Probably the most out of date title for this blog! They started changing quite quickly a few weeks back. We have been asked to change and adapy regularly at the moment. Whether it was changing how we shop, what we do with our time, how we work, how we support kids, how we move our bodies, whether we have work to go back to, how we travel, the list goes on of how we have been changing and adapting recently, and there will be more to come as we move further through Level 2 and beyond. (Sounds a bit like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story - to infinity and beyond....)
Anyhoo, even if we are fully supportive of the restrictions that have been in place recently and can understand why they have been necessary, it can still be hard to adapt to change. A wise man once told me that change comes from chance, choice or chaos. Chance being that random conversation that led to an opportunity, or I remember someone telling me the story of how they were meant to be going to Australia for a holiday, their plane got diverted over here for some reason, they ended up with a stopover in Auckland, went out for the evening, started to like what they were seeing, so didn't get on the plane the next day, had their holiday here, went home, sold their house and then moved over here. So a big change purely down to chance and a diverted plane.
Change through choice is when we make those steps, take those decisions to make some changes in our life, whatever area of our life it may be, changing our job, moving out of somewhere, ending (or starting) a relationship, changing eating patterns or lifestyle habits. Change coming through our call, our decision, our taking responsibility for our lives.
Finally, change through chaos, for example a pandemic. Again where something has happened or is going on around us, and was not something we had directed. It may be the end of a relationship, the loss of someone, a landlord wanting their house back, a redundancy, all things that don't feel in our control.
And maybe we don't have control, but we do have control over how we respond to any of these ways of change, but particularly the last one. We may not have felt in control over these weeks, or even now dealing with the ripple effects. But we can control how we respond. This could look like researching and finding out what our options are, reaching out for help, getting a support crew around us, getting clear on what we want the next chapter to look like, being conscious of how we are looking after ourselves, recharging ourselves, so that we are giving ourselves the best chance of turning things around.
Do you feel you want to be making some changes, or maybe its got to a stage where you feel you need to be making some changes, but not quite sure what some of those next steps are, why not get in touch with the Retreat and have a chat, there are many many options and ways of supporting you and getting you moving forward again.
Liz the Life Coach - Some of my favourite times working with clients are when they are on that point of change. It can be daunting but its made so much easier sharing the journey with someone, whether that be a coach, another therapist, a good friend or positive family member.
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:
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 whånau. One day at a time.
Jamie, and all at Taranaki Retreat
Wnat to make a difference, but funds are low, here are some ideas that may help...
Clean out your pantry at home and donate what you don’t need, use or want anymore. I mean everyone has a random can of something that’s been hiding in the pantry for a while right? Kai Pantries are a great place to drop any excess off or your local food bank.
Recycle, as much as possible, set up a recycling system for your home or work, start small and get the hang of it, the planet will be grateful.
Thank an Essential Worker, if you see them, say thanks! or email or by way of social media, it only takes a minute to make someone feel appreciated and they’ve been more essential than ever lately.
Volunteer in your area, there is something for everyone on a small or large scale and even things that you can do from home. Use your passion, whether it’s animals, kids, people or connection to find the right fit for you. Once a week, once a month, once a year, everything helps.
Shop Local, when you are spending - your town, your city, New Zealand, more than ever all of our businesses need us to support them whether your spending $1 or $100.
Give Blood. It doesn’t take long and can help so many people and maybe even save a life. Check out nzblood.co.nz to see if you are eligible to donate, where and when.
Donate to your local Op Shop, if it doesn’t spark joy anymore, thank it for its service and pass it on for someone else to enjoy and your favourite Op Shop to profit from.
Adopt a Pet that needs a home, change their life and yours. Pets find their way into shelters for many reasons, my in-laws just adopted a 7 year old dog before lockdown as the 96 years old owner was going into a rest home and they will all keep in touch - heart swell right there.
Adopt a Neighbour. Whether it’s a quick hello over the fence, a wave out the window or having a cuppa, there are many Kiwis that have no family in the area or even in NZ. You’ll get as much out of the relationship as they will.
Pass Books and Magazines onto family and friends. You never know what they might find interesting, educational or motivating or donate used books to a local café.
Plant a couple of extra seeds in your veggie garden and share the love and produce around when it’s ready. You might have fruit trees in your garden too, a bag of fruit or a few veggies may make a difference to someone’s budget.
When Baking at Home double the recipe and share the love with friends and neighbours. It’s a special way to connect and catch up with folks.
Show your Happiness for someone else’s success! Offer to help them to continue with their success, we all have different skills that we can share.
Welcome In new members to your neighbourhood and community, they will acclimate to the neighbourhood quicker and you’ll make a new friend or three.
Leave Messages with your favourite quotes in library books, on café tables, the bus or train. You’ll brighten up someone’s day and maybe start a chain of good vibes.
Mentor or Tutor someone you know. You might be an expert in a subject, have a love of teaching or a wealth of knowledge in business that could really help someone with their future plans.
Community Garden. Find some like minded gardeners in your area and create a sustainable community garden. Start small and watch how it grows as you meet new people and create a central hub for all those with green fingers.
Clean up an Area. It might be the local beach, walking track or park, by taking pride in a communal area you might just inspire others to keep it tidy or to work on tidying a different area.
Exercise / walk /run with a friend or neighbour, some folk like the company and motivation to exercise together, help them to get active and you in the process, it’s a win win.
Visit Aged Care homes in your community. Call in and talk to the office manager and activities coordinator to see if you can share any of your time and talent - singing (if you can sing that is), reading, music or just company and chatting.
Tech Support. Teach the young and old in your community how to use a computer, ipad or mobile phone. It might be the main way they could keep in touch with family and friends out of town or out of the country. You remember how daunting it was with a new device but practice and patience does wonders.
Transportation. Escort neighbours, friends or family to the shops when you’re going if they don’t have a car or carpool to work for companionship and to save some dollars on gas.
Leave a review. Pleased your local cafe has opened up again, or got a favourite local business that you support, why not leave them a review or contact them to thank them?
Jigsaw Puzzles, you either love them or you don’t. If you do love them check with your local Op Shops if they need a puzzle checker. I didn’t know it was a thing but it totally is, all puzzles are checked before they go out to sale.
Set Up a Driveway, street, neighbourhood whatsapp, facebook messenger group so everyone can communicate easily and help each other out if and when needed.
Start a Book or Cooking Club. In person or online, there’s something special about sharing your thoughts on what you’ve just read or made. The ripple effect from a club based around people’s passions can be magical
Kombucha mania is sweeping the country, if you’re making it at home ask around and see if anyone is interested in learning how to make it or maybe a local is on the hunt for a scoby.
Sport, if sport is your thang see if you can use your skill, talent and time to help a local school or club. It will give you all, all the feels.
Phone someone you haven’t spoken to or connected with for a while. It’s always nice to know someone is thinking about you and you sometimes don’t know what people are dealing with so a call for no other reason than to say HI can be real nice.
Turn Up to a Community meeting, a party, a club, a book reading. Show up by yourself or take some friends and make that hosts day. You know how it feels when you’re the host and you wonder if anyone is going to be there on the night.
Share a Meal with a new friend, an old friend or a neighbour you know is alone. Breaking bread together is a human universal experience, it can be so simple to do but so powerful for you both.
Any others you can think of? Do please share them in the comments.
Compiled by Liz the Life Coach.
Compiled from a recent post on our Facebook page. Thank you to our followers that contributed. If you know of any others please do comment on this blog for others to benefit from.
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Just like you use Xero to manage your finances, you can use KYND to manage your health and wellbeing. The app aks employees a series of questions across the subjects of mental, physical and social health.
Developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to people's lives. It is a 100% not-for-profit organisation that works to make mindfulness meditation accessible to all. Their vision is to help every mind thrive and to provide accessible, life-long tools to support healthy minds.
Connecting and empowering people to reclaim their health. Health is social, it is easy to see our life’s journey as an individual path, separate from others. As humans we have the ability to connect deeply with each other and change hearts, minds and behaviors for better health. Better together.
FREE TRIAL APP
Keep a free private diary and capture your day without writing down a single line. Daylio collects and records moods and activities in the statistics and calendar. This format will help to understand you habits better. Keep track of your activities and create patterns to become more productive.
Calm Harm has been developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, using the basic principles of an evidence-based therapy called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).
Calm Harm provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm. You can make it private by setting a password, and personalise the app if you so wish. You will be able to track your progress and notice change.
FREE TRIAL APP
Abide is a Christian meditation app to stress less and sleep better. Find deep rest with our bedtime stories, as you listen to stories based off the Bible. ... Daily guided meditations are also available.
Deep Sleep Experience Guided Sleep Meditation
For calming peaceful fast sleep, relaxation. If you’d like to fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and more easily this is for you. It’s suited to adults, parents, children, students and babies who are looking for help and guidance with achieving a night of deep sound sleep.
