Another week of changes announced and adjustments needed.  We now know what Level 2 looks like and are all busy preparing for more change.  Even though this change is a positive – another step closer to “normal” life without restrictions, it can takes is toll on us.  This week we want to look at how to look after ourselves, on a basic level, so that we are equipped to handle the change.  It may be that you aren’t sleeping as well, your eating habits have changed or you’re feeleing more emotionally up and down.  
When people come to stay as Guests at the Retreat, we talk about taking time out to breathe – this means eating well, sleeping well, keeping our bodies moving, being mindful, and connecting with others.  Sound like stating the obvious? I guess that’s because they are the critical building blocks that we ALL need to come back to, especially during times of increased stress. So, this week we want to go back to basics, to relook at how we can support our own well-being and increase resiliency everyday.  

Here are some of the ways you can support yourself, and also some things we have found inspiring over the last few weeks! 

We have been missing our shared kai with our Retreat Guests, and our weekly lodge baking with volunteer baking-guru Jude. Some peopel have enjoyed having more time to cook – there are so many resources online but we love the BBC Good Food site where you can search via ingredient, specialist food type, and they have great options for singles to large whānau and people on tight budgets!

For some of us, the last few weeks have meant a total change in routine, or perhaps a lack of routine all together! If this is you, try the following tips for a good nights sleep:

  • Routine – try and go to sleep and wake up at the same times each day
  • Black out your sleeping space as much as possible; switch off computers, devices, pesky LEDs
  • Minimise noise (sometimes white noise or soft background noise is relaxing)
  • Wind down – at least an hour before bed turn off screens and start your body getting ready for sleep, lower lights, quiet activity like reading or listening to an audiobook.

Research shows a strong correlation between physical activity and well being. There are so many options for exercise it can be totally overwhelming. Some of our favorites are back to basics like gardening, walking, stretching, dancing (like no ones watching), and playing with the kids or pets outside. Here’s a little inspiration!

How we all need this. Call us for a chat during office hours. We are here to provide support and can talk you through the options. If you prefer to write then we have supported online blogging. If you experience prolonged anxiety or are unsure if what’s happening for you is more than what’s to be expected, reach out and we can chat this through and provide information and education about responses to stress and trauma.
We are also knowledgeable about other organisations within our community that could provide specialist support, sometimes finding the right information for you can be tricky or feel too hard.

For many of us a fantastic to way to be ‘in the moment’ is to head out into nature, and, at last, we are free to take that beautiful hike while the weather is still good.
Music and the arts are also wonderful ways to take a breath from day to day stresses, take some time out from everything to do what you enjoy, listen to music, get creative, a dose of positive activity can leave you feeling stronger inside.

For a wee mindful pause right now, check out this beautiful performance.

We got this whānau.  One day at a time.

Jamie, and all at Taranaki Retreat