AS A GUEST SPEAKER recently on the subject of Mens Health at Phoenix Community House Mens Shed, I was truly humbled to be invited to be a guest speaker and share learnings and stories about my King Island Distillery.
All my life, I have always loved the banter, stories and teachings from men much older and wiser than I.'
Heidi Weitjens King Island Distillery, GINdependently operated, with her local loving attitude is located at 40°S Latitude; it is one of the few worldwide to be fully owned and operated by a female creating GINcredible products and experiences.
An anonymous person shared with me, "A smile costs nothing, but it enriches those who receive it." And that is one of the main reasons I love our island and the uplifting mate-ship be it in the shops, or in a shed on King Island or anywhere. I feel we are blessed to be around others in our community doing what we love, where we love to be, King Island.
Thank you Charles Holmes for the beautiful hand carved wooden pen, such a special gift that I will put to good use most days filling in my gratitude journal.
King Island Phoenix Community House thank you so much for this opportunity to be a guest speaker and present how my distillery can connect with examples relating to mens health. The sensational soup made by Katey Griffiths and the lovely lunch was delicious and much appreciated. I am very grateful for the gift of the fabulous flowers, they are beautiful!
Ben Patton we appreciate you taking our happy snaps. Ben took great photos capturing the moments we all enjoyed and shared in the Mens Shed on Wednesday 14th June 2023.
Here's some of what we shared about taking care of ourselves and during the presentation on the subject of men's health.....
Maintaining good health is a lifelong journey.
We sometimes need to be reminded that by incorporating a few things into our lifestyle and taking advantage of the many offerings of and on King Island, we can support our overall health and well-being, ( even while living on an island ). These are some examples connected with King Island and the happy Heidi's King Island Distillery.
To keep your exercise routine interesting and enjoyable, here are some fun ways to mix it up:
Enjoy the natural beauty: King Island offers breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty. Take time to appreciate and explore the island's natural wonders. Spend time outdoors, connect with nature, and engage in activities that promote mental well-being.
Be adventurous and go outdoors even in Winter and go beach walking there's a new track to discover at Netherby Bay, rock climbing at Seal Rocks to go fishing, kayaking at the Currie Harbour, or challenge yourself by push biking up and down the Grassy Port Hill.
Do different sports like having a hit tennis on the courts at Owen Smith Drive, casually kicking a footy, outdoor soccer on the oval (maybe after the footy season), or even throwing a frisbee.
Working out with others in a group setting can provide motivation, we have more fun with friends, learn new skills and challenge ourselves a little more because we are all a little competitive right? Make the exercise more enjoyable, sweating it out and (and sometimes swearing it out about the strain and pain), beside your mates.
Setting personal goals and achieving them, whether in career, hobbies, or personal growth. A timeline of what you have done can provide a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment of what you have been doing over the years.
To capture moments in time throughout my decade dabbling in the distillery industry, we engaged a professional director and photographer and personally I take happy snaps too. We save photos in the cloud in Google photos and print them to write what it's about on the back of them and it adds extra interest for others to add a date and the full names of people.
Some days I’ll write about lessons learnt over the years, no matter how big or small, it's a great way to reflect and remember stuff and sometimes share the knowledge with others who we care about.
Pursuit of happy Heidi passions includes engaging in activities and hobbies that bring joy and fulfilment can enhance happiness and provide a sense of purpose. We’re committed to sourcing local, organic ingredients to distill to handcraft our spirits. We do our best to support sustainable practices and reduce carbon footprint from manufacturing through to posting out spirit orders. We contribute ideas such as dehydrating native plants, that are key ingredients in our King Island gin, to put in salads and with a juicy King Island steak as part of a healthier and balanced diet. Replanting Natives is one of our distillery practices as an initiative to promote sustainable food re-production.
We enjoy starting and finishing the day walking somewhere stunning around King Island from our bare beaches to sheltered bush tracks, it's a great way for us to be refreshed in the morning and de-stressed at sunset.
Finding a balance between work and personal life and making dates with mates for relaxation and quality leisure time can help with extra happiness. A morning coffee and croissant, Friday fish and chip lunch date or King Island Pub Parma and Pot night are all great excuses for us to phone a friend to meet for a catch up.
