December 16, 2009
Focus on wellbeing over the holidays
With the high expectations and costs that the holiday season brings, the Mental Health Foundation is urging New
Zealanders to take steps to look after their wellbeing.
“Financial pressure is high at this time of the year, in spite of the media reports that New Zealand is out of the
recession, but there are steps that individuals and families can take to ward off stress and look after their
wellbeing,” Judi Clements, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation says.
The Foundation advocates using five proven winning ways to wellbeing.*
Connect: with many people having time off work/studying/school, this is the perfect time to connect with friends and
loved ones who you haven’t seen in a while. Do you know someone who might find the holiday season particularly
difficult? Why not give them a call or drop by for a visit?
Give: the best gift is time – do some volunteering or simply focus on spending some quality time with loved ones. Many
families can feel pressure to spend but the Foundation is urging people to shift focus away from material goods this
year. Perhaps think of a list of activities that everyone can participate in and feel good about.
Take Notice: use any extra free time to go and visit somewhere you have always been meaning to visit in your local area,
make a photo diary of the holiday period or get every friend/family member to write something they have been grateful
for this year and then read out what has been written.
Learn: make it a new year’s resolution to rediscover an old interest or to take up something different, such as learning
a new instrument or language, or joining a book club.
Be active: summertime is perfect for outdoor pursuits. If possible walk or cycle places instead of driving, play outside
with the kids or go for a swim. Just remember to be sun safe.
For more ways to wellbeing visit www.mentalhealth.org.nz
If you do still get overwhelmed or stressed over the holidays, don’t keep it to yourself. Talk to friends, family, or
someone you trust, or make use of helplines such as Lifeline or Youthline.
• Lifeline New Zealand - 0800 543 354
• Youthline - 0800 376 633
• Out Of The Blue – www.outoftheblue.org.nz