National Psychology Wk jw 1411 001a

Treat yourself to a break this Christmas

With the festive season just around the corner, a celebration of National Psychology Week at University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Fraser Coast on Thursday November 13 offered a timely reminder to students and staff about maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

Visiting psychologist Leisa Roder said the Christmas-New Year period was often a high stress period so for anyone already struggling with life balance, it was important they took some time to relax while keeping up with all the pressures.

“It would be great if everyone practiced looking after themselves and used relaxation and self-care strategies such as exercise at least three to four times a week,” Ms Roder said.

USQ psychology lecturer Dr Michelle Adamson said research showed that making sustainable behaviour change was not a one-off decision but a process involving a number of steps.

Those steps involved wanting change, thinking about the benefits, reflecting on the barriers, making an action plan, taking action, building support, rewarding successes and managing any relapses.

Meanwhile, a report conducted by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) found that, for the first time, men have significantly higher levels of wellbeing than women.

Released to launch National Psychology Week (9-15 November) the Stress and Wellbeing in Australia survey 2014 suggested this year was a tougher for women, with the fairer sex reporting significantly higher levels of stress.

More than half (53%) of Australian women cited personal financial issues as a major source of stress, compared to just 44 per cent of men. Correspondingly, more than half (52%) of all women reported family issues as a major source of stress compared to just 38 per cent of men.

The APS provides a free referral service for the general public, GPs and other health professionals who are seeking the advice and assistance of a psychologist at www.findapsychologist.org.au. To access detailed advice about managing stress, you may view the APS tip-sheet here.

 
Photo: Attending the USQ Fraser Coast National Psychology Week breakfast celebration are (l-r) USQ lecturer Dr Michelle Adamson, psychologist Leisa Roder, Judy McLaughlin and Denise Girdlestone.
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