Taking time to rejuvenate and reflect

Mark Aitken
When going through periods of change it can be integral to take some time to reflect and rejuvenate, our Stakeholder Engagement Manager Mark Aitken looks at why and how you can do this. He also introduces this bumper edition of the newsletter and a special new member of the Nurse & Midwife Support team.

taking time to rest


Welcome to the Summer 2020/2021 edition of the Nurse & Midwife Support newsletter.

To say that 2020 was a rough year would be an understatement. I don’t need to remind you about the challenges and impacts many nurses and midwives experienced and continue to face. You lived it! Some challenges were shared and others were unique to you. Whatever your experience of 2020 I hope you are OK and have had or are planning a well-earned break.

As we start exploring 2021, you may be experiencing a mixture of feelings about what you have experienced and what may still be to come. I certainly can’t wait for “precedented times” and I imagine you can’t either. The ongoing feeling of ‘what next?’ can be particularly exhausting.

While there continue to be many things that are out of our personal control, we can still try to identify elements of our lives that we can control. For example, you could try to improve your health through:

You can also give us a call any time. Whether you need to debrief after bad day or you are in the midst of a larger life or career event, you can call us anytime on 1800 667 877.

Taking time out

If you feel exhausted, give yourself time to decompress, rest, restore and renew your energy. I recently wrote a piece on the value of taking time to reflect on your experience of 2020. I considered the piece for a long time. It’s been a slow process because good reflection takes purpose, time and attention. Like many, 2020 had me caught up in the doing and the emotion of my experience. As I look back on last year I’ve found it useful to reflect and make sense of all 2020 has served up.

Taking a break from work is vital to restoring your energy and wellbeing. Planning and booking a holiday are a big part of the joy of a break. As Australia opens our borders, more travel options may have become available to you. It is a great opportunity to explore our wonderful country. I recently read Welcome to Country, Professor Marcia Langton AM’s travel guide to indigenous Australia.

It reminded me of the long and rich history of our country and the varied ways we can experience and celebrate indigenous culture. I’m planning time off to experience some of what this country has to offer and immerse myself in new experiences. I hope you to have a holiday planned or one to look forward to.

Navigating through life phases

This edition of our newsletter is on life phases and career transition. Important topics to explore as many of you may be contemplating change in 2021. How you navigate life and career milestones, opportunities and challenges can define how your career plays out.

Planning is key to success and ensuring you make decisions that serve your best interests. Accessing the support and guidance of a career coach, mentor or respected friend and colleague can be a useful way to assist you to toss around the options, explore the possibilities and decide what to do next. It may be a new job, a promotion, study, a new career direction, spending more time with family or your retirement. If you are thinking about these issues and want support or to talk it through with a nurse or midwife please contact Nurse & Midwife Support on 1800 667 877.

In this issue . . .

In the newsletter we asked nurses and midwives to share their wisdom, experience, tips and resources hoping they will assist you navigate the complexities of making decisions related to your life and career.

A veteran nurse, Cally Berryman shares the story of her long, interesting and dedicated career. From her early days of hospital nursing training and the friends and colleagues supporting her success to higher education and her PHD that assisted to shape support services for nurses and midwives. Cally continues to support nurses and midwives through her work at Nurse & Midwife Support.

Celeste Pinney, a midwife passionate about health and wellbeing provides information on the importance of creating habits that assist us with goal attainment, focus and intention, important elements when faced with change and making decisions that affect career and life. Maddi Munro, early career nurse shares her story about how developing a career plan, utilising nurse mentors and being supported to attend a career defining conference have helped her shape her career and feel supported.

Nicole Nash-Arnold registered nurse and coach shares her advice for nurses and midwives feeling unhappy and lost in their career. Nicole states the answer might lie in a framework from Japanese philosophy — ikigai. Read more to learn about this fascinating philosophy that may be just what you need to shift your career.


On our summer newsletter podcast Your Health Matters, I talk to two inspiring nurses and a passionate midwife at different stages of their career. They share insights, reflections, tips, strategies and resources that have assisted them to make decisions about their life phases and career transitions.

On behalf of the team at Nurse & Midwife Support, I would like to acknowledge and thank YOU. The incredible work nurses and midwives have done in 2020 this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife has been admirable and humbling. The global pandemic catapulted our professions into the spotlight, reminding the world that nurses and midwives are highly educated, agile, skilled and vital to the health and wellbeing of others.

2021 may not have started the way many wished. With COVID-19 cases bouncing around in some parts of Australia, borders closing and opening, Christmas and New Year plans changed or stalled, holiday makers stuck far from home and events in many other countries unsettling. Many remain exhausted. That longed for holiday and rest may be still a dream.


I found it comforting to stay local and enjoy the staycation (a holiday spent in one's home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions). I’ve enjoyed reading, gardening, spending time with family and friends, listening to podcasts and long chats with those who make my heart sing. Best of all I adopted a new puppy that has me besotted — and so did my teammate Lauren!


We're all experiencing 'puppy love' at Nurse & Midwife Support.

If you have your own bundle of joy send me a pic we would love to share it with our community to spread some joy.

I’m being optimistic about some “precented times” appearing on the horizon soon. I hope you have found some joy, peace and rest in your neck of the woods. If you need someone to chat to Nurse & Midwife Support is available 24/7 on 1800 667 877.

Mark Aitken RN

Stakeholder Engagement Manager

Nurse & Midwife Support