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How To Nurture Your Hustle

Molly McLaughlin

Mental wellness: it’s a hugely important topic, though too often ignored.

But on Friday 23 March, a panel of Canberra’s most inspirational women will come together to shine a light on the issue.

‘How To Nurture Your Hustle – Finding Your Way Back In The Dark’, CPA Australia’s second Women’s Leadership Lunch, will provide advice and tools to help overcome the obstacles that many women face in their daily lives.

With a panel featuring entertainment reporter and radio personality Maz Compton, Canberra’s dessert queen and founder of Invincible She Camille Aniversario, clinical psychologist from Lifeline Dr Sally Bradford, and radio and social media superstar Tanya Hennessy, the lunch will be a unique chance to gain diverse perspectives on women’s experiences.

As Dr Bradford explains, most women tend to try to do everything alone, even when their mental health is suffering, and this needs to change.

“Most women do not seek help from a psychologist unless they have a specific mental health disorder and are referred by their doctor.  Instead, they tend to go on struggling alone, trying to be ‘superwoman’.

“It’s important for women to seek help when they are feeling overwhelmed by any issue—just like we regularly exercise our bodies, we should regularly dedicate time to support our wellbeing.”

As women have more opportunities in the workplace, Dr Bradford says it is important to have a balance between working hard and getting the necessary support.

“Seeing other women in leadership positions can motivate and inspire some women to work towards roles they may not have considered possible.  If women are supported and mentored throughout this journey their self-esteem and overall well-being is likely to improve; however, without support and guidance women may feel overwhelmed and stressed and their mental health is likely to be negatively impacted.”

Fellow panelist Camille Aniversario knows all too well how hard it can be to seek help. In 2014, she escaped a violent domestic situation and found herself overwhelmed by legal bills and endless appointments, as well as caring for a then two-year-old daughter.

“For a minute, I let the weight of the situation get on top of me,” she says. “But one day, as clichéd as it sounds, I simply got tired of being a victim. I stopped looking to others for the answers and decided to save myself. By no means did I do this alone though—I leant on my loved ones, our legal team and some fabulous health professionals.”

Eventually, Camille was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and her daughter was diagnosed with Early Childhood Trauma Syndrome.

“The stigma surrounding ‘getting help’ is fierce, but my diagnosis of PTSD put to bed the feelings of guilt and shame. It helped me finally come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t crazy or dramatic. That what we experienced was real and it was awful. This then set me on the path to recovery for both my daughter and I. It gave me somewhere to start.”

Today, Camille is a successful small business owner and mother of three daughters, so empowering women is a cause close to her heart.

“I recently experienced an incredibly traumatic birth in welcoming my twin girls,” she explains. “I have always prided myself as being someone who could take on the world and ‘do it all’. My birth experience taught me that I am not infallible and that I need to make changes and put myself and my family first and foremost.”

Similarly, Dr Bradford emphasises that there is no shame in prioritising yourself and your mental health.

“Any changes to diet, sleep or mood that last for more than a few days without an identified reason should be considered warning signs,” she says.

“If women find themselves feeling particularly teary, moody or avoiding people or situations they used to enjoy they should also seek help.”

In the workplace, nurturing your hustle means looking after yourself so you can reach your full potential.

“It’s important that everyone is clear about your values (and I definitely do not always practice what I preach,)” says Dr Bradford.

“But if you don’t provide good self-care your work will suffer.  We should also be pushing our workplaces to be ‘organisations of choice’ that value employee self-care and a work/life balance. If you are in a position of leadership, set the good example for your staff and other women around you. Take your leave and go home on time more often than not!”

The CPA Women’s Leadership Lunch will be offering the perfect incentive to take that break—Goodwill Getaways have also donated a holiday package to Queenstown in New Zealand which will be part of an auction prize on the day. All proceeds will go towards Lifeline Canberra.

the essentials 

What: CPA Women’s Leadership Lunch
When: 12.30 pm–2.30 pm on 23 March 2018
Where: Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton
How much: $90 for members and $110 for non-members
Tickets: www.cpaaustralia.com.au

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Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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