This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is Five Ways, Five Days. Life has been a rollercoaster lately, with stress and overwhelm hitting us from all angles. We've faced uncertainty, unfamiliarity, and hardships that have left us with mixed emotions.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing are five simple yet proven actions you can use every day to help you find balance, build resilience and boost your wellbeing. These practices are backed by evidence and can be easily incorporated into anyone's life, regardless of their situation.
TAKE NOTICE / ME ARO TONU
Take notice of the things around you, remember the simple things that give you joy – me aro tonu ki ngā mea māmā noa i ngākau harikoa ai koe.
Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools for managing stress and improving mental clarity. These practices encourage you to stay present in the moment, which can help alleviate anxiety and prevent rumination on negative thoughts. You don't need to be a meditation expert; even a few minutes of deep breathing or guided meditation can provide immediate relief from stress and promote mental well-being.
GIVE / TUKUA
Give your time, your words, your presence; tukua te wā ki a koe, ō kupu, ko koe tonu.
The act of giving, whether through random acts of kindness, spending time with loved ones or volunteering, holds profound importance for improving your mental health. While it may seem counterintuitive at first – how can giving to others benefit your own mental well-being – research and anecdotal evidence consistently support the idea that generosity and altruism have a positive impact on your mental health.
BE ACTIVE / ME KORI TONU
Be active, do what you can – whāia te mea ka taea e koe, enjoy what you do – kia pārekareka tāu i whai ai, move your mood – kia pai ake ō piropiro.
Your body is an amazing machine that does so much for us every single day; it deserves some love and attention in return! Engaging in regular physical activity not only helps reduce stress but also promotes better sleep and boosts self-esteem. It doesn't have to be a gruelling workout; a quick walk listening to a podcast, a gentle yoga session, or a social sport you enjoy can make a significant difference in your mental health.
CONNECT / ME WHAKAWHANAUNGA
Connect, talk and listen – me kōrero, me whakarongo, be there – me whakawātea i a koe, feel connected – me rongo i te whanaungatanga.
Connecting with others is important for your mental health. It's easy to get caught up in your own little world, and that's okay—up to a point. But when you're not connecting with other people, you're missing out on something that is essential to your well-being.
Talking about your feelings with someone else can help you feel better about yourself and what is going on in your life. When you talk about your feelings with someone else, it helps you see things in a different way or gain new insights into what is going on in your life. You may even learn something new about yourself – maybe something that has been hiding there all along!
KEEP LEARNING / ME AKO TONU
Keep learning and embrace new experiences, awhitia te wheako hou, see opportunities – kimihia ngā ara hou, surprise yourself – me ohorere koe i a koe anō.
Keep learning new things, keep trying out new opportunities—and keep reminding yourself that this is only one chapter in your amazing story.
Remember, your mental health matters, and taking these steps can lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.