Men’s Health Week offers a great opportunity to promote and support the health and wellbeing of men and boys in our communities. This year’s theme is building healthy environments for men and boys, focusing on the physical, mental, and emotional environments of home, the workplace, and social settings.

With this in mind we wanted to see how some of our team members are creating positive physical, mental, and emotional environments to build a healthy work-life balance.

Meet Edwin, Country Manager, PNG

“Part of looking after your mental health comes from a good work-life balance and ensuring you are aware of stress levels and your overall mood. I have always been very conscious during my career at Clough of a healthy work-life balance to assist with the mental health aspect.

Over the last 10+ years at Clough, with many great and interesting projects in Queensland and many overseas, there have been some long hours and quite a bit of travel. With that it is important to be able to support your family with their day-to-day routines like school, sport and other commitment and be part of that weekly routine and plan regular breaks as well as progressing your career. You need that sustainable balance between your career and the family life to ensure there is a solid mental foundation from which you go to work every day and work on these great projects.

As a family we really enjoy our regular annual leave breaks after the usual busy weekly routines as we enjoy our camping holiday trips to the most beautiful spots in tropical Queensland. With the borders open again we are we look forward to meeting up with the family in Europe again after not being able to travel for little while.

During the normal school weeks, I make an effort to bring or pick the kids up from school at least once a week and bring them to their training. On the weekend I watch their soccer games and make sure we do regular family activities.

Physical health is closely related to my mental health. I like to take time for my hobbies which include camping, little DIY projects around the house, working on our acreage and supporting the kids with sports. I love to snowboard, mountain bike, learn to surf, run, and exercise which I still think I would like to do more of.

The social aspects of life are of course also very important to us as we enjoy meeting up with friends and family for dinners and drinks or having breakfast in the park. All these elements help how you feel in the bigger picture and support my mental health.

I used to do quite a lot of sport growing up. With work and a busy family life you need to consciously allocate time to exercise. Besides running, some fitness, walks, soccer with the kids and snowboarding, I enjoy working outside on our acreage during weekends.

I recently did my men’s health check for men around 45 years of age and have been seeing a physio more often to keep on top of my overall health, back, posture and other injury recovery. Having a stand-up desk in the office also helps with by posture.

Physical health is a big contributor to Mental health, and you need to invest in it.

Reminders like Men’s Health Week are important as it is easy to get carried away with the weekly routine and the pressure from work and life and you forget to take time out during the week for these important things or to plan your regular holiday breaks. It helps you zoom out and see the bigger picture.

As I have built up some long service leave with Clough and have not been able to get back see the family in Europe this August and September we will be taking time off to go to Europe with the kids and travel around so we can reconnect with friends and family there and show the kids some of the amazing culture, food, nature and architecture in Europe by travelling through France, Italy, Austria, Czech, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Clough has always, during my 13 years here, been supportive of a healthy work life balance. Current flexible work arrangements let me work from home 1 day a week most weeks which is a good balance for me and helps with the family routine.

Looking after yourself and your family is not about financials, it’s about investing time in them and in yourself. Plan regular exercise, have regular holidays and breaks, ensure you are part of the kids’ school, social life, and sport careers, and look after your physical health. Don’t postpone these things to later… live now!”