Be Daring, Be Original, Be You and Celebrate 30 Days Alcohol Free!

Be-Daring-Be-Original-Be-You-and-Celebrate-30-Days-Alcohol-FreeOne of my best moments of celebration was during a family caravan holiday to the Grampians, a beautiful location marked by mountains and forest. Being a couple with young children, our caravan was typically well equipped with every necessity for a happy, enjoyable and relaxing holiday – or so I thought. Unfortunately I made one important oversight – we forgot the board games which were a standard essential for children easily bored and looking to their parents for entertainment (These were the days before iPads and Facebook).

Not to be defeated and with a very fertile imagination, I came up with a game that involved the four of us hunting for clues around the park for the 4 day period. It was a fantastic holiday, made memorable by our family game and the way I celebrated at its completion. I danced, jigged, sung and hollered like a mad woman as I circled around one of the huge trees in the park. I loved it. It felt good. The feeling of happiness, fun, and joy as I gave myself up to that moment of celebration was delicious and infectious and I remember it to this day!

Celebrations are important to our lives. They mark certain moments as meaningful and memorable; opportunities to take time out to acknowledge the significance of who we are, what we have achieved, where we have come from and where we are going. A celebration is like an oasis – an opportunity to relax, recover and be present to the significance of what we have ascribed value to.

I wonder if it is in celebration that we experience the necessary ‘permission’ to be a child again? To laugh loudly and retell family stories, to dance enthusiastically (even if you have ‘two left feet’); to eat good food and recapture the sheer joy of being alive and present to the people you care about. Times like these are priceless.

What are your best memories? Most of us learn ways to celebrate through our family, community and cultural experiences. The things you celebrate, where you celebrate, who you celebrate with and what you consume as you celebrate, are all to a greater or lesser extent, informed by former experiences.

What was the role of alcohol in your childhood experience of celebration? Was it central to the celebration or something of little consequence? In many cultures, including Australia, alcohol is regarded by many to be necessary to ‘having a good time’ because of its power to release inhibitions that generally bind and restrict us. However it is increasingly alarming to observe the negative impact alcohol is having on our society; domestic violence, family and relationship breakdowns, road trauma and acts of violence are being reported by the media every day. We need to turn the tide and one way to do this is to practice ways of celebrating that are less reliant on alcohol and more reliant on your capacity for fun and creativity.

I have great memories of celebrating Australia Day down at the beach with the church community that my family was a part of; getting buried in sand, building sandcastles, playing in the water, listening in to the conversations of the adults around me, sharing food, joining in the ‘mandatory’ game of beach cricket. These are carefree days where the normal routine of our lives could be put aside for a moment in time so that we could relax and be together.

More recently a family celebration around my outdoor dining table was memorable by its theme which was the death of my beloved father in law 12 months previous. Whilst that might sound morbid and depressing, it was in fact, a delightful opportunity to come together as a family to remember a person whose loving and kind ways made him dear to all of us. Food, non-alcoholic drinks, good company and lots of laughter defined our celebration and will remain long in my memory.

If you took the Go 30 Day Alcohol Free Challenge at the commencement of 2015, you are near completion which is cause for celebration. Well done! Sustaining any commitment takes effort, self-discipline and determination. The argument to ‘have a few drinks because you deserve it’ is very persuasive but also dangerous. Consider how you will celebrate and who you will celebrate with. Put some of the tips you received from Watersedge Go 30 Day Alcohol Free Challenge into practice and have some fun!

This year there will be plenty of celebrations going on in backyards and at the beach. Celebrate days that will be long remembered, days that your children will remember – laugh, dance, eat lots, play games. If alcohol is a part of the day, minimise the amount to ensure the safety of your guests, your family and yourself.

If you would like to take the opportunity to do the Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge for the month of February, you can sign up for FREE now or anytime over this month. It is a great opportunity to take a ‘personal lifestyle stocktake’ and at the same time challenge your need for alcohol.

