It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

But what’s not okay is to not to talk to someone. The events in Christchurch last month have affected people in many different ways. “New Zealanders can choose to re inflate their “protective bubbles” as soon as possible after the Christchurch shootings or keep them deflated and “see the world as it really is” — disaster mental health expert Dr Sarb Johal. 

“It will take courage to choose to live in deflated bubbles for longer. But by doing so, Kiwis may be better able to rebuild trust and reshape society.” You can read Dr Sarb Johals full blog post here

After the recent events in Christchurch our teams have been supported by onsite EAP professionals, and employees took this opportunity to talk to someone about how they were feeling. If your business has this available we urge you to promote it within your workplace. 

Our mental health awareness training (Psychological First Aid) has been designed to support the breaking down of the stigmas around mental health, to increase our knowledge and understanding of mental health as a spectrum and to be more accepting and tolerant towards those who might be faced with concerns around their own mental health.

It is developed to also to enable the impact of stress on an individual, the importance of resilience and the impact that has in the workplace. In order for us to break down the stigma around mental health the model has to facilitate sensitivity, openness and honesty in talking and sharing. 

To learn more about our psychological first aid you can contact our team on 0800 487 439 or email

Managing Workplace Stress


The Mental Health Foundation is calling for 2019 to be the year that workplace stress is taken seriously. Results of a survey they carried out show that high workloads, poor work/life balance and stressful work are the top three causes of poor mental health at work. 

Mental Health Foundation chief Executive Shaun Robinson says “How we feel at work impacts not just our ability to work well, but our relationships with our colleagues, whānau, friends and communities. When our mental health is impacted by stress at work, the effects ripple out into our home and whānau lives and prevent us from flourishing.”

They have developed a free resource Minimising and managing work place stress which is designed to help workplaces tackle stress head-on and forms part of their Working Well resources. It is designed to support understanding around workplace stress, including how work impacts stress, how stress impacts individuals and what works to minimise and manage stress.

Good mental health leads to better engagement, reduced absenteeism and higher productivity, while also improving wellbeing, morale and job satisfaction. 

The resources are all available for free from the Mental Health Foundation here. 

How’s your mate? Be aware of mental health this Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month. If there’s ever a time as a male to think about your personal health, now is the time to do it. This month we have been discussing men’s health issues and what you can do to improve.

So far we’ve covered three topics for Men’s Health Month:

For our final Men’s Health Month post, we want to talk about Mental Health.

Read more →

When you look down, can you see your toes? Lose some stomach fat for Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month. If there’s ever a time as a male to think about your personal health, now is the time to do it. Over the next month we’ll be discussing men’s health issues and what you can do to improve.

In our first Men’s Health Month post, we talked about why you should get a regular check up with the doctor. Last week we discussed excessive sugar consumption and why you should cut back. This week’s subject is stomach fat.

When you look down, can you see your toes? Or is your stomach fat getting in the way?

Read more →

Cut back on the sugar this Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month. If there’s ever a time as a male to think about your personal health, now is the time to do it. Over the next month we’ll be discussing men’s health issues and what you can do to improve.

Last week we talked about why you should get a regular check up with the doctor. This week we’re talking about sugar, and why you should cut down on it.

There is really no benefit to added sugar. It contains no essential nutrients, it’s bad for your teeth and liver, and can contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Read more →

Keeping Well This Winter 

Looking after yourself over the winter months is incredibly important for your health and wellbeing. We have put together 5 helpful tips to help you stay on track.

1. Keep Hydrated

Our bodies are largely made up of water, so it is important to consume enough for our body to function at its best. Remember to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Hot herbals teas or warm water flavoured with ginger and/or lemon are also a good way to warm up over winter, while keeping hydrated.

2. Eat Well

Choose to eat healthy foods. This will help build your immune system. Make sure to include fresh vegetables with some lean protein. Eat with the season and embrace the produce of the season. Look to reduce your sugar and salt intake as well. For a healthy low cost winter recipe, Healthy Food Guide has a great recipe for Winter Lentil Soup Recipe.

3. Stay Active

There are many benefits from daily exercise – Yoga, stretching and walking are great ways to keep moving. A 30 minute walk outdoors will expose you to fresh air, help strengthen your body and improve weight management, and lift you mood and overall feeling of wellbeing.

4. Get a Good Sleep

Regular sleep is vital to wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

5. Wash Your Hands

Winter illnesses are easily spread by hands and these simple prevention methods are often overlooked. Wash your hands regularly (and thoroughly) with soap for 20 seconds helps prevent the spread and control of infection, especially after going to the bathroom or before preparing food.

Healthy Vitamin C Rich Chicken Stirfry Recipe

Stir Fried Chicken with Basmati rice

One our Occupational Health Nurses, Penelope Fleming, was tasked with crafting  a healthy, but also simple, recipe for one of our clients to share with their busy team.

This simple but tasty Chicken Stirfry is rich in Vitamin C and is made from readily available ingredients. The vegetables are packed with Vitamin C for better health over the winter months, and the basmati rice has a favourable effect on blood glucose.

