The holidays can be a time for family and celebrations – but it can also be a time when many people feel stressed and blue. This year has been a tough one for many, so we have a few tips on how to support your wellbeing this season. And we’re calling on nature again to give us a hand. Look at our fun Summer Photo Challenge to get you started!
Wishing you a safe and naturally enjoyable holiday season!
1. Connect, me whakawhanaunga
Make some time in your day to connect with nature; stretch your legs outside or bring the outside in. Go barefoot and feel the grass or sand between your toes, go for a swim in the sun, find a photo of the natural world and make it your screen saver, or adopt a potted plant. If you think you’re going to be alone for this holiday season, it might be a good idea to reach out to people you know now – Skype them, call or Facebook them, or meet face to face. If you don't relish being alone this holiday, take some time to read the local newspaper or newsletter to see what’s going on in your area, such as an organised group outing, musical/cultural performance or community Christmas event.
2. Give, tukua
'Tis the season for giving, but many of us might be a bit strapped for cash at this time. One way to shake off the financial stress is by getting creative with the holiday spirit. Give the gift of time by offering to help with someone’s garden, babysit or make a gift from natural materials (terrariums are pretty hot this year!). There are also some little ways to give while rushing around – give a smile to a stranger or a compliment to someone, or donate some old toys, books or clothes to someone who might need some kindness.
3. Take notice, me aro tonu
Every day seems to get busier and the spirit of the season can get lost in the hassle and bustle of each day. A good antidote is to take some time to learn more about what your body is telling you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted – pause, breath in, breath out. Take notice of the pohutukawa flowers changing, the night sky, or go somewhere you’ve always been meaning to visit in your local area. Maybe even try some mindfulness.
4. Keep learning, me ako tonu
There’s always something new to learn, especially when you’re interacting with nature. Read up on what fruit and veggies are in season, or learn about what natural resources you have in your backyard. Download this handy backyard treasure hunt chart and see what you can find. You really can learn something new each day – share stories with your family, go on a bush walk, learn about the natural environment from your tablet or local library, or take a trip to the zoo or botanical gardens.
5. Be active, me kori tonu
Getting outside and exercising is good for your overall health and wellbeing! Have a lunch break outside, take a walk with a friend in a park, or design a treasure hunt for your friends and family (see above!). There are ways to bring activity into all you do, by using the stairs instead of the elevator, getting off the bus one stop earlier, or catching up with a friend for a walk instead of a coffee.
Find more information on the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
Looking to get outside this summer?
Check out this fantastic 30-day challenge by The Palmy Dirty 30!
Ways to stay well this season with some helpful information and support: