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Getting Through Together Digest: 20th May 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020   Posted in: Newsletters By: Administrator With tags: newsletter, mental wellbeing, resilience, lockdown, workplace, education, support

Kia ora. How is level 2 going for you? Have you hit the ground running or are you keen to wait it out a little bit longer? We've all had different experiences during noho rāhui / lockdown, and we're all in different places right now - and that's all right!

Wherever you're at, please remember to keep doing the little things that bring you joy.

As level 3 and 4 escape further into our past, it can be easy to dive back into work, school and the general modern life juggling act. But as guidance counsellor, Chris Fouhy tells us in this issue, it's important to keep your own cup full - it's the small deliberate acts each day that can have the greatest impact on your wellbeing.

And as we move through this new time, let's keep looking out for each other and taking note of those who might need a little extra aroha at this time.

All Right? and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

A return to a new normal

It was a big day on Monday! 800,000 tamariki and rangatahi returned to school, and more have joined the ranks as the week has progressed. There was huge excitement and some completely understandable nerves.

A kind word and smile for those who are less enthusiastic, or who are unable to return to school yet, could go a long way to helping them feel better.

And it's the same for workplaces. For some colleagues, getting back to the daily grind offers some welcome respite from 24/7 home life, while others will be missing their children, or feeling anxious about being back out in the world again. Keep taking it easy on yourself, Aotearoa.

Talking about COVID-19 at work

Whether you’ve headed back to the office this week or you’re still working from home, it’s important to remember your co-workers are still experiencing the impact of COVID-19 during level 2.

Something that can make a big difference is letting everyone know it is normal to feel a wide range of things from stress, anger, sadness and anxiety, to joy, gratitude, and relief. Using language that promotes care, solidarity and kindness will make everyone feel more included and able to talk about their experience and what they need.

Check out this COVID-19 workplace resource from the Mental Health Foundation to learn more about the benefits of using positive language and communication at work right now.

Guiding a school community through COVID-19

St Patrick’s College guidance counsellor Chris Fouhy worked swiftly to create resources to support the wellbeing of students, teachers, caregivers and whānau prior to lockdown.

He created a small card outlining easy ways students could look after their wellbeing everyday during noho rāhui, created a wellbeing resource for teachers, and developed ‘gratitude flags’ for students to write what they were thankful for and pin up as bunting in homes.
Chris also made a YouTube video showing practical ways to help anyone who may need support.

With school back, Chris says it’s important to continue to focus on the wellbeing of ourselves and others.

“We all need to be really proactive and intentional about our health. Our modern lifestyle gives us so many distractions, so we need to plan for these. It’s important everyone spends some time each day doing things that make them feel good.”

“You’ve got to restore yourself if you’re going to be an effective support to others,” Chris says. “Looking after yourself is as important as looking after someone else.”

Read the full story of how Chris supported his school community during the noho rāhui.

The art of being #unproductivelyproductive

Didn't master the art of sourdough, or learn a new language during noho rāhui/ lockdown? You aren't alone! Looking after your wellbeing during this time is more than enough.

One of our favourite Kiwi TV presenters, Wilhelmina Shrimpton, jumped on social media recently to share this important message.

"I admit at times I’ve looked busy doing exercise and baking. But in between all of the squats, banana bread and cookies there’s been a lot of downtime. I haven’t started a side hustle, I haven’t rearranged my house, and I haven’t got an online qualification... and you know what, that’s okay. Because while I may not feel productive a lot of the time, that chill time has been productive for my mind.
"Sometimes doing things that are seemingly ‘unproductive’ (and not necessarily making us financially richer or more successful) are actually ‘productive’ for our minds, our mental health and our wellbeing."

Wise words indeed!

Zoom fatigue, anyone?

For those of you who aren't back at work yet, or who are continuing to work a little differently, perhaps you're suffering from a case of Zoom fatigue? You are not alone!

Harvard Business Review suggests ways to combat zoom fatigue, including trying to take regular breaks when you can and reducing other stimuli.

Being there for each other 

When times are tough, little things like reaching out to a good mate or tuning out the noise, can really help.

Watch a video on why reaching out help to get through tough times (YouTube).

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.

Sign up now for the Getting Through Together Digests.

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