The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) hosted its first Women in Convenience event for 2021 this morning, with more than 110 people virtually attending.

Yesterday was International Women’s Day (IWD), a global day to celebrate the achievements of women and mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

This year the IWD campaign theme was ‘Choose To Challenge’ as explained on the official IWD website: “A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. So, let’s all #ChooseToChallenge.”

In line with the theme, AACS invited Stress Management Expert and Personal Performance Coach Laura Piccardi to be the keynote speaker of today’s event.

Piccardi shared her own personal experiences of reaching the burnout point after her gym business was burnt to the ground. She highlighted the key signs of identifying that you are over-stressed and said that by identifying these key stress indicators we can take a step back and challenge ourselves to recentre and continue moving forward.

“Breathe, meditate, set boundaries,” was the advice Piccardi gave.

“Change happens through consistency. Do what you love, eat calm and eat well, move according to what you need,” she said.

Piccardi gave the advice of allowing yourself time throughout the day to do something that you love. Doing this allows you to let go of anything that is stressing you out and gives you a chance to reset.

The same goes for eating calmly. Piccardi suggests giving yourself even just 10 minutes of quiet time away from your phone and any other distractions to just eat calmly, to help you with digestion and to overcome any stressors that you might be experiencing.

“I like to think of health as an investment,” she said.

After speaking about the physical elements of stress, Piccardi turned to the mind and understanding our mental blueprints.

“Our thoughts literally create our reality,” she said.

Piccardi demonstrated how we can better understand our mental blueprint and focus on being ourselves more.

She said that focusing on what our core goals are rather than what we think they should be, will allow us to align our behaviours to our thoughts and truly be ourselves.

“Be you,” was her core message.

“If we literally imagine and construct what we want in our internal world, our brain is going to believe that and recreate it in our external world.

“When you operate from that space is when you truly have the power to choose to challenge and choose to change,” she said.

AACS CEO Theo Foukkare, said the event was a great success and thanked Laura Piccardi for sharing her experiences.

He said: “Laura delivered practical strategies for us all to manage real life pressures that we face every single day, at home, in the office or just about anywhere. I personally found Laura’s explanation of what is a very complex topic very simple to understand and will be applying some of these strategies myself.

“Thank you to all of our members who took time out of their busy schedules to support AACS Women In Convenience’s first event of 2021.”

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