LET'S TALK...

MENTAL HEALTH

Take a mental health challenge this week - follow the steps below to help improve your wellbeing

LET'S START...CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF

Acknowledge how you are feeling right now. Write down how you are feeling, what your hopes are for the week and who you'd like to take time to reconnect with this week. At the end of the week take time to reflect on how you felt at the start and all the little chats you had throughout the week that may have boosted your wellbeing.

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When life gets busy it’s easy to forget to check in with the people in our lives, but we know connection is important for our wellbeing. Having a a chat with others nurtures our relationships and helps us to feel happy, connected and secure. Over time, these chats help us to understand each other better and ensure we have people we can count on when times are tough. Today we encourage you to reconnect with someone you care about. Whether it’s with whānau, friends, hoamahi/colleagues, iwi or community, a little chat can go a long way.

Here’s some ways you can reconnect:

  • Check in with whānau you haven’t spoken to in a while. Have a chat on the phone, send them a text or catch up kanohi ki te kanohi/face to face if you can. Ask them how they’re going and really listen.

  • Write a letter or email to your whānau sharing what you appreciate about them.

  • Look back through your photos and share a happy memory to reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with.

  • Get to know your hoamahi/colleagues a little better by using our korero/Talk card set.

  • Have a think about whether there is someone in your life who may be going through a tough time. Take time to korero/talk and ask them how they are, empathise and listen.

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It’s often the little things that bring us joy. The singing birds, the grass beneath our feet, the wind on our faces. Chats don’t have to happen indoors. Today we encourage you to get outside in nature with someone else. Take a moment to chat about the things that support your wellbeing and appreciate the beauty around you. You might be surprised by what you notice! If you feel up to it maybe even turn it into a jog then a chat, as exercise is proven to release endorphins and improve your mental wellbeing. Think about where you favourite spots in nature are and who do you like to share them with. Try to visit these places as often as you can to reconnect to your happy place.

Here's some ideas for connecting in nature:

  • Have your lunch outside with a friend or colleague, take notice of the nature around you. Even if you work outdoors, it’s great to take a break and spend some quality time together outside of your work space.

  • Connect with the whenua; grab some mates and get into the great outdoors - go on a bush walk, walk up your local maunga, breathe in the salty fresh air of the moana. Take time to chat and get to know each other whilst you’re there.

  • Head down to your local beach with a friend or whānau member and pick up any rubbish you come across. It’s a great way to spend quality time together outside and keep Aotearoa beautiful!

  • Take tamariki on a nature walk and get them to point out the things they see, smell and hear. Ask them how being in nature makes them feel.

  • Have a cuppa and a chat in the garden with your whānau, listen to the birds, be present and enjoy each other’s company. You might like to take off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your feet to ground yourself.

  • Go outdoors, snap a photo of some nature that catches your eye and send it to someone to brighten their day.

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We are halfway through MHW now and why not use this day to explore your wellbeing through Te Whare Tapa Whā (the five dimensions of wellbeing) and have a chat with someone else about what you learn? Think about the different ways you can boost your wellbeing using the four dimensions highlighted below. The Mental Health Foundation have plenty of activity resources to download to help you, read the full guide to access.

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  • Mental & Emotional (Te Taha Hinengaro) is your mind, heart, conscience, thoughts and feelings. Just like your physical health, your hinengaro needs to be nurtured. Hinengaro is what you do to stimulate and refresh your mind so you can better cope with the ups and downs of life.

  • Family & Social (Te Taha Whanau) is the people we care about, who recharge us and make us feel we belong. Whānau isn’t just our immediate relatives. It includes our friends, colleagues, iwi or community – the people who are close to our hearts. ​

Here are the five dimensions of wellbeing. Reflect on which areas are going well for you right now and which ones you need to focus on to improve your wellbeing. Share these thoughts with someone you trust and listen to them too.

  • Spiritual (Te Taha Wairua) is about taking notice and appreciating the beauty around us. It’s about rediscovering things that make us feel awe, hope, strength, unity and connection. For some, wairua is faith or a higher power. Sometimes our wairua isn’t strong and we encourage you to think about what wairua means to you and ways to strengthen it. When your wairua is strong, it’s easier to feel good, cope with challenges and build strong whānau relationships.

  • Land / Roots (Whenua) is our connection to the land. It’s soil, plants, animals and people – tangata whenua. It’s the earth through which you are connected to your tūpuna/ancestors. Whenua is a place of belonging and it’s comforting that it is never too far away.

  • Physical (Te Taha Tinana) is about how your body feels and how you care for it. Refuelling your body helps you to feel mentally well. Sometimes your tinana might not be where you’d like it to be and this might be beyond your control. What’s important is that you do what you can to nurture it.

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When we do something nice for someone else, be it a friend, colleague or stranger, not only does it make them feel good, it gives our wellbeing a boost in return. Whether it’s a big gesture or just a smile, everyone has a little act of kindness to offer. Think about someone who might need some extra support right now, because today is all about giving: our time, our kindness, our aroha, our kōrero, to others. Make it your goal to achieve at least 1 act of random kindness.

A few ideas for spreading kindness:

  • Send a kind message to someone in your life and let them know you’re thinking of them.

  • Visit a friend, neighbour or family member who could do with some company or support. If you’re unable to visit, give them a call.

  • Volunteer your time to others in need – join a community group, pick up someone’s groceries or simply drop off a hot meal to someone who could do with a helping hand – not only will it create a moment to chat, it will give you and them a feel-good boost.

  • Make a co-worker a cup of tea or bring in some biscuits and create a moment to chat in the lunchroom – look for opportunities to put a smile on someone’s face.

  • Introduce yourself to a new parent at your child’s school, new kaimahi at your workplace or a new neighbour in your community. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them settle in.

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Come together with others at school, work or home, or find a moment on your own to reflect on the week just gone. Be present and take time to chat about the things you’ve learnt, and the wellbeing tools you’re going to continue with. What
little chats have you had this week? How does connecting with others and talking openly about wellbeing make you feel?

A few ideas for reflecting together:

  • Try switching off the TV for a night and play a game with your partner or tamariki instead. You could even make music together, or just talk.

  • Organise a virtual dinner date. Set a time to eat and jump on a video call with someone else. Share kai, reflect on your weeks and chat about how you’re going to keep up the conversation.

  • Plan a whānau activity day - create a moment to kōrero about what makes each person feel good and plan an activity that focuses on each of those things. It could be getting out in nature for a walk, cooking a favourite meal, or video calling a relative overseas.

  • Share kōrero and kai with your team at work. Everyone bring a plate and chat about the things that you do to look after your wellbeing. If you’re working from home, have lunch and chat together over Zoom. Afterwards, have kaimahi fill in the wellbeing action plan at the end of the MHW guide to help them stay mentally healthy at work.

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STAY TUNED...MORE RESOURCES COMING SOON

The New Zealand Trucking Association have a range of Mental Health resources coming soon, as part of our Trucking Along Driver Health & Wellbeing Programme launching soon and delivered from the Road Safety Truck. Stay tuned and join us for access to this programme.