Hireup Sessions 3: What is wellbeing?


“Why is it so hard to say nice things to ourselves?” was the question asked by Dr Madeleine Ferrari during our last Hireup Session. Madeleine and our other panellists including Emily Dash, Sarah Harvey and Dom Greenwood discussed the concept of wellbeing, what it meant to them, the value they placed on it and what it looked like to each of them day-to-day.

To keep the conversation going we’ve pulled together some our biggest takeaways from the evening. If you didn’t manage to catch the panel discussion on the night, you can find the captioned version here.

Be self compassionate and practice gratitude

Motivational speaker, author and actor Emily Dash started the conversation by explaining what’s worked for her. By practicing gratitude daily and having a list of the things she’s grateful for in her life, Emily says she’s able to continually find positives while reflecting, even when things aren’t necessarily going to plan.

Clinical psychologist and lecturer at ACU, Dr Madeleine Ferrari echoed that sentiment, saying it’s so easy to compliment and lift your friends, family and colleagues… yet so hard to be self-compassionate and forgiving of yourself. Self-compassion has been a focus for much of her PHD and she’s found that it’s about patience, practice and finding what works for you on your journey.

Find your supports, your way

The panel acknowledged that wellbeing means distinct things to everyone, with different approaches working for different individuals. One theme that they did agree on was the fact that humans are ‘hardwired’ for connection and relationships. There’s no correct way to find supports, but Dom Greenwood, a Hireup support worker, has found that confiding in close, trustworthy friends, as well as using the services of a psychologist has been vitally beneficial in maintaining his overall sense of wellbeing, particularly when things aren’t going so well.

Sarah Harvey, a parent whose children use Hireup for supports, has found a busy schedule and competing priorities to be difficult at times, yet has found different strategies to help her practice wellbeing, no matter how much time she has.

“When I have twenty seconds to myself, when I’ve got five minutes, or half a day…what do I like to do to relax?” – Sarah Harvey

For Sarah, It’s about finding time to prioritise her own self care and understanding reality, even if it can be overwhelming or alienating. “Taking those small steps has helped it become part of my ID”.

Understand the power of a conversation

While the panel could only share their perspective, they did understand the simple and effective power of having a conversation. If there aren’t those people in your life who you feel comfortable talking to and opening up to regarding wellness, “it’s OK to see someone… everyone goes through periods of stress” said Madeleine.

Our next Hireup Session will explore how Hireup fits into the context of the NDIS, it’s core principles and how users can think outside the box when it comes to receiving and providing support. You can register for the session here.


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