Should you or someone you love have an alcohol-related issue that is impacting your life, you can contact Duncan on 0434331243 or Colleen on 0434337245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can best meet your need. If you are ready, you can make an appointment by going to the BOOK NOW button and following the prompts.

Alcohol and the Workplace

Have you ever shown up to work with a hangover? It makes for an ugly and difficult day, but for many of us it has become normal. In fact, this infographic by Recovery Connection tells us that 15% of all workers in the US are under the influence of alcohol at one time or another. It is easy to assume alcohol only effects ‘alcoholics,’ but the truth is that most alcohol related issues within the workplace come from social drinking. Whether we drink before work or arrive with a hangover, it is something which impacts not only our productivity in the workplace, but also our personal health.

This infographic gives us a list of the industries most likely to contain ‘problem drinkers,’ and it shows that people who do evening, night or sporadic shift work are at the top of the list. In fact, construction and mining, retail, and hospitality all made the top five. And you don’t have to drink at work to be effected by alcohol; research shows that sick days, sleeping at work and trouble with tasks and colleagues are all side effects of problem drinking.

Problem drinking can affect anyone. If you are younger, are a male and work in a managerial position, research shows you are more likely to fit into this category. Do you think you struggle with alcohol at work? Ask yourself these questions:

Do you frequently drink before/after work?

Do you often arrive at work with a hangover?

Do you feel the need to drink in order to cope with the stress of your job?

Have you ever made an error at work due to being intoxicated or having a hangover?

Do you regularly struggle with your co-workers due to your alcohol use?

If you show signs of being a ‘problem drinker,’ you don’t have to struggle through life anymore. You have the ability to manage your alcohol consumption and in this, bring your A game to work on a daily basis.

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Do you need help to manage alcohol in the workplace? Do you desire to be bold, be daring and be you? Sign up for our free ‘Go 30 Days Alcohol Free’ Challenge here and step into 2015 with new confidence. For more support, check our estore for a special deal on the 30 Days Guide and Workbook. You can also contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

Be Daring, Be Original, Be You!

Be_You_LogoWelcome to the New Year, and welcome to a new you. What do you hope 2015 will bring? Perhaps you long for a change in your relationships and the space to talk about things that have been hurting you. Or maybe you have resolved to look after yourself, and have plans to lose weight and become healthier? Whatever hopes you have for 2015, this is January 1 and this is a new start.

Over the past 6 months, the team at Watersedge Counselling have been busy contemplating what the New Year will mean for you, and we came up with the phrase, “Be Daring, Be Original, Be You.” It is our hope that in 2015 you are bold enough to assess your needs, are daring enough to challenge yourself to change your habits, and ultimately, find a heathier and happier version of you.

We want to give you the opportunity to find out who you really are, and to do this we are looking at one of the most common issues that affect people every day: alcohol consumption. Whether you are a casual drinker or find that alcohol is significantly impacting your relationships, the New Year is your chance to start again. We would love to invite you to take part in our new Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge to do just that. By signing up for free on the WatersedgeCounselling website, you will have a new tip sent to your inbox each day for 30 days. Each tip is simple, practical and will help you to understand the role alcohol plays in your life.

The beauty of the Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge is that it is designed to fit with your specific lifestyle. We know that some people just want to begin the year with a fresh and fun perspective. Our 30 Days Challenge can act as a motivator to help you get up and go every day, to achieve your goals and take better care of yourself. If you have resolved to take better care of your health, then this Challenge is your chance to cleanse your body and mind of unhealthy habits. And if you have found that alcohol is damaging your life, if your partner has shown concern over your habits or you simply don’t know how to get through the day without a drink- then this challenge is for you as well.

“Be Daring, Be Original, Be You”- what do these words mean for you? We want you to enter 2015 encouraged and inspired, because we believe that you have the capacity to grow and cultivate healthy relationships this year. Join us on this journey and sign up for our 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge now.

If you really want to start the year with renewed focus, we have also written a Guide to accompany this Challenge. Available as an ebook in our web store, this Guide will take you through each of the main themes that will come up over the 30 days. Addressing everything from healthy habits to an accountability partner, we have penned this to provide you with strategies to overcome most any challenge in your life. And if you have a friend or family member who needs some support as they minimise or cut out alcohol for the month, then this is a great resource to help you understand and support them.

If our daily tips inspire you, you can even check out the Workbook also available in our eStore. Chock full of beautiful graphics and practical tips to outwork each day’s goal, the Workbook gives you the space to write down your thoughts, plan ahead, and watch your progress. For a limited time, you can purchase the 30 Days Alcohol Free Guide with the accompanying Workbook for only $15.

Will you join us on our mission to start the New Year on the right foot? Be Daring, Be Original and Be You, and sign up for our 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge now. Would you like some extra professional support as you begin the Challenge? Contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

Is Your Loved One An Alcoholic?

The label of ‘alcoholic’ feels like a dirty word. Having a drink is a normal part of life, and it can be threatening to think a loved one could be controlled by alcohol. So where is the line between controlled alcohol consumption and alcoholism?

Perhaps you have a partner who loves to have a drink. The six pack in your fridge is an everyday occurrence, and you rarely see them without a beer or cider. How do you know when this is getting out of hand? This infographic by Recovery Connection highlights some of the key questions to ask yourself about a loved one’s consumption of alcohol.

Ask yourself if they frequently get drunk, have blackouts, or if they have gotten in trouble with the law due to the habit. If you have noticed your partner struggling to stop drinking, observed that they will skip social activities due to it, or they are displaying signs of guilt about their drinking, they may be struggling with alcoholism.

As you look at the questions posed in this graphic, listen to your gut. Do you feel like something is wrong in your relationship? Have you been concerned about your partner for some time, but have struggled to put your finger on what is wrong?

There are varying levels of alcohol dependence, but ultimately anything that is hurting your loved one and your relationship can be helped. If you are concerned about a loved one’s alcohol consumption but feel unsafe approaching them, don’t be afraid to seek outside help. If they are willing to acknowledge the effect alcohol has on your relationship and work on it, walk through the journey together.

Is Your Loved One An Alcoholic?

Do you have a loved one who shows signs of alcoholism? Do you need help to work through this, or have you found them unwilling to seek treatment? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

 

The Watersedge “Go 30 Days Alcohol Free” campaign launches on January 1!

Keep an eye on watersedgecounselling.com for details.

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The Truth About Alcohol and Abuse

The Truth About Alcohol and AbuseIt is very Australian to consume large amounts of alcohol, in fact it is a behaviour that envelopes much of our lives. President of the Australian Medical Association Brian Owler says this needs to change. In a speech given to the AMA National Alcohol Summit, he stated some of the raw and honest facts about Australians and alcohol abuse.

When the onus is largely on our personal use of alcohol and taking responsibility for our actions, Owler reminds us that the misuse of alcohol has wider repercussions than just the drunken behaviour of the individual. He shares, The devastating consequences of alcohol misuse extend from our cities into rural and remote areas and the number of alcohol-related assaults tops 70,000 a year.

With the overconsumption of alcohol can often come acts of cowardice and danger; many of us have heard about the fatal impact of the ‘king hit’ or the affect alcohol mixed with drugs can have on our bodies. But what about the ramification this behaviour has on the victims? There have been 24,000 cases of alcohol related domestic violence. And in addition to this, the misuse of alcohol can also contribute to child abuse.

In his speech, Owler highlights that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. And from his own experience he shares, As a paediatric neurosurgeon, I frequently see the results of abuse of a child's brain. The brain swells dramatically. And if we do save the child, the brain often melts away on follow-up scans, and the child is permanently disabled. It's not even a matter of drunken violence.

When we drink alcohol without limits and allow ourselves to become intoxicated, we don’t just put ourselves in danger, we put those around us in danger too. Someone like me has to tell the parents that their son is quadriplegic – all because of a drunken night out. Alcohol-related harm doesn't stop at the front door. It enters people's homes.” Owler says.

