I’m finding it hard not to hug everybody.
Yes, I admit it, I’m a hugger. And when people are under pressure and stress it's my first reaction to grab them and give them a big old bear hug. Last month I nearly gave my Thai dentist a heart attack by hugging him in thanks for the work he did on my teeth. It’s way out of their cultural comfort zone but it’s right in the middle of mine and I just couldn’t help myself - the poor man!
You might not be a hugger (no judgement) but hand shaking, hongi, anything closer than 2metres is off the table as we care for ourselves and one another in the face of this current health crisis.
While we do ALL the steps to take care of our bodies (how funny that it’s taken a pandemic for us to learn how to wash our hands properly), let's not forget that we are WHOLE beings.
Taha Whanau (Whanau are family and friends that are also like family) - our relationships are vital to our Mental Wellness.
How do we care for our relationship side when we are feeling stuck on our own?
Invest in your close-to-home relationships.
Invest in the outside relationships in new ways.
Now’s the time to invest in the relationships that are right under your nose. Seeing this time as a chance to get more connected with less people may be a way to deepen some key relationships with your partner/kids/whanau.
There’s something about the feeling of ‘circling the wagons’ that makes us feel that we are doing all we can to keep our loved ones safe.
Speak honestly about your feelings and your fears and allow those close to you to be part of the process of supporting you.
Now's the time to be grateful for the internet! We spend so much time cursing devices, railing against the amount of time our loved ones look at screens, suddenly the World Wide Web is a tool to stay in touch.
Start a whanau page, post photos of how you are dealing with spending more time at home.
Make sure you include people who are truly on their own at this time. It’s time to step outside the box emotionally and reach out to those for whom isolation is their worst case scenario.
Check in with everyone. Regularly.
Care for your own Mental Wellness by maintaining great relationships and taking the chance to literally love thy neighbour - from 2 metres away :)
Mental Wellness Matters