As New Zealanders find themselves thrust into the uncertainty of another lockdown, and the new dangers of the Delta variant, it’s more important than ever to have the tools to look after our mental health and wellbeing.
Whether you’re alone in your bubble, dealing with the mad balance of work and home-schooling, or facing any number of financial or health related challenges, lockdown can be difficult for all of us. At Arch Group, we think it’s important to focus on wellbeing while we all work from home, so we come out of lockdown a strong, connected and healthy team.
The Ministry of Health stresses that in these unprecedented times, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on how we interact with others and many aspects of our daily lives, that “everyone reacts differently to difficult events, and some may find this time more challenging than others. The ways people think, feel and behave are likely to change over time – we all have good days and bad days.”
Research from UK-based think tank The New Economics Foundation introduced the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, a strategy adopted by New Zealand’s Mental Health Foundation to help people struggling through the pandemic.
The evidence shows there are five simple things you can do as part of your daily life to build resilience and boost your wellbeing:
- Connect (me whakawhanuanga): forming relationships and positive social interactions keep us happy, connected and secure. Chat to a friend, reach out, give someone advice, stay connected.
- Take Notice (me aro tonu): Pay attention to your thoughts and the world around you, remember the simple things that give you joy.
- Be Active (me kori tonu): Find the activity you enjoy and make time for it – exercise is proven to decrease stress and boost morale.
- Give (tukua): Acts of kindness and giving, small or large, can increase your happiness and helps you to feel part of a team.
- Keep Learning (me ako tonu): Embrace new experiences, set goals, learn something new, embrace old, forgotten interests. We thrive when we feel like we’ve achieved something.
At Arch Group, we know how important it is to stay connected and in communication, both for the success of our projects, and to look after each other. Glenn McHardie, a Senior Architect on our team is an advocate for keeping mental health a top priority. Throughout the lockdown, Glenn has offered tips that include giving yourself permission to treat yourself, practicing breathing and managing your energy.
“Slowing your breath can be a powerful tool,” Glenn says. “ Your breath and how much you breathe can have a profound effect on your mood. We typically breathe 12 to 14 times per minute, whereas slowing your breath to five to six times per minute can really settle you.”
Whatever your strategy may be to stay sane in these uncertain times, there’s comfort in the idea that the team of five million and your own personal team are all going through it together. Keep talking, stay connected, and reach out to us if there’s anything we can do to help.