Decembeard (Bowel Cancer)

Decembeard (Bowel Cancer)

Let It Grow or Let It Go!

December is Bowel Cancer awareness month.  Also known as Decembeard, Bowel Cancer Australia’s hair-raising fundraiser is encouraging you to get hairy while raising awareness and funds to help beat bowel cancer.

Face, head, legs, body – if it’s hair – let it grow or let it go!

There’s lots of different ways you can contribute.  Get beardy or hairy (anywhere) – the options are limitless, and the choice is yours.

  • Grow a beard or some chin stubble and promote your facial hair
  • Dye, decorate shave or trim your precious hair and create something amazing
  • Fake some luscious locks or make a hair-inspired creation
  • Donate the amount you spend on shaving/grooming or by skipping your next waxing appointment

(Source: Bowel Cancer Australia)

Bowel Cancer Facts:

  1. Bowel cancer is the 4th leading cause of death for people aged 45-74
  2. 1 in 13 people will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime
  3. 15,000+ Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year
  4. Bowel cancer is the 2nd deadliest cancer
  5. Detected early, 99% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated or even prevented
  6. Fewer than 50% are detected early
  7. Bowel cancer risk increases with age
  8. For around 30% of bowel cancer cases, there is a family history of hereditary contribution.
  9. The five-year relative survival for young Australians aged 15-24 diagnosed with bowel cancer is 87.3%.
  10. Of those diagnosed with young-onset bowel cancer, over 86% experience symptoms.
  11. Young-onset bowel cancers are often diagnosed at later stages.

(Statistics from Bowel Cancer Australia (February 2022))

Bowel cancer symptoms:

  • A recent, persistent change in bowel habits
  • A change in shape or appearance of your poo
  • Blood in the stools
  • Abdominal pain, bloating or cramping
  • Anal or rectal pain or bleeding
  • Frequent gas pain
  • A lump in the anus or rectum
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • A feeling that the bowel has not emptied completely after going to the toilet
  • Unexplained anaemia


Causes of bowel cancer:

  • Inherited genetic risk and family history
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Polyps
  • High red meat consumption, especially processed meats
  • Being overweight or obese
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Smoking

(Source:Cancer Council, 2022)

If you experience any of the above symptoms, visit your GP for testing – this may involve a blood test, colonoscopy, CT or MRI scan or an ultrasound.

How can you prevent bowel cancer?

According to Cancer Council (2019), your chances of developing bowel cancer can by reduced by no smoking, a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, limiting your consumption of red meat, avoiding processed meats an maintaining a healthy body weight.

How to Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas

How to Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas

On average, Australian’s will put on 3kg over the Christmas/New Year period.  And it’s no wonder why.  All of that overindulging on our Christmas favourites, lazy days, parties and relaxing time, the normal routine’s go out the window.

Holidays and special celebrations are a wonderful time to bring people together and food is often a focal point.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Christmas and the extra treats that goes along with it.  It all comes back to balance.

It’s also important to keep in mind that these few extra kilo’s can be easily removed when things get back to normal.  With the day to day running around, working, back to normal eating and exercising routines, you can shed these extra Christmas kilo’s easily.

We’ve put together some tips to help you minimise weight gain over Christmas and into the new year.

  1. Stick to a portion plate – When eating out, order extra vegetables or salad
  2. Keep active
  3. Meal Prep – Get organised on a night you have no plans and keep your food in the fridge or freezer when you need it.
  4. Keep snacks on handThis can get you out of trouble when you’ve been tied up at work or stayed longer than anticipated at an afternoon work catch up.
  5. Eat before finger food events – Eating something before you go to such an event so you can politely decline anything too fatty or fried.
  6. Don’t go to a party hungry – Try having a small snack before you go to avoid overindulging. 
  7. Keep your alcohol intake minimalGive yourself a drinks limit for events, which will help your weight over the Christmas period. Add water between alcoholic drinks.
  8. Don’t be a food fly – If there is a snack table, put a small selection of treats on a plate and then go and sit down. Hanging around the table means we are more likely to graze and eat more.
  9. Make memories at mealtimes – Slow down your eating! Stop and have a laugh with people at the table.

 If you would like more advice on healthy eating or dietary information contact us to find out how our friendly, accredited dieticians can help you.  [email protected]

10 Christmas Themed Things to do in the Workplace

10 Christmas Themed Things to do in the Workplace

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit, if you haven’t already. Just because you are busy working and trying to meet your end of year deadline’s, doesn’t mean you can’t get into the festivities now.  By having fun things to do at work for Christmas, employers can show their staff that they are valued.

We’ve created a list of 10 things to do in the workplace or at home before you sign off for the year and enjoy a much-needed summer break!

  1. Organise or attend your work Christmas party – Christmas parties are a great way to acknowledge all hard work put in for the year and attending them helps build relationships in a relaxed, non-working environment.
  2. Organise a Secret Santa to add to the excitement!
  3. Decorate your workplace/desk – Get into the Christmas spirit and put up your Christmas tree at home, and maybe some tinsel on your desk chair!
  4. Christmas office quiz – Write down a range of quiz questions that relate to your business during the Christmas period. You can poke fun at yourselves and stay up to date with your workloads.
  5. Volunteer – Whilst you shouldn’t wait until Christmas to volunteer, Christmas is a very good time to do so! There are meal programs or soup kitchens, gift wrapping or administration roles you can do to share the Christmas spirit!
  6. Rather than buying expensive gifts, give a thoughtful one! A personal item that reflects the recipients tastes or interests will always be well received!
  7. Bake some Christmas goodies for your workplace – Mini Christmas puddings, traditional short bread, ginger bread men, Christmas cake – share the excitement in the office!
  8. Make a Christmas holiday playlist – Who doesn’t love a Christmas carol?  10 points if it features Mariah Carey and Michael Buble’.. music is apart of our lives. Play it around the house or in the office.
  9. Have a Christmas Themed lunch or dinner catered by the workplace.
  10. Wrap some presents! – Gift wrapping is one of the most exciting parts about Christmas. Offer to help your loved ones wrap any if they have a lot on their plate.
  11. Watch a Christmas classic – We can’t go past our favourites – ‘Home Alone’, ‘The Grinch’ and ‘Love Actually’.
  12. Attend your local Christmas Carols – Join your community in a night singing Christmas Carols.
  13. Go Christmas light watching – Look up the best streets in your community and cruise the streets watching the sparkly Christmas light decorations.  
How to Avoid Employee Burnout in the Lead up to Christmas

