These sage pieces of advice or mātauranga are from people who’ve “been there, done that” – people who have lived and are successfully managing their way through mental distress and trauma. They’ve been both supported by, and supporters for, their own loved ones through their manawa pā or distressing thoughts and emotions over the years.
“People all over Aotearoa will be experiencing distressing thoughts, feelings and bodily responses due to the sudden changes and learnings happening right now. For those of us with histories of distress, we have a lens that means we may see our understandable reactions as indicators of "getting sick" which carries an increased fear of the consequences of 'crisis', further exacerbating our stress. Just because these experiences may feel similar to the intense crisis experiences we have had, they are not necessarily the same.”
“We are wise, we have learnt along the way the things that help and the things that don't. Supporters that anchor us into these assets will see us shine as we connect to our wisdom. If we have new learning to gain, supporting us to find what we need may mean that they also find what they need along the journey.”
“Although we did not choose the current situation, there is still so much we can determine for ourselves, our tino rangatiratanga, and ways we can choose to manaaki or help others in distress. For some, it’s involved a bit of a mirimiri/massage and creativity to adapt our wellness tools. We’ve also seen whānau extending their bubble virtually to manaaki to whānau-a-motu, use buddy systems to check-in and stay connected via the telephone, and texting and supporting one another to navigate the virtual ‘Zui’ environment.”
E leai se gaumata’u, na o le gaualofa.
What you do out of fear will not survive, but what you do out of love will endure (alagaupu Samoa/Samoan proverb).