Kia ora whanau,
We're just checking in with you and your whanau to see if you're OK. We are coming into Christmas and New Year which for some can be quite overwhelming.
Buying presents. Planning dinner. Christmas parties. Lots of Whanau. Lots of expectations.
Christmas is a time of joy, stress and spending. Yet the spirit of Christmas isn’t really about presents, feasts or parties. It’s about our presence, not our presents.
Giving our time, our words and our presence lifts our mood, and makes us feel our lives have more meaning.
Some cost-friendly ways we can give during the Christmas season are: - taking friends or whānau to look at Christmas lights. There were 232 lit-up houses in Aotearoa last year! - spending quality time with whānau – often the greatest gift of all - heading along to listen to Christmas carols (ask on Neighbourly for advice on local events) - making Christmas arts and crafts. Bake seasonal treats to give away as presents, create decorations or reduce your card costs! Crafts are a great way to get tamariki involved in the festive spirit. - visiting people/whānau in your community who may be a little lonely over the festive season. Rest homes and animal shelters value companionship and Christmas cheer. Random acts of kindness also do the trick, as Tokoroa woman Candace Enosa and her two daughters found!
Some ways to reduce stress for yourself, whānau, and others around you, are: - spending time in nature. Over summer the pōhutakawa blossom, the sun shines more, and the days are longer.
- Taking a walk through the ngahere (bush), throwing the ball around with your tamariki, going to the beach or planting vegetable seeds are some great ways to connect with taiao (the environment) - buying food on special ahead of season, when prices are lower. - finding time to re-charge. Thousands of Kiwis celebrated last month’s Mental Health Awareness Week by being active, learning, giving, connecting and taking notice.
- You can also check out what’s going on in your community on Neighbourly.
Christmas can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be.
If you ever feel Christmas pressure is affecting your or someone else’s mental health, you don’t need to keep it to yourself - call or text 1737. Their trained counsellors are always on hand to help.
Me te whakaaro - from ours to yours – and enjoy the season!
Kirikiriroa Family Services Trust Management and Staff