbeing. If one side of the scales is overloaded, then the other side is affected so setting and keeping boundaries are important. My home office (WFH three days a week) is downstairs and at the end of the day, everything is turned off. So when I go upstairs, that is private and family time. Luckily I don’t have a work mobile, so this transition is easy. I work with incredible colleagues and a wonderful boss who continue to be mutually caring and supportive throughout these uncommon times.
As a Thriver, what impact has Active & Thriving had on your health and wellbeing?
I have learned to take more regular breaks throughout the working day irrespective of how busy it is, reminding myself to focus on breathing properly. Listening to some of the mindfulness recordings has also been a wonderful treat – I’ve especially enjoyed those mini sessions. The impetus to exercise after or during work has been rekindled by seeing all the amazing posts from colleagues. So instead of the customary cuppa and biccie, I’ve been more motivated to get off the couch and walk down the road to the park for our end of the day routine, which has been lovely (for my waistline as well). My husband has closed his business and is now at home following a stroke a few days before this competition started, so we have been blessed that his recovery has been so steady. For me, participating in Active and Thriving has ensured my own mental and physical wellbeing remained upbeat and fuelled with enthusiasm and gratitude, instead of negativity for what we cannot control. This has had a positive effect on my outlook to our situation. We always eat healthily, cooking most of our meals from scratch with salads, but the posts for mid-week meals has also sparked interest in trying something different.