Lunch Break: Creative Habits at Work

Never before has mental health been at the forefront of conversations about the workplace. It's time for normalising self-care at work!

In a post-covid world, we have seen so directly that so many people have experienced challenges around identity, connection, grief, fear, change, loss and trauma. Normalising self-care and practicing this at work is the most effective tool and practice in prevention of a negative and mentally unhealthy workplace culture.

Lunch Break is a program designed to be a short and sweet experience of learning creative habits and tools for self-care, that can be done and implemented at work. This evidence-based approach brings playful acts of creativity, along with some simple tools so that people have a creative first aid kit of strategies to do when they notice signs of strain and stress.

Overwhelmingly, research and evidence shows that getting support, enacting targeted self-care, and noticing early - the signs of stress to our mental health, gives us the greatest chance of bringing ourselves back to health. Early intervention means learning to notice those warning signs, and taking action. And that's what Lunch Break is all about!

At MakeShift, we have seen and heard first-hand the impact of unsupported mental health issues in the workplace. Our pilot 8 week program has worked with people on workers' compensation claims, with a Psychological Injury. This means people whose work has triggered and caused a mental health issue, often significant, such as PTSD, and resulting in people unable to work at all, and in a long journey of recovery.

We know that experiencing a mental illness or significant issue at work, or in life, requires a whole-of-life response for recovery - therapy, support networks, positive habits for self care. But normalising the conversation, and making mental care and self-care a non-negotiable part of our day, is a powerful and effective approach to prevention.

Signing up to Lunch Break involves joining a weekly one hour zoom, for 4 weeks, and undertaking the following program:

Session 1: A Dose of Drawing with Marcelo Baez

Learn that you can, in fact, draw, and that drawing is a really great tool in regulating our nervous system, becoming grounded, reducing anxiety and overwhelm, and promoting mindfulness - even if it's just for 5 minutes!

Session 2: The Window of Tolerance with MakeShift

Every single person moves up and down on a spectrum of being inside a window of comfort - where we feel present, connected, able to think logically, be creative, have empathy, and problem solve.

When we are pushed outside our window, we can experience things like insomnia, anxious thoughts, numbness, lack of motivation, hypervigilance, and stress. This session helps you learn how to recognise when you are starting to move outside your window of tolerance, what this can looks like, and most importantly, what you can do about it.

Session 3: Creative Writing with award winning novelist Helena Fox.

Join award-winning writer Helena as she shares a few impactful, powerful prompts for a creative writing habit. This is not about writing about your feelings, but writing for play, delight and to calm our overwrought nervous systems!

Session 4: A Picture Prescription with Josh Heath

Seeing our world through a new lens can be a refreshing shift in our way of thinking and looking at things. Using the tool of photography, with our phones, join photographer and artist Josh Heath for a collaborative photography process called the 'Digital Doldrums".

Learn to notice and build the muscle of finding small frames of curiosity, beauty and wonder in your day, through a visual journal, shared or solo.

The Lunch Break Program is made possibly by a NSW Government Recovery Boost Grant.

Free Taster Sessions for Leaders and HR professional are open now, and signing up is just $100 for the 4 sessions, with dates starting in May and running all year.


Taking Care of Mental Health in the Creative Industries

Mental illnesses affect those in creative industries at higher rates than the rest of the Australian population. Here are some of our favourite stories from people in the creative industries and how they manage their mental health.

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Lunch Break: Creative Habits at Work

Never before has mental health been at the forefront of conversations about the workplace. It's time for normalising self-care at work!

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In the Making : A Podcast!

In the Making a podcast by Makeshift that explores creativity as a prescription for challenging times. Featuring interviews with makers and artists who share their personal stories of how creative practices have helped them through tough times. The conversations are rich, insightful and illuminate the myriad ways that creativity (in all its many forms!) can be a true lifesaver during difficult periods of our lives.

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