Serves 2 (easy to double to serve 4)


1 skinless chicken breast or 200gm chicken tenderloins (approx. 100gm per serving)

1 clove of garlic (or 1tsp crushed garlic from a jar)

2-3 medium sized carrots

1 small head of broccoli

1 small or ½ a large capsicum (red, orange, yellow or green)

1-2 tsp soya bean, rice bran or canola oil

1 whole star anise (optional)

½ Cup vegetable stock or boiling water

¼ Cup of uncooked Basmati rice


1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp fish sauce (optional)

¼ tsp Chinese five spice

1 heaped tsp cornflour to thicken


Slice chicken breast/tenderloins into bite sized pieces and set aside on a separate board from the vegetables to avoid cross contamination from raw chicken

Peel and finely dice garlic clove

Finely slice or julienne carrot sticks

Finely slice capsicum or cut into chunks if preferred

Slice broccoli into bite sized pieces

Combine the sauce ingredients into a separate bowl or jug


Heat wok or wide based frying pan for up to one minute on high heat, add oil to hot pan, then add star anise and chicken.  Keep stirring and cook until juices run clear (smaller pieces will cook through faster).

Remove chicken from pan and add garlic, carrot and broccoli with a second tsp of oil if required. Turn heat down and stir continuously for about 1 minute.

Add vegetable stock or boiling water and steam with lid on for another minute (approximately).

Add the spice and sauce mixture to the pan and quickly stir.

Add more fluid if needed to coat the vegetables.

Return chicken to pan and stir to combine.


Serve the stir fry with half a cup of cooked basmati rice and garnish with chopped cashews if desired.

Rice Notes:
¼ Cup of uncooked rice converts to approx ½ Cup when cooked.
Basmati rice has a favourable effect on blood glucose.

Stress is contagious

Stress is contagious

According to a recent study conducted by psychologists at Saint Louis University, stress is just as easy to catch as a cold or the flu. Researchers asked study participants to perform a stress-inducing activity, such as solving a complex math problem or speaking in front of an audience. A second group of participants looked on while the task was being completed.

The researchers found the observing participants showed elevated levels of stress after watching a fellow human complete the anxiety-inducing activity. Participants’ stress levels were determined based on their cortisol (often referred to as the ‘stress hormone’) levels and heart rates.

“To find that in some people, some of the time, you can elicit these responses just by sitting and watching someone else under stress was somewhat surprising to us,” Tony Buchanan, associate professor at Saint Louis University’s Department of Psychology, told ABC News.

Of course, this topic has been studied before. A study conducted by the University of California found mothers who were separated from their babies and then asked to participate in a stress-inducing activity were likely to transmit their anxiety levels to their children. When reunited with their stressed mothers, the babies were likely to mirror the parents’ elevated heart rates.

What does this tell us about stress and the human body?

Stress isn’t just an emotional state, it’s a physical one as well. When we are stressed, our bodies secrete cortisol as part of a fight-or-flight cocktail that diminishes our inhibitions and encourages us to take risks – great for helping our paleolithic ancestors manoeuvre their way out of dangerous situations, but not so great for those of us trying to adhere to a healthy diet. If we are stressed and our cortisol levels elevated, we are likely to make impulsive decisions about our health.

Consistently elevated stress levels are also known to weaken the immune system. Anxiety and stress can lead to sleep deprivation, emotional eating (which can interfere with our attempts at eating a balanced, healthful diet), and negative interactions in our personal relationships.

How can we minimise the spread of stress?

Now that we know it’s possible to spread stress to others, we must take responsibility for our own stress levels. By doing so, we’ll avoid transmitting stress to our co-workers, partners, friends and family members.

Meditation and deep breathing are great stress combatants. As trite as it may sound, taking a few moments to close your eyes and count to 10 when you feel stress coming on can help slow your heart rate and stabilise the secretion of cortisol. You may also want to incorporate a holistic relaxing activity, such as yoga or massage, into your weekly routine.

You can also help maintain balance within your body by doing what you can to keep your blood pressure levels in check. Regular exercise and a diet containing moderate levels of cholesterol will go a long way toward helping you stay calm.

Finally, do your best to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. A well-rested person is more likely to meet stressful situations with calm and rational behaviour. If you suffer from insomnia, night terrors or other sleep disorders, consider herbal supplements that will support restful sleep. Getting into a nightly routine (ideally devoid of computer or TV stimulation) will also help calm your body and mind before bed.

(Article sourced from See full link here)

Is stress an issue in your workplace? Contact Fleur on (03) 341 4087 or to have a chat about how TriEx can help.

Wellness Accessible for All Workplaces

There are many ways in which workplaces can start to address wellness and health promotion. Providing relevant information to employees regarding health is key.

TriEx are creating a range of free resources that your workplace can access at any time, starting with a number of free articles relating to Spring and Summer wellness topics.

The end of the year is approaching and soon many employees will take leave. Reminding our people on ways to keep both them and their families and friends safe and well is important. Read on for tips on staying hydrated …

As our NZ summer approaches it’s time to think about staying hydrated.

Dehydration may be responsible for your back pain, or problems with short-term memory, difficulty with eye focus, kidney stones, bladder infections, dry skin, and constipation. It is also the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. Drinking enough water can also significantly reduce your chances of getting colon, breast, and kidney cancer and problems with obesity.

Read more →