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Tips for coping with tough times

Going through tough times or a big shock takes a toll on all of us and coping is not always easy. Good mental health helps us carry on and deal with all that life throws at us.

Adrenaline, and looking after ourselves

During scary or surprising events, our brains react chemically – releasing adrenaline.

This response is our natural alarm system – our body telling us to be alert and ready for action. It's there to help us, but afterwards we can feel shaky, queasy or on-edge, and it can make it hard for us to concentrate. It can also result in strong emotional responses such as anger or crying.

This is normal and we can help ease these affects to settle by doing some light physical activity, taking up a small chore or task and by focusing on some calm breathing for 10 seconds. It's ok to take a break from the news and social media so you can focus on other things - doing so doesn't belittle the event but it can help you to calm your nerves. It's also a great idea to connect with friends and loved ones.

It's all right to be a bit all over the place

In challenging times we can go through a range of emotions, and at our own pace.

Feeling like your all over the place, a tad on edge or a bit overwhelmed are completely normal reactions to a very abnormal situation. So too is needing to get on with things or taking time out for yourself.

Wherever you're at, know that there are simple things we can all do to look after ourselves and others.

  • Share a cuppa and a kōrero
    He kapu tī māu? Me kōrero hoki.
  • Take a break from the news and social media
    He kanohi kitea he hokinga mahara.
  • Remember the little things that make you feel good
    He oranga ngākau he pikinga waiora.
  • Stick to your routines if you can
    Ka whāngaia ka tupu ka puāwai.
  • Rest. Time out helps
    He wā whakatā.
  • Head outside, nature is good for us
    Kia pai i te hikoi mō te oranga o te tinana,
    te hinengaro me te wairua.

Feeling blah?

There are simple things we can do every day to feel good, even when times are tough.Doing these Ways to Wellbeing can really lift our mood:

Connect - with the people around you. You don't have to do this alone. Connecting with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours will support and enrich you every day.

Be Active
- step outside. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good.

Take Notice
- be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Keep Learning
- learning new things makes you more confident, is fun and can be a great distraction!

- do something nice for a friend, neighbour or a stranger. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

So there you have it… The Five Ways to Wellbeing! They’re not a magic elixir that can wipe away our worries in an instant – but doing them frequently can, over time, lift our mood.

On your own?

No you’re not! Sometimes it’s hard to reach out to people around you. Think about ringing a community group for a chat, catch up with your neighbour, listen to the radio, or ring your family.

Maybe you can offer help to others?

Supporting our kids and whānau

For information on how to support kids through challenging times check out this great advice from our friends at Sparklers at Home.

Not All Right? Free support is available.

Traumatic events affect each of us differently, and we all need a bit of support from time-to-time. If you or someone you know is struggling, there is free help available. Free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day.

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