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Getting Through Together Digest: 13th May 2020

Wednesday, May 13, 2020   Posted in: Newsletters By: Administrator With tags: newsletter, wellbeing, mental wellbeing, resilience, campaign, lockdown, workplace, education, grief

Kia ora. Well, what a week?!

As we grapple with what a return to alert level 2 on Thursday will mean for us, we'll all be feeling different emotions. For some of us, the thought of leaving our bubbles for the first time makes us nervous and anxious, while others are chomping at the bit to catch up with friends or get a haircut.

Wherever you sit on the spectrum, know that it's ok. And it's just as important to acknowledge that many of those around us will be feeling differently.

Kindness is going to be really important over the next few weeks as we all adjust to a new normal. Please join us in continuing to spread the aroha and kindness that our country has shown throughout this noho rāhui/ lockdown.

All Right? and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

A rollercoaster full of ups and downs

Life's a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment. There's been an enormous mix of reactions to the decision to move into level 2 - it's all right if you're stoked, and it’s all right if you’re feeing pretty nervous about the path ahead. We’re all at different places, and that's all right.

Watch a video about life being a rollercoaster.

Keeping up the kindness

We're loving these simple tips to help us ease back into a new normal:

  • Some people don’t agree with going to level 2 - that’s okay. Be kind. 🛑
  • Some people are still planning to stay at home - that’s okay. Be kind. 🏡
  • Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening - that’s okay. Be kind.
  • Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may possibly save their business or their homes - that’s okay. Be kind. 💰
  • Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off - that’s okay. Be kind. 👩🏾‍⚕️
  • Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job - that’s okay. Be kind. 📝
  • Some will wear masks for weeks - that’s okay. Be kind. 😷
  • Some people will rush out to get their hair or nails done - that’s okay. Be kind. 💅🏻

The point is, everyone has different viewpoints or feelings and that’s okay. Be kind. ❤️

We all are in different places with different strengths and different challenges. Remember that. Be kind.

Transitioning back to school

With teachers and students returning to classrooms, whānau are faced with a new challenge – supporting their child in the transition back to school.

Having been at home for many weeks, tamariki and rangatahi of all ages will be experiencing a range of emotions as the country returns to a new normal at alert level 2.

For some, the move will be welcomed, reuniting them with friends, teachers and play. For others, the return to school will spark anxiety or fear.

There are some simple things whānau can do to help make the transition from the home to school an easier one, including providing opportunities for tamariki to reflect on their noho rāhui/ lockdown experience, and encouraging them to find ways to look out for each other.

Read the Sparklers at Home guide for helping whānau transition their children back to school.

Finding new ways to say goodbye

The ups and downs of everyday life have continued as they always have during our noho rāhui/ lockdown, and for those of us who have had to say goodbye to loved ones it's been an especially difficult time.

It was 11pm in New Zealand, when Andy, his wife Sarah, and their two kids all dressed up, lit a candle, and tuned in to the virtual funeral of Andy’s father James 'Jim' Kirkup, alongside over 100 of his loved ones. The whole Zoom funeral joined in for a rendition of Roger Miller’s classic King of the Road. “He’d have liked that,” Andy grins. “He loved a bit of karaoke.” It was very sad that they couldn’t all be together, he says, but “it was the best we could do”.

The day before New Zealand moved into level four, Andy’s father Jim died of a lung infection in the UK. He’d been struggling with dementia for a while, and recurring lung infections were knocking him back – normally he would respond well to antibiotics, but not this time. As sad it was to say goodbye over Zoom, Andy is proud that the whānau did the best they could for their beloved dad.

With funerals and tangihanga still being kept to a max of ten people in level two, and international travel restricted, many, like Andy and his family, will be finding alternate ways to honour the life of a loved one.

Read Andy’s full story about honouring a loved one during COVID-19.

Get further advice and information on how to cope with loss and grief during COVID-19.

Focusing on workplace wellbeing

It is an opportune time to share the Mental Health Foundation's latest resource for workplaces with many more businesses heading back to work over the next few days.

It's full of great information to help workplace leaders promote a supportive environment for their employees throughout this trying time.

Not all right?

For many of us, these new challenges and the loss of our regular routines is causing stress. We want you to know that however you’re feeling, there is someone to talk to and free help available. It’s okay to reach out if you need to - we all need a bit of support from time-to-time.

Call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor anytime - it’s free and completely confidential. You can also call Lifeline on 0800 543354 or text HELP to 4357.

Check out the Mental Health Foundation’s website for further advice on how to stay mentally well during this time.

Until next time, stay well Aotearoa.
And remember, we'll get through this - together.

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Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch