CEO Message Archives - Afea Care Services

Why we’re Mindful in May

Esha Oberoi shares her secrets to success
Afea CEO & Founder Esha Oberoi

By Afea Founder and CEO Esha Oberoi

Have you heard of the Mindful in May movement? It’s a global event that encourages us all to get started with daily mindfulness. Started by a doctor trained in psychiatry, Dr Elise Bialylew, it combines mindfulness training with an optional charity component to raise money for clean water projects. 

How’s your mental health?

Mental health problems are common. During our lives, over half of us will face some sort of mental health problem. Approximately 20% of Australians between 16-85 experience mental illness in any one year.

I’m sure you’ll agree the last year hasn’t helped. The impact of COVID-19 has meant a quarter of us have thought more about our mental health. 18% of Australians have used a mental health support service since the beginning of March 2020.

Mental illness has a huge economic cost too. A report last year found mental illness and suicide in Australia costs us $220 billion a year in lost economic participation and productivity. It’s an astounding number.

How mindfulness can help with our mental health

Even if you haven’t accessed a mental health service in the last year, many of us could probably do with some help. With the social isolation of lockdown, health anxiety, unemployment or underemployment, financial strains and home schooling, it’s been a difficult year.

While no one is saying mindfulness is a miracle solution, it is a useful and powerful tool that can help all of us manage this stress. So how does it work? It helps us train our minds so we don’t ruminate about the past or fear the future. It allows us to remain in the present to achieve clarity and perspective.

How do you do it?

Here are the tips we share in our Mindfulness sessions at Afea Care Services.

1. Stop and sit

The first step is to get yourself into a comfortable position. You don’t have to lie down or sit crossed legged if that doesn’t work for you. Just make sure you have a comfortable space and some time. Start with 5 minutes and build it from there.      

2. Still yourself

Focus your attention on the present. People often think you need to empty your mind, but that’s not the way it works. Simply pay attention to the present moment without judgement. Focus on a sound such as your breath or some background noise.

3. Other thoughts are ok

If you notice your mind wandering, that is normal and absolutely ok. Just notice them and let them pass. Then try to focus on the present again.

 4. Practice makes perfect

The more you practice, the better you’ll become, and the longer you’ll be in mindful meditation without distractions. In time, you’ll notice how it improves your perceptions and reactions in your day-to-day life.

Highlights from our recent Mindfulness and Self-Care Workshop with Carers.

Why we should practice mindfulness at work

At Afea Care Services, practicing mindfulness is something we encourage. We often hold mindfulness sessions throughout the month to give everyone a chance to reset and refocus.

We also encourage our carers to have mental health conversations with their clients and introduce mindfulness if they can.

Mental health still has a stigma, particularly in workplaces. It’s time we open up the conversation and be honest about the way we’re feeling. Introducing guided meditations during Mindful in May at work is one way we can all start this important conversation.

Esha’s interview on ABC Radio

Founder and CEO of Afea, Esha Oberoi spoke with Nas Campanella on ABC Radio Sydney about the workforce challenges in the support work industry.

After a string of unrewarding jobs that lasted no more than 6 months, Esha Oberoi fell into support work in her early 20s. As Esha puts it, she walked in and had a pulse, therefore was hired. Only on-the-job training, and not much in the way of background checks.

Esha felt a deep connection with her clients, noticing they were feeling the same isolation she had felt through her teenage years due to her depression and anxiety. That’s when she decided to do something about it.

Nas Campanella, Esha Oberoi, Kaitlin Mountain and Jo Berry at ABC studios

Founding a business at 24

Noticing that many of her clients didn’t need full-time care, Esha decided that she would attempt to redefine what care meant, and how it was delivered.

This started not in residential care, but in the home. By educating families to the benefits of home care, Esha was able to keep people in their homes, with their families for longer. All they need is a skilled support worker with whom they have a connection.

Shifting industry standards for support work

The pattern of the industry has always been to hire a support worker, and send them to clients. Esha knew that this wasn’t going to be helpful for anyone, so she decided early on that she would invest heavily in training, and upskilling.

Today our support workers (Afea Carers) have an induction, on-the-job training with their clients, and regular on-site check-ins from our Care Managers.

Challenges with finding support workers

The industry has seen many changes since the role out of the NDIS, which has seen many providers pop up, and a shortage of support workers. Esha wants the community to know about how rewarding this industry is, and how many opportunities can come from it.

She spoke with ABC’s disability affairs reporter Nas Campanella about these challenges, and how we fix it – by telling our stories!


Click here to listen now!

Selfie of Esha, Kaitlin and Jo with headphones on in ABC radio studio

Success isn’t limited. Why I don’t say no to mentoring our Competitors.

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

Last year, one of our old Afea team members requested me to mentor him in starting his own NDIS provider service. This person was our 11th employee and he was integral in growing Afea to what it is today. He was now asking me how he can build his business. He wanted to offer the same services as us in the same market as us and he wanted my help to do it.

What did I tell him? Yes of course I would mentor him. This may sound surprising and some might even think it’s foolish. But I believe mentoring my competition can only stand to benefit both of us. Here’s why:

I believe there is enough for everyone

My belief in spirituality has taught me to live with a mindset of abundance. If we believe there is enough for everyone, we open our minds to seek more opportunities. We experience the magic of limitlessness.

With a closed mind and thinking that we live in lack, we also close our minds to further growing and progressing ourselves. This results in limiting any new opportunities too.

We all are on different paths

We live in a fast-paced world where there is a constant need to reinvent our businesses, our practices and our value to the people we serve. Even the business practices we have tried and tested will need to be further evolved.

Sharing our previous experiences to a less mature business may be useful to a newcomer. They may be able to take different learnings from our experience and use it to create a different outcome. If they take this knowledge and do something with it, it is harmless to me as we are on a different path.

Although we may technically be ‘competitors’, we all have different strengths and weaknesses. We are running our own race and the most important thing is to think about the impact we have on our own world.

I like to help

This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering my line of work, but I love being able to help others! I believe my level of compassion increases when I share my knowledge.

If a simple conversation can help save another person from burning their cash or making some other costly mistake, then I want to have that conversation. I have nothing to lose from sharing my own mistakes in the hope that it can help another person grow.

Mentoring is soulful

One of my interpretations of life’s motivation and purpose is to have fun and experience joy. Why else would I want to wake up every morning, if not for a couple of uncontrollable belly-laughs, creating heart-warming connections with others and ultimately feeling more love in my life?

Given these intentions, it makes it easy for me to make decisions around the relationships I hold with people around me. It feels so much more human to cooperate, collaborate and partner with my competition to increase our collective value towards the community.

This year we have supported a handful of smaller providers in growing their market share by helping them introduce metrics and KPIs as well as giving them useful contacts.

Despite this, we have still managed to grow and expand our footprint. Most recently, we have set up a new office in Melbourne and we’re already growing rapidly. It only proves how much abundance surrounds us and how mentoring our competition benefits all of us.

How I balance goal setting with the principles of detachment as an entrepreneur

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

We are heading into the end of the financial year and for all business owners and sales teams out there, with it comes a massive amount of pressure to achieve revenue targets and close opportunities. Whether they’re business or personal goals, here is how I manage my attachment to the end result.

I am heavily goals driven and love beating my own best score. My goals are pretty well defined, and almost always sit out of my comfort zone. Given the growth I expect from myself, I determine right at that the start to focus on the journey and not be deeply attached to, or disappointed with the outcome.

Because I am not caught up in attachment to the end result, I can make my goals a little harder, which allows me to keep fulfilling my potential and living up to the highest version of myself.

This isn’t always easy, however, I’ve developed some strategies along the way to help me enjoy the journey to my destination.

Having fun, being playful, and not taking things so seriously.

I like including playfulness in whatever I do. Often even my most serious meetings will start with a fun activity. It helps ease the pressure and creates the right energy to follow through on difficult tasks.

I also feel when we neglect any part of ourselves, we become resentful, so if we aren’t regularly having fun and balancing that with serious work time, we start to hate going into work.

When I meditate, I imagine attachment being like heavy bricks on my shoulders and I love visualising that I’m shrugging them off. This quick visualisation helps me manifest and attract freedom.

Freedom is such a powerful state.

It can do wonders for our mental health as well, and with any mindset shift, self-talk and visualisation are key for lifelong changes.