Recharge over summer for a more productive New Year

We all want to get ahead with work, but what about keeping up with our self care? This summer break, make sure you actually take a break and spend some time putting yourself first.


While there are many approaches you can take to recharging, let’s just take a look at three areas to focus on:


We cannot function adequately without rest. Treat yourself to sleep ins when possible, do things that help you sleep well and give your body rest when it needs it.

There’s a strange sense of negativity towards napping in Australia, yet in many countries a siesta is more than acceptable. While you have some flexibility in your days, give it a try! The whole family could benefit from an afternoon snooze!

Almost half of all year 7 to 12 students self-reported that they do not even manage to get a minimum of eight hours sleep each night, according to our 2016/2017 survey data. Yet as little as half an hour of extra shut eye can improve mood, energy levels, productivity, memory and physical reflexes. Use the summer holiday time to remember just how wonderful a good night’s sleep feels.


Food is fuel, but every machine needs the right fuel to run at its best. Nourish yourself with tasty, healthy foods that work for your body. Be mindful about what goes in so you can make the most of every day and feel good from the inside out.

Making time for exercise is another way to take care of your body. This time of year presents many opportunities for walks on the beach, swimming and exploring.

While 53 per cent of students in years 7 to 12 self-report that they keep fit and eat well, that leaves plenty of room for improvement.

Use the break to set up some healthy habits. The key is to make exercise and healthy eating a normal part of your life, so approach in a way that is sustainable for your family’s lifestyle.


How many things have you talked about wanting to do this year? Now, how many of those things have you actually done? Chances are, not many (for some of us, maybe none at all).

Take the time to DO over the holiday period. Better still, choose to do things that involve participation within your communities. Our Resilience Survey data in 2017 shows that as many as 42 per cent of males in years 7 through 12 did not feel a sense of community belonging, as well as 35 per cent of females.

A sense of overall belonging is a notable contributor to resilience, so use the summer break to encourage the young people in your life to get involved in the community, and set an example yourself. Chances are you’ll have fun too!

Some ideas include:

  • Start volunteering in your area of interest/passion, or for an organisation/person you admire. 

  • Join a ukulele group or community choir

  • Check, Gumtree or your local neighbourhood house/community centre for activities and groups you've always wanted to do

  • Start yarn-bombing

  • Introduce yourself to your neighbours at the local community garden, or talk to the council about starting one

  • Find a book or movie club

  • Connect with a music jam, poetry reading or song-writing collective

There’s a whole year ahead to mull over work. Take care of yourself now and give yourself the down time you have deserved, and you’ll have a more productive New Year anyway!

Andrew Wicking