Looking After Ourselves and Others

By NZISM Secretary


Kia ora koutou members and supporters, I hope you all managed to take time out over the holidays and get some respite from work life. Something that has become obvious already is that this will not be a year of recovery from COVID but will continue to push our limits and test our resilience. We have now spent more time in this pandemic than any one of us could have imagined, and noting the experience of Omicron internationally, this year will see impacts to supply chains and workforces right across the nation.

While the impact to date has not met most forecasts in NZ, and it appears possible to reduce the curve here, we are likely to each experience periods of isolation or need to support others who are required to isolate for long periods. While the Government is urging us all to prepare and ensure we have supplies to get us through isolation, I’d like us to think about how to mentally support ourselves and those we care about. Evidence tells us that keeping active is a key part of supporting our mental health so have you got the ability to stay active at home?

In the very first lockdown, I signed up to Les Mills on Demand and have been using it instead of my face-to-face yoga class ever since. While the holidays saw me take a break, now that I’m back into a routine, the body balance class has become part of my morning ritual again. I know it sets me up for the day and I appreciate that when I'm feeling low, a good workout gives me a break from an overactive mind and gets those good chemicals pumping through my body.

We also need a good network of people we can call on to talk through tough times. It is vital this year to have this network in place. I want to remind you all that our Peer Support Network is here to support members who may be going through a tough situation and need to chat with someone confidentially. There is strength in opening up. It can be empowering to work through a problem with a trusted confidante, feel heard and understood, and find the tools to push through.

Whoever you have in your network that you trust, make sure you reach out if you need to, and when someone calls you in need, take time to listen with empathy, kindness and understanding because, this year, that is what we are all going to need to give and receive.

Kia kaha