Nau mai ki Te Wiki Aroā Hauora Hinengaro, welcome to Mental Health Awareness Week!

This year has been difficult for many of us, and life has often felt heavy. This week is the perfect time to learn some new tools for supporting our wellbeing, and put them into practice.

Each day this week, we’ll be sharing a tool that we can use to nurture and protect our wellbeing. These will be the Five Ways to Wellbeing – take notice/me aro tonu, give/rātū, be active/me kori tonu, connect/me whakawhanaunga, keep learning/me ako tonu.

Today, we are going to take notice/me aro tonu, also known as mindfulness. It can be tempting to distract ourselves from our feelings and stresses and push them to the back of our minds, but it’s important to be present with yourself and unpack how you feel in that moment.

Here's how Kris Kennett, Advisor Wellbeing Takes Notice - click below to watch the video:

When we truly take notice, it allows us space to breath and think, and space between our feelings and our reactions. It isn’t easy to do this without getting overwhelmed, so here are some tips for putting me aro tonu into practice:

  • Stretch your legs and your mind by heading out for a hīkoi (walk) after mahi (work). Try it without music or a podcast, so you can be present with your feelings.
  • Unplug for a few hours. Take a break from social media, and pay attention to your surroundings and your feelings. Take notice of things you normally wouldn’t.
  • Try some mindful breathing exercises. Focusing on breathing is a great way to calm your body and mind.
  • Write it down! Take time to jot down some whakaaro (thoughts) to really take notice of the emotions you’re feeling. 

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