And it is not just families and loved ones who are impacted by this; it is the victims of sexual assault, rape and violence. It is our children who grow up in an environment where it is normal to drink alcohol heavily because it is typically Australian. There is a safe way to consume alcohol, and Owler’s speech reminds us how important it is we learn how to do this; not just for ourselves, but for others too.

Brian Owler’s speech to the AMA National Alcohol Summit was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. You can read it here.

 

Do you struggle to limit your alcohol consumption? Maybe you want to learn how to keep yourself and your friends safe while you drink, or need help becoming sober. If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

WatersedgeCounselling will be releasing our new “30 Days Alcohol Free” campaign soon to help you achieve a greater level of wellness in your life. Keep an eye on watersedgecounselling.com for details.

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Our Love Affair with Alcohol and Other Drugs

Have you ever paused to consider just how deeply your lifestyle and those around you have been affected by alcohol and other drugs?  In this infographic provided by the Australian Drug Foundation, we are shown the facts about our nation’s love affair with alcohol and other drugs. No matter what your age or socio economic factors, it is evident that these substances have negatively impacted our lives and will continue to do so unless we better educate ourselves and our families in these areas. This fascinating infographic shows us that we can no longer put our head in the sand- we must take responsibility for our own use of alcohol and other substances as the effects are more wide reaching than we ever imagined.

Our Love Affair with Alcohol and Other Drugs

Do you struggle with alcohol and/or other drugs and are concerned about their long-term effects on your life and those around you? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

What’s the Big Deal About Cannabis?

Cannabis has long been a popular recreational drug due to its relaxant effects and ready availability. For many people, cannabis is a form of self-medication; serving to dull the impact of physical and emotional pain. The chances are that you and/or someone you know have used cannabis at least once or more in your life- potentially on a regular basis due to its highly addictive nature.

Cannabis is Australia’s most popular drug and is most often smoked in a joint or a bong. A National Drug Strategy Household Survey conducted in 2008 by The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that one-third of all Australians aged 22 or older (33.5% or about 5.8 million) have tried cannabis and 1 million had used it in that past year.

So what’s the big deal about cannabis? There are many ‘baby-boomers’ who recall the days of relaxing with friends and sharing a joint with no apparent side-affects. However, the belief that cannabis is a ‘safe’ drug is a myth.

Consider the facts:

A small amount of cannabis may produce the following effects:

  • Feeling relaxed and sleepy
  • Spontaneous laughter and excitement
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Quiet and reflective mood

A large amount or a strong batch will produce these further effects:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • Clumsiness
  • Slower reflexes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Seeing and hearing things that aren't there
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Mild anxiety and paranoia

Regular use of cannabis may eventually cause:

  • Memory loss
  • Learning difficulties
  • Mood swings
  • Regular colds or flu
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Difficulty having children (low fertility in males and females)
  • Needing to use more to get the same effect
  • Dependence on cannabis
  • Financial, work and social problems

As a professional, I witness the long-term impact of cannabis use in many of my clients, including young adults. Their self-determination and motivation has been steadily eroded by the impact of their long-term habit. Normal functionality, even within the context of the home environment, is impaired; self-confidence and hope are lost and life becomes a daily struggle to survive from one joint/bong to the next.

While a once-off or occasional use of cannabis can sound safe, the facts show that it can lead to a path of destruction. If it sounds scary, it is! However there is help available for you and the people you care about. Visit Headspace for more details on cannabis and to contact their local support services in your area.

This blog was compiled using resources from the Australian Drug Foundation Fact Sheet
To find out more about cannabis, please click here 

Do you struggle with cannabis use and are concerned about its long-term effects on your life? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

64 Ways To Cope With Cravings

64-Ways-To-Cope-With-CravingsDo you struggle with cravings? Do you feel as though they are limiting your ability to live life to your utmost potential? If so contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

Managing Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace

When a person develops a dependence upon alcohol and/or other drugs, to the observer it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Each ‘still' may only be a small degree of difference, but the end result is devastation and destruction. When a person becomes dependent on alcohol and/or other drugs, they are rarely aware of the claim their ‘habit' has already made on their lifestyle: personal health and wellbeing; relationships with partner, family and friends; employment; accommodation; these are all compromised. In an interview with Ken Burgin from Profitable Hospitality and Colleen Morris from Watersedgecounselling, they discuss the issue of how an employer inhospitality manages an employee whose behaviour is compromised by alcohol and/or other drugs. Colleen gives some valuable advise for employers to consider on this podcast.

The Facts about Ice

Ice user’s road-rage fury

Shotgun aimed at two kids

What do you feel? Rage? Shock? Alarm? Physically sick?

This was the headline that caught my attention as I opened my local paper last week. The story went on to describe the incident: the lawyer for the defendant stated there was a simple explanation for his irrational behaviour.

“In a word that explanation is ice – an all too common excuse…at the time of this offending he was on a bender and would not have produced the firearm if he had been thinking rationally.”

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of VictorHabbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Increasingly the drug Ice is drawing community attention due to dramatic incidents such as this. However, not all Ice user’s will automatically be violent. In fact many people in the community rely upon Ice recreationally, circumstantially and for the physical health benefits. However, where a person is using two or more drugs in combination or is already dealing with serious physical and/or mental health issues the combination can have major risks for the user and for other people.

What is ice?

Ice is a stimulant drug, affecting the Central Nervous System by speeding up the messages travelling between the brain and the body. Bodily functions such as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and body temperature are so impacted that an individual’s mood, behaviour and physical functioning change dramatically.

Reading these headlines, you might want to ask, ‘If Ice is such a harmful drug why do people use it?’ As a recreational drug, people enjoy the positive effects of Ice.

Positive Effects of Ice:

  • Euphoria
  • Increased pleasure
  • Alertness
  • Confidence
  • Stamina
  • Increased strength
  • Increased libido
  • Long periods awake
  • Appetite suppressant
  • Talkative

The stimulant effect of Ice is also attractive for purposes where a circumstance requires long periods of mental alertness: the long-distance truck driver, the shift worker or the young single mother doing two jobs might use Ice to deal with the demands upon them. The drug is readily available but also highly addictive and dependence is likely to develop rapidly if an individual relies upon it.

There are also some very negative effects.

Negative Effects of Ice:

  • Increased Blood pressure
  • Increased sweating
  • Higher body temperature
  • Rapid, irregular heart rate
  • Chest pains
  • Jaw clenching, teeth grinding
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to sleep
  • Appetite suppressant
  • Repetitive actions
  • Picking, scratching of skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Facial sweating and redness

Typically, whilst the user is aware that Ice changes their behaviour they are frequently unaware that these negative effects can also be attributed to the same drug. Over time, increasing dependence makes it very difficult to cease use of the drug and any individual who wants to come off the drug will require much support, encouragement and understanding.

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

How do you know if someone is using Ice? Here are the signs and symptoms to look for:

  • Movement: twitching, restless, fidgety, moving about
  • Facial: may be flushed and/or sweating, pupils dilated
  • Speech: loud, rapid, may be tangential, unable to keep on topic
  • Skin: in long term users, may have scabs, if injecting may have abscesses
  • Body: long term users, thin, undernourished, and also very active
  • Teeth: may be discoloured, ground down, gums receded
  • Behaviour: Irritable, anxious, may be aggressive

If you use Ice yourself or know someone who users this drug, it is helpful to be aware of these facts and do frequent ‘mental checks’ as to the safety level for the individual and/or other people. If you believe that you or someone else is ‘at risk’ you can seek help through your local government health service provider or go to the following websites for further information: www.bluebelly.org.au/; www.meth.org.au/  

Talking about your concerns and acknowledging that you may have a problem, is the first step to recovery. Colleen Morris, at Watersedgecounselling, is able to talk with you about your issue and offers support, encouragement and advice when you are ready to take your next step to recovery. You can contact her for a FREE 10 minute consultation on 0434337245 or you can make an appointment to see Colleen go to the online scheduler by pressing the BOOK NOW.