Rather than being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff – Mentemia is packed with evidence-based ideas and tools to help you learn how to be well, and stay well. It helps you deal with te most common stressors we experience in the modern connected world today. You’ll discover what things can help you feel more energised, poductive and better equipped for whatever the world throws at you today.
Calm Sleep Stories – Jerome Flynn’s ‘Sacred New Zealand”
Natural sleep air, in the form of bedtime stories for grown-ups. These sleep-inducing tales mix soothing words, music and sound effects to help you wind down and drift off to dreamland.
Ease away into a relaxing night of sleep with Rain Rain. Relax comfortably, meditate calmly, fall asleep quickly, or simply create a peaceful ambiance at home or on the go.
A collaboblog! Contributed to by a group of awesome people on Facebook.
On a coaching call last night, and I asked what does Level 2 mean for everyone. For some it does mean freedom and the chance to move forward with plans, for others it brings with it a huge amount of anxiety and fear of the unknown.
Whether people are immunocompromised and are fear of still getting COVID, or whether people have lost jobs in this time, or the future of their business is uncertain. Maybe relationships have changed over this time and now is the time where affairs need to be dealt with. Maybe as Te Raumahora. Our Whanau Leader, mentioned online recently people have been supported with housing or other living arrangements and now are facing struggles as those options come to an end.
For others it may be that for a while we were all in the same storm, but as we head towards a new normal, some may feel like they are being left behind again.
For some it may be that actually what they are going through has nothing to do with COVID, and it is ongoing battles they are fighting and that actually it makes no difference what Level it is.
If this is you. We hear you. We hear your pain and your struggles and we want to reassure you that you are not on your own on this journey. We may not have all the answers, but we are here in your waka to weather the storm with you.
I have been having many discussions with clients and in different groups that I run, around feeling safe during this time and really any time that causes us anxiety. Here are some of the ideas people find have worked for them.
Support and connection with others. Having a support network, this comes up so often, but in this case it really is those people, or even one person that can help reassure you, that gets it, that understands. It may not be a friend or family member, it may be a therapist, a member of the Retreat team or someone from another organisation that you have that relationship with.
Support and connection with ourselves. When we don’t have this self-connection going on things can feel very rocky, or we may feel that all the ‘good stuff’ is going to disappear. Tuning in to our own needs and responding to them, being kind, being gentle are all things that will help us feel calmer, feel safer, more grounded.
Looking after ourselves. This is probably talked about in every wellbeing article ever, but a reminder is always good! It can be hard to feel safe when we are not sleeping well, eating well, getting enough water, moving our body in a way that works for us. There are basics for survival (check out Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) and it can be very hard to plan/move forward/create/resolve/action when we don’t have some of those basics going on. So what could be something in this area that you could do to look after you today?
Having a purpose. Some felt that having a sense of purpose helps bring meaning in to their life giving them another focus as well as the warm fuzzies when we do make a difference in someone else’s life. Sometimes when we are struggling that’s all we can see, it’s all that goes round in our head, a focus like this can help us give our mind a break from that for a while.
Imagine that safety. Thinking back to a time or place, whether just quietly or through journaling, that gave you that sense of safety, where were you, who were you with, what were you doing, sit in that space for a while and really wrap yourself up in those feelings again.
Identify your reliables. Whether that’s a playlist of favourite songs, a cuddle with the cat or a walk with the dog, a favourite spot around the house, in the garden or locally that just helps you feel the love or through four-legged ways, gives you that unconditional love that is so magical at these times.
So whether you have read this article for yourself or maybe there’s someone you can pass it on to, we hope it’s given you some thoughts to ponder on, and maybe spend some time with these points and seeing what may help you feel reassured, safe, secure, and grounded, because you so deserve to feel that way. And if you are feeling strong, confident and okay on all of this, maybe keep eyes and ears open for those that may not be. It may not be who you think, and they may be finding it hard to put their hand up or reach out.
You are loved.
You are supported.
We are here.
Liz the Life Coach
You may have heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs being mentioned on social media over the last few weeks. It explains what we need in order to survive, and how over these times, actually sometimes we just need to focus on the basics.
Feeling safe is one of these basics. It can be very hard to think about a new career path, finding a new job, or even rewriting our CV, when our foundations are feeling very unstable and there are so many unknowns out there.
Talking on a group call recently, and we were discussing how we feel safe. One of the ways just before lockdown for me was to fill my car up with petrol. Ironic as we weren't allowed to go anywhere, but that felt right for me. There would have been many reasons why people panic-shopped, but I can imagine for a large proportion it was around feeling safe, whether it was a conscious thing or not.
What can feeling safe look like for you? On the call I mentioned, there was a real feel of needing to have a purpose helped people to feel safe. I have one friend who has posted amusing things on his Facebook feed, and when I talked to him about it, he said it was to break up the tirade of fear and conspiracy etc that can sometimes collect there. For others it has been connecting with friends, supporting neighbours or the elderly, for others, fundraising, whatever that purpose is, it has helped people feel grounded and safe.
Something else that came up on the call, was support, and being really specific with this. Identifying those friends that we can call upon, others that maybe we can be distracted by and just have a giggle. We may not ever need to call on them, but just identifying who they are, can be really helpful.
For me, its also around having a physical space. A spot that I can go to and hunker down for a bit. Do you have a spot at home, in the garden or local to you, maybe by the river or down at the beach, that help you feel connected to Papatuanuku and safe?
Maybe it is through meditation, yoga, other practices, that help you get out of the overwhelm of fear in your head, connect in with your body and soul, and feel grounded once more.
How about spending some time thinking about what it is for you, so not only can it become part of a regular routine, you also have it up your sleeve for those times that those foundations are feeling a bit unstable.
And one last thing, don't forget to put the team at the Taranaki Retreat down in your support crew. Always here.
Liz the Life Coach, who hangs out over here
There's a inevitable frustration that comes with the not-knowing, and that's having an impact - sometimes in subtle ways - and, for some of us, in running low on patience.
Those of us who are planners need order where there's that lack of clarity - or even a stressful feeling of chaos and overload. With that in mind - having a go at "if this, then that" - as a scribbled flowchart can be helpful to mind, if it is racing.
The Retreat is here as part of a tapestry of a Community doing 'Recovery Together" - Kotahitanga. Last week we shared some of the contents of kete for support through Grief and Loss. This week our focus is on Tough Times. Economics. As most of us have experienced, financial problems can impact every area of our lives, and easily spiral out of control. Some of us face the terrors of that spiral right here, right now. We want to support you and yours through this.... We have excellent friendships with Budget Services and Grant-Making Bodies - we can help you when you're just not sure where to turn.
In our Kete for Tough-Times, we also offer:
1. Support from our Awesome Coach
What does the next chapter look like? Know something needs to change but not sure what? Time spent with our Life Coach can give a fresh perspective on where you are at, a reminder of what is important, some understanding of what might have got in the way in the past, and what may be some new avenues to pursue next.
2. A Business Brainstorm
A session with a business coach may help bring some clarity on what your options are or some ideas as as to how the business can be tweaked in these changing times. Maybe you are thinking of going self-employed or starting something and want to have a chat with someone as to whether this is viable or what some next steps might be.
3. Outreach Support Visits/Advocacy
Regular, informal catch ups face to face with a support worker to chat and be listened to. It’s a regular get together to discuss what’s been happening for you and to download what’s on your mind. This can be done in a place you are comfortable and feel safe, such as a visit to Taranaki Retreat or somewhere else like a cafe, the park or a beach.
4. Support Checkins
For some people, meeting face to face can be challenging. We understand that everyone is different and has their own way of doing things or perhaps you live out of the area but still need to chat? Whatever method you prefer to use to communicate is no problem for us. We can catch up regularly with you via email, phone, text or Skype to name a few.
5. Health and Wellbeing sessions
Self care is an essential part of our wellbeing, and even more so when things are tough. Sadly it is often the thing that goes out the window first. These sessions come in many forms, and can be a great starting place to ensure that we are filling up our tanks first. When we have our tanks full we have much more capacity to deal with what we are facing at the time, whether this be finding a job, dealing with staff, communicating with WINZ, starting a new venture.
We know these are tough times for many but if you are in position to offer some help, please consider supporting us. You can make a donation easily from our website or if you like to know exactly where your money will be used you can choose to Shout someone a stay, or a therapeutic session or a meal - have a look here for the options available. We appreciate every donation made towards our work, it all adds up to make a difference. Together, we can BE the change we want to see. And if you have a great fundraising idea (right now we need to think about alternative and out-of-the-box ways to fundraise) then we would love to hear from you!
No reira, tēna koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katou.
Jamie Allen, Executive Officer and a guy who wishes he had the hair left to shave...
Always having been "the strong one" or the person giving the care, now finding oneself being in need of a shoulder to lean on
Having to grieve alone (for any kind of loss). Knowing that soul-pain, and trying to get through it in isolation.We’re here for you, simple as that - kotahitanga - recovery together.
For this week's letter, I wanted to share with you a little from our Grief Support Kete, and have picked five of our resources to tell you a little about.
Does the image in this post look or feel familiar?
Some of these resources from our Kete could be what's needed right now:
1. Grief and Loss Workshop
If you, or a member of your whānau have endured a major loss - such as bereavement; loss of employment; loss of health / a recent diagnosis; divorce / separation / relationship breakdown... This support will bring new hope.
2. Remember My Loved-One
This is for you, if you have been through a bereavement, and would find a memorial occasion for them to be helpful. When we are grieving a loss, it helps to have ‘somewhere to go’. A place to remember them. Sometimes, that’s not always possible.
For some, at the time of the loss, tangi/funeral may not have been a healing experience. Revisiting that, and making new memories can be helpful. Together, we will plan a brief, uncluttered time of memorial for your loved one, to take place at the Retreat. There also is the opportunity to prepare and paint a memorial rock, bearing their name, and place it in the Retreat’s Garden of Remembrance.
3. Support from Our AWESOME Coach
Sometimes this is a one-off; sometimes the beginning of a more in-depth healing support journey. The mahi begins with a focus on what motivates you and what is holding you back. A great tool to untangle your thoughts and feelings around where you are at/where you want to be and offers you guidelines on how to work towards your goals.
4. Buddied Blogging
Ideal for when there's a physical distance between the Retreat and you - or when sitting down with someone to talk feels like 'too hard basket' - or if writing is your ‘thing’. We offer a secure online shared blogging platform. There, people privately blog on a regular basis; and one of our Care Team sits alongside you as a buddy in your blogging, sharing the journey; and responding with encouragement and reflection. It can really help to process stuff - and is sometimes a great scene-setter for further support.
5. Grief Journaling
If you have experienced a bereavement in which the circumstances were tragic, and you are hurting from that loss - this programme could be for you. In five one-on-one or whānau sessions, your story will be heard and honoured; recognising the magnitude of your loss, the mix of painful emotions experienced, and providing tools and empowerment to recovery.
Any of these sound like a fit for you? Or is there someone it might be helpful to share this email with? Anyone can reach out to the Retreat via Facebook, calling 06 215 0993 or texting our team on 0204 189 1236.
Our Grief Support Team
Our grief support is primarily peer-orientated - in other words, those who deliver these supports have, themselves, walked that terrible walk; are highly familiar with its meandering path, and have found the ways for their heart and soul to heal. If that's you, and you would like to work alongside others on that journey - please get in touch. Our Team are trained, loved and supported in their mahi, and constantly "make the difference". Thank you!
Finally, it goes without saying, but saying it anyway
...no bull, these are pretty tricky times for any charity to survive through. I guess many of us are reflecting on where our giving can really make a difference. Please support our mahi if you possibly can. Thank you, so very much.
No reira, tēna koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katou.
Executive Officer and a guy who is alongside you in all this.
You may have heard quite a bit recently, about how things will look different moving forward. Restaurants and cafes working out new seating arrangements, schools coming up with new ways of running, workplaces entertaining the idea of teams working a lot more from home.
Sometimes it can feel quite overwhelming, but then there are also the thoughts out there of what have we learnt during this time, about ourselves, our habits, the wider community and beyond. We have heard stories of Papatuanuku having a chance to breathe once more and to heal. We have seen how communities have got together and connected while still abiding by physical distancing rules. We have seen how there have been some amazing fundraising efforts still going on. We have seen how people have reconnected, and even been trying new activities.
I feel there needs to be a balance between the two, to comprehend the seriousness of what the situation could have been, but also to really acknowledge some of the things that have come out of this time too. At a team hui last week, the word rhythm came up three times. After it had come up twice, I thought to myself if it comes up once more I will write about it. Sure enough...
Whether it is the rhythm of the moon and the tides, the seasons changing, the beginning and ending of old relationships and the beginning of ones, whether it is doors closing while others open, whether it is the rhythm of the sun rising, only to set again in the evening. All rhythms constantly happening in our world, consciously or not.
While I was writing I went to substitute the word routine, but it didn't feel right. Maybe routine was common in our world before COVID, but maybe finding our rhythm is key now. We have experienced what a slower world feels like, we have made do without access to a lot of shops for a fair few weeks now, we have been without the pressures of go, go, go, where busyness seems to be a status of success or something to compete with.
How could the rhythm of your life change in a positive way moving forward? What are some things that you may have done differently recently that could be sustainable?
Henry David Thoreau said "if a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the beat of a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
Liz the Life Coach to be found at www.liz-fry.com