Mental Health awareness week kicks off next Monday. This year’s theme is take time to kōrero/mā te kōrero, ka ora - a little chat can go a long way.
Little everyday conversations can make a big difference to our mental health and wellbeing. Over time, small chats create meaningful connections and ensure we have people to count on when times are tough – like a global pandemic and level 4 lockdowns.
One in five kiwis experience a mental illness each year. That means someone you know, maybe it’s you, are experiencing some challenges right now. So, consider how you might reach out to someone or benefit yourself, from trying some of these suggestions.
Before you get stuck into your day or even your week. Take time to check in with yourself. Think about how you’re feeling and who you’d like to chat to. Write it down and use it at the end of the day or week to reflect.
Reconnect with someone you care about
Whether it's whanau, friends, colleagues or community a little chat can go a long way to making you, and them, feel good.
- send a text or message
- chat on the phone
- look back through photos and share a happy memory
Get outside in nature
Kōrero doesn’t have to be indoors and spring is definitely in the air so get outside and enjoy it.
- have your lunch outside with a mate (make it someone from your bubble or via zoom if you’re in lockdown)
- find somewhere to walk in nature and enjoy the sounds around you
- take a photo of somewhere you’re enjoying outside and send it to someone to brighten their day
- learn about the four dimensions of Te Whare Tapa Whā, reflect on your own thoughts and share with someone else
- if you’ve got tamariki, have fun making this chatterbox and playing along with your kids
- fill your house with music from the take time to korero playlist. This playlist has something for everyone AND you can add your own favourites.
Connect through kindness
We’ve all heard the prime minister talk about being kind. The benefit of doing something nice for someone else not only means they feel good, but we do too.
- send a kind message to someone letting them know you’re thinking of them
- make a colleague a cup of tea or coffee or bring in some biscuits
- give everyone a big smile when you’re out and about, let the car or the person in the supermarket go in front of you
Those of us in level 4 might be a little tired of coming together with our bubble people by now, or alternatively, this might be what brings everyone back together!
- switch off the tv for a night and play a game
- organise a virtual dinner date – set a time to jump on a call with someone, share kai and reflect on your week
- share kōrero and kai with your workmates – either virtual or in person.
Life can quickly become overwhelming, connecting with others even on a small level by way of an everyday kōrero can make a difference.
The mental health foundation has lots of great suggestions of how to get involved and resources for individuals and groups alike. We started with the fun and easy because that’s what we like at Pinnacle Life. What will you start with?
Everyone goes though ups and downs, that’s completely normal. But no one should feel unsupported and alone. If you’re worried you or someone you know needs a bit more support talk to your GP or call a National Helpline.
Lifeline– 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)