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Good reads - General

 Friendship cover

Friendship: The evolution, biology and extraordinary power of life’s fundamental bond

Denworth, L. (2020). Bloomsbury Sigma.

Science journalist Lydia Denworth notes social bonds – or a lack of them – affect our cardiovascular system, our immune system, and, our mental health. Listen to her interview on Radio NZ.

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 How we got happy cover

How we got happy: Stories of health, hope and happiness from 20 young Kiws who beat depression

Nabbs, J., & Macfarlane, E. (2020). Self-published, NZ

Authors and friends, Eve and Jonathan, met through competitive rowing and both have experienced depression. They designed this book, and website, to share peoples' stories of recovery to provide relatable information for those currently going through their own struggles, as well as anyone with an interest in staying well.

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 The gratitude project cover

The gratitude project: How the science of thankfulness can rewire our brains for resilience, optimism and the greater good

Smith, J. A., Newman, K., Marsh, J., & Keltner, D. (Eds.). (2020). New Harbinger Publications

The result of a multiyear collaboration between the Greater Good Science Center and Robert Emmons of the University of California looking the benefits of gratitude.  

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 This is not how it ends cover

This is not how it ends: How rewriting your story can save your life

Casinader, J. (2020). Harper Collins.

This gritty, vulnerable book will challenge readers' understanding of mental distress, and give them the tools to reshape their own life stories.

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 Youre not listening cover You're not listening: What you are missing and why it matters 

Murphy, K. (2020). Vintage. 

Murphy suggests despite living in a world where technology allows constant digital communication and opportunities to connect, it seems no one is really listening or even knows how. And it’s making us lonelier, more isolated, and less tolerant than ever before. 

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 The 5 languages of appreciation cover

The 5 languages of appreciation in the workplace: Empowering organizations by encouraging people

Chapman, G., & White, P. (2019). Northfield Publishing. 

You appreciate your employees, right? But do they feel appreciated by you?   Gary Chapman, and Paul White, a psychologist, author, speaker and consultant, have adapted the 5 love languages model into 5 appreciation languages to help empower organisations and their people. 

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 The comfort book cover

The comfort book

Haig, M. (2021). Canongate.

Matt Haig is the number one bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and Notes on a Nervous Planet, his new book is one to pick up when you need the wisdom of a friend or the comfort of a hug.

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 Yes you can talk about mental health at work cover

Yes, you can talk about mental health at work: Here’s why (and how to do it really well)

Doman, M. (2021). London: Welbeck Balance

This engaging and practical book is for any employee, manager or leader who wants to gain a deeper understanding of mental health to facilitate inclusive workplace conversations. 

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Rāhina / Monday

Reconnect with yourself

Connecting with yourself is a skill. To start the week, begin by taking a moment to check in with yourself, acknowledge how you’re feeling and how the last few years of turbulence affected you and your connection with others and the world around you. This is a good time to think about the people you have lost contact with who you might want to reach out to, or the special places you haven’t visited in a while, and set some whāinga/goals for the week ahead.

At the end of the week, you can reflect on how you felt at the start and how reconnecting with the people and places that are special to you has lifted you up.

A few ideas for reconnecting with yourself:

Rātū/ Tuesday

Reconnect with a friend or loved one

We know life can get busy, but feeling connected to the people that are important to us can make a big difference to our mental health. Connection brings purpose and belonging to our lives and makes us feel happier and more secure. Today is about reconnecting with the people in our lives – it could be someone special who you have lost touch with or just wish you caught up with more often.

A few ideas for reconnecting with a friend or loved one:

Rāapa / Wednesday

Reconnect with a special place

The places and spaces we spend our time in have a huge impact on how we feel. Most of us have places we can go that calm, inspire or uplift us. Today, make time to go to a place that is special to you and take notice of how you feel when you are there. For some of us, the special place that comes to mind might be out of reach - perhaps it’s overseas, or too far away to get to. Even if we can’t get there right now, there are ways that we can reconnect with the places that lift us up.

A few ideas for reconnecting with a special place:

Rāpare / Thursday

Reconnect with your community.

Today is about reconnecting with your hapori whānui/wider community. It’s the perfect time to sign up to be a volunteer or join a local community group, but it could also be as simple as making the effort to reconnect with the people you interact with every day. Today is all about savouring the little hononga/connections that make us human.

A few ideas for reconnecting with your community:

Rāmere / Friday

Reconnect with nature

To round out the week, we’re asking you to reconnect with the beautiful taonga that is te taiao/the natural environment. Studies show exposure to nature not only makes us feel better emotionally, it contributes to our physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. All the more reason to spend at least a small moment today outside - breathing in some fresh air and noticing the world around you.

A few ideas for reconnecting with nature: