Connecting with others is so important for our wellbeing and helps to make us feel safer, less stressed and less anxious.
Some ideas to connect include: going for a walk with a friend, joining your local craft, sports, choir, or book club, sharing kai, or even simply smiling at a stranger passing by!
Notice the beauty in the world around you. Take time to feel the sun on your skin, breathe in fresh air, make a list of what you’re grateful for, take the time to thank someone for how they make you feel, do a mindfulness exercise on YouTube, watch the plants in your home or outside your window growing and changing with each passing day.
Use the stairs instead of the lift, walk to colleagues to talk with them instead of phoning, get off the bus one stop earlier, join a local sports club, have a dance party with your tamariki, do some gardening – find whatever physical activity you enjoy, and try to do it as often as possible!
Give compliments, think about a skill you have you could share with your whānau, check in on neighbours and members of your community who may need to hear a cheery voice or need a helping hand.
Staying curious and engaging with the world around you is a great way to uplift your wellbeing. Pick a question you’ve always wondered about and take some time to look it up. Call your parents or grandparents and ask them questions about life when they were growing up. Research your whakapapa or family tree. Look up stories, myths and legends from different cultures. Discover the name of the iwi, hapu, maunga and awa of the place you live. . Ask your tamariki/kids to teach you something they learned at kura/school.
Sit in your backyard or local park and watch the world go by – see how the clouds move across the sky. Take your shoes off and feel the grass beneath your feet. See how many native plants you notice. Can you spot any harakeke/flax, pūriri, tōtara, rengarenga/native lily? Take time every day to feel the sun or the wind or the rain on your skin.
Routines sound dull, but they’re good for our mental health. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat at regular times, shower, change your clothes, do your chores.
Many of us haven’t stretched our ‘relaxation muscles’ in far too long. It might take a bit of trial and error to find what works for you. Maybe it’s lighting a scented candle, switching off with a good book, playing a video game, having a silent disco, talking to a mate, watching ASMR videos online, reading a book, getting creative and making some art, try our mindful colouring, journaling or watching movies. We all need to find things that help us switch off and reenergise our minds and bodies.
Pick one source you trust (like the official COVID-19 website) and check it once per day. If you want to keep checking in with news coverage, take notice of how it makes you feel and set time limits or restrict your news sources to just one or two if you need to.