How to Avoid Employee Burnout in the Lead up to Christmas

December is a busy time of the year.  Juggling work deadlines, increased workloads, strict deadlines, extra stress, social commitments, planning Christmas day celebrations and finalising that never ending gift list; it’s a lot to think about and add to your already busy days.   For many of us, that extra pressure can be enough to lead to burnout.

What is burnout?

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) re-labelled burnout as an ‘Occupational phenomenon’, recognising it as a form of work-induced stress.

“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

It is characterised by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • reduced professional efficacy.”

(Source: World Health Organisation)

Does this sound like you?  Have you become so exhausted or demotivated that you forget what you’re doing or why you’re doing it?  Do you lack motivation to get up in the morning and go to work?  Perhaps your more angry than usual and taking your frustrations out on your work colleagues.  Have you lost your passion or love for your work?  If so, it sounds like you maybe on your way to suffering from burnout.  It’s important to remember that we all experience a lack of energy from time-to-time and this can be improved with some simple self-care.  Rest, relaxation, a short break may help.

What can you do to avoid suffering pre-Christmas Burnout? 

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve
  • Write a list of your tasks/goals that you want to achieve by the end of the year. Prioritise them.
  • Clarify Values: Assess what really matters to you. Sometimes the pressures of having the ‘perfect’ Christmas can lead us into investing too much energy into the things that really don’t matter.
  • Don’t overcommit or take on extra work that you won’t be able to do.
  • Delegate
  • Be realistic and set realistic timelines. Let people know when they can expect you to deliver
  • Get yourself organised. Both inside and outside of work.  Clean up your workspace
  • Leave your work at work
  • Re-balance. Get yourself right.  Good sleep, exercise and nutrition is essential.
  • Schedule and take regular breaks.

How can your workplace help prevent pre-Christmas Burnout?

Your employees are a business’s most valuable asset.  So how can you help look after your employees at this busy time of the year?

  • Workplace Culture – promote self-care, support, and flexibility.
  • Encourage employees to take breaks
  • Focus on your employees’ mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Offer rewards and recognition for employee hard work.
  • Show your employees they are valued.
  • Focus on employee engagement
  • Offer monetary incentives or rewards to help with the ever-increasing cost of living.

Whilst most people will have the extra pressure and stress at this time of the year with everyone wanting work and projects finalised before they head off on their Christmas breaks, help your employees prevent pre-Christmas burnout and enjoy the lead up to the festive season together.

Tips to Work Smarter in the Lead up to Christmas

Tips to Work Smarter in the Lead up to Christmas

We’ve all heard the phrase “work smarter not harder” but what does that mean?  It means finding ways to use your energy and time at work more efficiently, which can help you complete tasks more quickly.  By working smarter, you can improve your productivity and performance while increasing your overall job satisfaction.  With end of year deadlines fast approaching, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  So, we’ve put together some tips to help you work smarter in the lead up to Christmas.

Tips for working smarter

  1. Set realistic goals.  Create a realistic to-do-list.  A massive, unrealistic to do list will make you feel like it’s unachievable.  Prioritise it and break it down into a smaller, realistic list
  2. Prioritise your to-do-list in order of importance
  3. Structure your day according to your chronotype (are you more productive/focused in the morning?  Schedule certain tasks at this time of the day)
  4. Stop multitasking – Research shows that multitasking makes a task take 40% longer to complete
  5. Stay focused – Remove distractions such as mobile phones, or work from a quieter area with less distractions.  Block your calendar when you want to focus on work.  This can help to avoid distractions
  6. Batch tasks.  Don’t answer emails as they come through (unless urgent).  Set times during the day to check emails
  7. Make meetings productive.  Keep them short and focused
  8. Be disciplined with your time.  Stop procrastinating
  9. Take regular breaks.  You can boost your energy by taking short, regular breaks.  These help to boost your energy, sharpen focus, improve your mood and reduce feelings of fatigue
  10. Remain healthy with regular exercise, nutritious foods, keeping hydrated and getting plenty of good quality sleep.
  11. Declutter your office
  12. Delegate
  13. Don’t take on more than you can do.  Be realistic with your time and workload and understand what is required before agreeing to more tasks, especially if they are not directly related to your role.
  14. Know when to stop for the day and turn the computer off.

Use these tips to help you finish 2022 on a high.  Finish those last-minute tasks and get ready to enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation just in time for Christmas.

Run4Geelong – 13th November

Run4Geelong – 13th November

Run, Walk or Roll!


Run4Geelong 2022 is back at the beach on Sunday November 13.


Run4Geelong is a community event for Geelong and takes place on November 13.  It’s a race for better health and to raise funds for your local health services.  100% of your registration fee going to the cause.


You can choose where your money goes:

  • University Hospital Geelong
  • Mental Health
  • Andrew Love Cancer Centre
  • Women’s and Children’s Health
  • Care in the Community
  • or another service close to your heart


The event will offer a 10km run, 5.5km run/ walk and the 1km kids dash…!


To donate or to register, go to: