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Getting Through Together Digest: 17th June 2020

Wednesday, June 17, 2020   Posted in: Newsletters By: Administrator With tags: newsletter, resilience, mental wellbeing, recovery

Kia ora. We all learned a lot over noho rāhui/ lockdown - for many of us it was a rare chance to slow down in ways we never had before.

This week we've been highlighting some amazing words from around the world we've discovered recently. Words like 'fika', which means slowing down and appreciating the good things in life. The cool thing about fika is that it looks like lots of different things for different people.

Whether it is getting out in nature; enjoying a coffee with friends; having some downtime to yourself; or maybe even quality time with the kids or our fur babies - many of us have found ways to enjoy the small things in our own special way.

As we look back over the last couple of months, what have been your fika moments? And as life gets a bit more normal, how can you add a bit more fika to your everyday?

In this issue, we look at how 84-year-old Stan is staying connected with his wife of almost 60 years while living apart. We hear from a barbershop owner who shares his personal fika moments and we give a shout out to our amazing sports volunteers (if you tag them they can win an awesome team activity!).

We also explore the difference that Maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar, is having on a Rotorua workplace and how it provides structure to their team during these turbulent times.

Enjoy and see you next week.

Arohanui,
All Right? and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

Sharing the love during lockdown

When 84-year-old Stan Batchelor was unable to visit his wife due to the COVID-19, he defied his family’s orders to stay home – out of 60 years of love. “It was my final fling,” says Stan.

Just before the Prime Minister announced the country was going into noho rāhui/ lockdown, Stan had driven to WesleyCare, where his wife Shirley resided. He parked up below her window and displayed his hand painted sign. It was an act captured on camera and shared with the world on the Christchurch Methodist Mission’s Facebook page.

Now at alert level one, the married couple of 60 years have been able to reunite in person – but still with some restrictions.

Watch a video of Stan showing us what true love looks like (YouTube).

These are a few of our favourite things... 

We’ve learned a few new words over the last few weeks to appreciate life and the change we’ve been through - check them out below.

  • Gezelligheid <gears-ell-igg-hide> - Dutch
    (n.) The warm, enjoyable feeling of seeing a friend after a long absence.
  • Merak <mere-rack> - Serbian
    (n.) The feeling of bliss and connection with the universe that comes from the simplest pleasures.
  • Iktsuarpok <ickt-swar-pook> - Inuit
    (n.) The feeling of anticipation that leads you to look outside to see if anyone is coming.
  • Lefargen <le-far-gun> - Hebrew
    (v.) To make someone feel good without expecting anything back.

Lockdown lessons help barber slow down

Barber Ben Scott is doing life a little differently post lockdown.

Prior to closing Benny’s Barbershop for over two months during noho rāhui/ lockdown, ‘me time’ was not something Ben often prioritised.

Having had time to think and ‘take a sabbatical’ over lockdown, he is now dedicating time to practising mindfulness and doing more of things that allow him to unwind and recharge.

It's a move he hopes will have a positive impact on those around him, like his customers and staff.

Order our latest posters online if you would like to promote wellbeing messages in your organisation.

Finding wellbeing through Maramataka

Healthy Families Rotorua kicked off each day with a morning karakia and a wellbeing programme centred around the Māori lunar calendar, Maramataka. In the general fog of noho rāhui/ lockdown, where so many days could blend together, it provided structure and purpose to the day for their team of fourteen, and added something for people to focus on during these turbulent times.

"It made you observe your environment, what's happening around you and how it affects you and your family and your workspace," says manager Mapihi Raharuhi. 

"So Maramataka, from a mental health perspective, helps us to re-adjust within that calendar and also know that it's actually okay to not have a great day, because that phase will shift and you'll come back up to that higher energy, to optimise the activities you do accordingly." 

Find out more on how Healthy Families Rotorua are using the practices of Maramataka in their workplace.

Be sure to check out the Mental Health Foundation’s workplace guide if you'd like some helpful tips and information around how to promote a supportive workplace right now.

There are many variations of maramataka around Aotearoa - each Iwi have their own, slightly different versions as they are influenced by many local factors. The All Right? Maramataka calendar draws from the traditional observations and knowledge of Ngāi Tahu in Te Wai Pounamu (South Island).
You can order the All Right? Maramataka calendar, or create your own featuring the moon phases relevant to your iwi.

Thanking our awesome sport coaches and managers

As winter sports kicks into gear we'd like to give a huge thanks to the volunteers who dedicate so much of their spare time to our kids (and put up with us when we get a bit “passionate” about the game).

Our friends at Sparklers at Home are encouraging people to Tag a sports coach, manager or helper that goes above and beyond to help give our sports volunteers the kudos they deserve. As well as providing you with a great sense of lefargen (see above), the volunteer you tag will be into win a fun activity for the whole team - like heading to the trampoline park, bowling or laser strike? It’s coach's call!

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