It’s great that you’re joining the team of five million! While you’re in quarantine, it’s important you look after yourself. To help you get through, we've come up with a few simple tips. Kia kaha – and thanks for doing your bit.
Connecting with others is important for our wellbeing and helps make us feel safer, less stressed and less anxious. Keep in touch with your friends and whānau on the phone, or through social media, video chats and text.
Take notice/Me aro tonu
Sometimes our minds wander to stress or worry and get trapped into negative patterns of thought. Luckily, there are some strategies that can help you bringing your focus back to the present moment and quieten a racing mind.
- Gratitude is known to help you to be positive and lessen anxiety. Try writing down what you’re grateful for or something you’re looking forward to. This might be related to your friends and whānau, your pet, a song or nature. Practising gratitude doesn’t take away the hard things we’re facing, but can help change the way we’re thinking about them. Try the Small Steps gratitude tool here.
- Practice ‘grounding techniques’ like feeling the earth beneath your feet, the experience of deep breathing, the taste of water. Being mindful and present can be calming. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, use grounding techniques to reconnect you to the present. Try Small Steps muscle relaxation, deep breathing or mindful watching.
Check out the Small Steps website to try out some other tools for your wellbeing.
Try to see this time as a chance to rest. Find ways to switch off and recharge. Reading, deep breathing and meditation are all great ways to unwind. Do a mindfulness exercise - Small Steps and the Mindfulness Education Group has some you might find helpful.
We know being in quarantine can be difficult, but it’s a good opportunity to let yourself do nothing and simply ‘be’.
Get moving/Kia kori
We know this is tricky right now, but try your best to do what you can with the exercise options available to you. Regular movement helps release tension and stress and can give you an energy boost. You could even do a yoga workout in your room (this is one example from YouTube) or 10 minutes of simple stretching. Here’s a simple workout that only takes seven minutes, and all you need is a chair.
Keep learning, stay curious/Me whai whakaaro
Learning new things and getting creative helps to focus your mind and gives you a sense of purpose. You could use this time to learn something you’ve always wanted to know about, but never had the time. Research your whakapapa or family tree. Watch documentaries on topics you’re interested in. Look up the history and stories of different cultures. Download an app like Duolingo and start learning a new language. Puzzles and games activate the learning parts of our brain and help us to experience ‘states of flow’, or being ‘in the zone’, which can also make us feel relaxed and calm. Try crosswords or Sudoku online.
Stick to a routine/Whai mahere
Routines are good for your mental health. Having a daily routine could help you get through each day and adjust to regular life when it goes back to normal. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat at regular times, shower, change your clothes and see how you can regularly incorporate the rest of our wellbeing tips into each day.
Limit the news/Whakawhāitingia tou aro
Checking for updates too often can escalate feelings of anxiety and increase exposure to misinformation. Pick one source you trust and check it once or twice a day.
Two reliable sources of accurate, reliable and up-to-date information are:
If you want to keep checking news coverage, take notice of how it makes you feel, set time limits, and stick to the facts.
It feels good to give, and everybody has something to offer. Tell the people who help and support you that you appreciate them. You can also give your time by listening, and talking, to the people in your life that you care about by phone, video chat, email or Messenger.
It’s okay to reach out
Life might feel like a bit of a rollercoaster right now, and it’s completely normal to be feeling a range of emotions about it all.
If you’ve noticed you’re really not feeling yourself, there is help available.
Check out some our tips, information and free online resources here. You can free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day. You can also call Lifeline on 0800 543354, the Anxiety Helpline on 0800 269 4389, or text HELP to 4357.
For further tips on how to stay mentally well at the moment, head to the Mental Health Foundation’s website.