Plus, getting enough sleep, we’ve found it helps to have less light and put plant of distance between reachable distractions like the mobile phone. Having a pen and paper to do a 'brain dump' of thoughts and ideas to go back to a peaceful sleep works well for me. Also, practising good hygiene habits no matter how busy we get and taking pride in the way we present ourselves helps to put us in the right mindset for what is next like work, exercise, or for a new adventure like hiring a cart and playing golf for fun at Ocean Dunes, or Cape Wickham.
The distillery has a holistic approach to well-being to create a relaxing and stress-free environment for visitors by having authentic, simple and sustainable surroundings. We are mindful that after three hours of intense presentation and tastings that we begin to fatigue. So to manage the stress and pressure build up of getting so much done, we practise the creative, manufacturing, production and packaging side of the distillery early in the day and the show and tell is later. Having a sense of purpose to feel that life has meaning and making a positive impact through our learnings on our distillery journey shared with others, our community, or the even world, brings a deep sense of happiness and fulfilment.
Consistently staying positive about relationships with people you are close to like family, friends and the upkeep of the sense of belonging takes effort even if it feels like you're the one doing the work all the time. Learning to control emotions and let go of the grudges and the small irritating issues and get smiley about the rewards of giving and receiving some love, is one of the hardest things of all.
Each day we always devoted to building and maintaining social and sustainable connections in our community and our distillery is deeply connected to our customers through personal engagement, from emails right through to every interaction and order.
Some of the ways we pay if forward in the distillery; we’ve taken the initiative to collaborate with local suppliers, especially King Island Honey Farm, King Island Kelp Craft, King Island Cloud Juice, King Island Brewhouse. We are passionate about giving back and have always given freely to volunteer and contribute in many local and off Island clubs and associations. We always support local businesses who employ locals and provide our services. Also we take pride in engaging members of our community in the distillery and some of our processes and we find it emotionally rewarding. We have even mentored an up and coming distiller who came down from Victoria to learn hands on about the industry.
We should try to keep up to date with health information specific to King Island, as we know it is important to stay informed about local health initiatives, events and resources that can support our well-being.
Remember that we need to keep our doctors, dentists and specialists in work, they are relocated to King Island and employed to look after us and we need to let them. Wouldn’t you agree it is more practical to be preventative rather than be a pain and become an emergency in pain.
It isn’t about us not want to go into the medical centre being too much trouble, because we think the experts are already too busy and the facts are they probably are but that's what they have spent the better part of a decade studying and training to do. It can be a struggle to get over our own fears that are just made up in our minds and the fear of the unknown, like what if there is something wrong with me, what then?
Time flies, at the distillery we get a big piece of paper and hand write a monthly calendar to keep track of special projects and things to do.
June - Empty the shoebox, cook the books and grab yourself a bargain. Phone an old friend. Read the book The 5am Club. Walk the copperhead track down South.
July - I will check and update my will. Update assets and animals and who gets what. Have the last say, make a movie for people to watch after I am gone. Clean out the closet. Buy a new bed after all we spend a fair bit of our life in it.
August - Get my ‘Im fighting fit medical’ and smile at a nurse. Give the car a spit n polish.
September - Friends fishing followed by dinner and sharing stories around the outdoor fire pit.
October - Get in the garden before it grows out of control, bury a time capsule and plant a few seeds and Native trees.
November - Get out and golf with a King Island happy Heidi craft spirit hip flask in the cart and swing a club like it's an art. Write down the things we are grateful for.
December - Go on a trip, fly to Flinders for fun and frivolity. Or, go to Melbourne, or Tasmania, to watch an action movie on the big screen, a booze bus cruise around distilleries, watch a live band out on the green, go to a market and meet the makers, eat delicious food and see other mens sheds.
It's important to remember that happiness is subjective and can vary from person to person. Each individual has their own unique sources of happiness and it's essential for men to identify and prioritise what brings them joy and fulfilment in their lives.
- "Make your health a priority - your body will thank you."
- "Exercise regularly and stay active for a healthier you."
- "Eat well-balanced meals to nourish your body and mind."
- "Manage stress effectively for better overall well-being."
- "Get regular check-ups to catch health concerns early."
- "Stay connected with loved ones - social connections are essential."
- "Prioritise self-care to recharge and rejuvenate."
- "Moderate alcohol consumption for a healthier lifestyle."
- "Sleep well to wake up refreshed and energised."
- "Take time for hobbies and activities you enjoy - it's good for your mental health."
The frequency of these activities may vary depending on your personal preferences and goals. Aim for a balance that works for you, incorporating them into your lifestyle consistently but without feeling overwhelmed. Start small and gradually increase your involvement as you find what brings you the most joy and fulfilment. Remember, the key is to make it fun and sustainable in the long run.
Resources for men's health
An important message for men and their health is to prioritise self-care and take an active role in maintaining their well-being.
It's crucial for men to understand that their health matters and that they should make their physical, mental, and emotional well-being a priority.
By adopting healthy lifestyle habits, seeking regular medical check-ups, managing stress, staying physically active and nurturing social connections, men can significantly improve their overall health and quality of life.
Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish but essential for leading a fulfilling and balanced life.
When choosing a health-tracking app, consider your specific health goals, the features you value most, and the compatibility with your device. It's a good idea to read user reviews and try out a few apps to see which one suits your needs and preferences the best.
There are several popular health-tracking apps available that offer a range of features to help you monitor and improve your health. Here are some of the top-rated options:
- MyFitnessPal: This app allows you to track your nutrition and exercise, set goals, and offers a large food database for easy tracking of calories and macronutrients.
- Fitbit: Fitbit offers a range of fitness trackers and a corresponding app that tracks your steps, heart rate, sleep, and more. It provides personalised insights, challenges, and goals to keep you motivated.
- Strava: Primarily focused on tracking running and cycling activities, Strava allows you to record your workouts, analyse your performance, and compete with others. It also includes social features to connect with friends and join clubs.
- Apple Health (iOS) / Google Fit (Android): These built-in health tracking apps for iOS and Android respectively, provide a centralised platform to monitor various health metrics, such as steps, activity, sleep, and heart rate. They integrate with other compatible health and fitness apps.
- Headspace: While not strictly a health-tracking app, Headspace focuses on mental well-being through meditation and mindfulness exercises. It helps reduce stress, improve sleep, and enhance overall mental health.
- Sleep Cycle: This app tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase, ensuring a more refreshed awakening.
A fun quiz on men's health:
- What is the recommended amount of physical activity for adults?
- a) 30 minutes per day
- b) 60 minutes per day
- c) 90 minutes per day
- Which of the following is a good source of lean protein?
- a) Cheeseburger
- b) Grilled chicken breast
- c) French fries
- True, or False: Stress can have a negative impact on both mental and physical health.
- What is the best way to manage stress?
- a) Eating junk food
- b) Watching TV all day
- c) Engaging in relaxation techniques such as mindfulness, or deep breathing
- How often should men get a general check-up?
- a) Every year
- b) Every 5 years
- c) Only when they feel sick
- True or False: Social connections are important for overall well-being
- How many hours of sleep is recommended for adults each night?
- a) 4-5 hours
- b) 7-9 hours
- c) 12-15 hours
- What is the recommended daily limit for alcohol consumption for men?
- a) 1 standard drink
- b) 2 standard drinks
- c) 5 standard drinks
- b) 60 minutes per day
- b) Grilled chicken breast
- c) Engaging in relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing
- a) Every year
- b) 7-9 hours
- b) 2 standard drinks
Happy Heidi is always about miles of smiles and here are some favourites to share.
"A smile costs nothing, but it enriches those who receive it." - Anonymous
"Smile, for it's a small act of kindness that can brighten someone's day."
"A smile is a language that everyone understands, spreading joy and warmth without uttering a word."
"Your smile has the power to transform not only your own life, but also the lives of those around you."
"Smile freely, for it's a gift you can give to others, and it costs you nothing but brings immeasurable joy."
"Even if a smile isn't returned, let it be a testament to your kindness and the positive energy you radiate."
"Behind every smile is a story of strength, resilience, and the ability to find joy in the simplest of moments."
"Never underestimate the impact of a genuine smile. It has the power to change hearts and brighten souls."
"Your smile is a reflection of your inner happiness, so wear it proudly and share its contagious magic with the world."
"Smile not only to make yourself happy but also to inspire others to find reasons to smile in their own lives."
More about a smile
Give someone a smile, even if they don't return it,
For kindness is not dependent on how others interpret.
It's a gift you offer freely, without expectation or demand,
Knowing that a smile can brighten someone's land.
In a world that may be filled with sorrow and despair,
Your smile can be a reminder that someone does care.
It may not be acknowledged, or reciprocated in kind,
But in that act of giving, compassion you will find.
For a smile can be contagious, spreading like a flame,
Touching hearts and souls, bringing joy to every name.
And though the world may seem ungrateful or cold,
Your smile can be a beacon, a gesture worth gold.
So don't let the lack of response steal your inner glow,
Continue to give freely, let your kindness flow.
For your smile has the power to uplift and inspire,
And ignite a spark in others, setting their hearts afire.
Remember, it's not about receiving, but about what you give,
And in that selfless act, a better world we can all live.
So give someone a smile, even if they don't give one back,
For the impact of your kindness is a gift that never lacks.
And lastly why we love to smile
A smile costs nothing, but it can mean everything,
It's a language understood, no matter what life may bring.
It speaks of joy and kindness, of warmth and inner light,
And it can chase away darkness, making everything feel right.
A smile can bridge divides and mend broken hearts,
It can heal wounds and rebuild what once fell apart.
It's a universal symbol of love and connection,
A simple act of grace that can bring immense affection.
A smile can lift spirits and brighten someone's day,
It can ease burdens and chase worries away.
It holds the power to heal, to uplift and inspire,
To ignite a flame of hope that can never tire.
So let your smile shine, let it radiate and glow,
Spread its contagious magic, wherever you may go.
For in this vast world, amidst all the strife,
A smile is a beacon, bringing abundant life.
Remember, a smile is a gift that keeps giving,
A small gesture that can set the world in motion,
So share it freely, without hesitation or delay,
And watch how it transforms lives along the way."
Thank you for reading this far, your interest is appreciated may you always be happy and healthy love happy Heidi.
Heidi Weitjens King Island Distillery
Founder | Distiller | Chief written label details hand writer
p.s. more about us
THE INSPIRING STORY OF HEIDI’S DISTILLERY is about a resourceful local on a mission embracing a waste minimisation mindset to tackle fruit waste and showcase the high-quality brand of King Island by locally distilling spirits.
As a lifelong islander, she passionately supports and promotes the growth of her local and Tasmanian community. Starting with making the first King Island Gin, after months to create the best recipe and distilling the true taste of the spirit of our lovely island. Heidi is driven to make everyone who tastes her range of craft products spark up an obsessive love affair with the ‘ hh♡ | happy Heidi made with love’ spirits of King Island.
With a clear purpose and vision, Heidi handcrafts smooth and tasty artisan spirits for the enjoyment of locals, visitors and people across our Country. The success and growth of King Island Distillery stems from Heidi's unwavering commitment to customer happiness. She believes in the circle of happiness, where her joy fuels creativity, resulting in unique, irresistible products that customers love.
Managing the small business and growth in demand for her products Heidi understands the importance of maintaining the artisanal nature of her spirits. To preserve quality, exclusivity and the happy Heidi personal connection with her customers, she limits distilling about 200 litres of boutique spirit batches per week with the best local ingredients handpicked fresh.
Collaborating with local suppliers, Heidi believes her success also contributes to the prosperity of fellow Islanders and elevates the profile of King Island nationwide. She believes in fueling patriotic sentiments and creating an emotional attachment to local products, fostering resilience and unity.
Through beautifully crafted spirits that capture the essence of King Island, Heidi aims to create a collective love and admiration that lasts beyond a fleeting visit, making Australians fall in love with the island, again and again.