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Wānaka Mental Health Kōrero with Jake Bailey


Presented by Te Hau Toka and supported by Central Lakes Trust, this special series of free events in the Southern Lakes Region, is being held just in time for our community to get a head start on Mental Health Awareness Week and its theme: Five Ways, Five Days.

A bestselling New Zealand author and public speaker on resilience - Jake Bailey is returning to New Zealand next week (13-15 September) for a series of speaking events in Queenstown, Cromwell and Wānaka in the lead up to Mental Health Awareness Week. Diagnosed with the most aggressive form of cancer in 2015 and given just weeks to live if it went untreated, Jake’s school prize-giving speech from a wheelchair went viral around the world. Now in remission and living abroad, Jake works full time on the psychology of resilience and has shared his strategies and research with over 85,000 people, including corporations, organisations and schools.

Te Hau Toka’s Central Lakes Mental Wellbeing Navigator Ella Hitchcock will be on hand with plenty of local and science-backed advice and take-home learnings on the five ways to wellbeing in our community.

Where to join Jake and Ella for this free event:

· Queenstown: Wednesday 13 September, 7-8:30pm, Lake Hayes Pavilion, 719 Lake Hayes-Arrow Junction Highway.

· Cromwell: Thursday 14 September, 5-6:30pm, Cromwell Library, 43 The Mall, Cromwell.

· Wānaka: Friday 15 September, 5:30-7pm, Private Function Room, Albie Tavern, 20 Alison Avenue, Albert Town

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Rāhina / Monday

Take Notice | Me Aro Tonu

A fresh week, blank slate and a new beginning. Let's start the week by setting purpose and intention, today is the day to take stock – how have you been feeling recently, are there any events or stresses that you need to sit with and unpack? 

Developing the ability to be fully present and conscious without being overly reactive or overwhelmed is no easy feat, it takes practice to achieve the delicate balance of awareness. When we take notice or practice mindfulness, we’re creating space for ourselves—space to think, space to breathe, space between ourselves and our reactions.  

Use today as a reminder to pay more attention to the present moment, to our thoughts and feelings, and to the world around us. At the end of the week, you can reflect on how you felt at the start of the week, and how putting each of the Five Ways into practice has helped to boost your mental health.

A few ideas to help you take notice:

Rātū / Tuesday

Give | Tukua

Today is all about kindness. When we give selflessly to others, whether through our time, resources, or support, we create a positive ripple effect that extends beyond the people we engage with. Carrying out acts of kindness boosts our happiness, life satisfaction, and overall wellbeing. When we help others, it gives us purpose and a sense of belonging – it’s a win/win!  

Think about how you might be able to brighten the day of someone you care about, or even a complete stranger. A small gesture might mean the world to someone else, and you’ll get a bit of a boost, too!

A few ideas to help you give:

Rāapa / Wednesday

Be Active | Me Kori Tonu 

We're nearly over the midweek hump and are inching closer to the weekend. Today is the perfect opportunity to give yourself a refreshing boost by engaging in some physical activity. Wi tēnei rangi to get the blood flowing through your tinana/body?   

Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, which can uplift your mood and increase feelings of happiness. It reduces stress and anxiety levels, promotes relaxation and enhances overall mental resilience. It can even sharpen our thinking and boost our creativity. 

Being active doesn’t always mean high-intensity cardio workouts, there are lots of ways you can move your tinana to uplift your mood, reduce stress, and feel a sense of achievement. Choose to do something that is purely for feeling good or having fun, and dedicate it to your wellbeing.

A few ideas hei āwhina/to help you be active:

Rāpare / Thursday

Connect | Me Whakawhanaunga

It’s nearly Friday – why not tap into those weekend vibes early, and carve out some time for some meaningful connection? Use today as a sign to arrange that outing or gathering with friends, participate in social events that you might be finding an excuse to skip, or seek out opportunities for shared experiences that deepen your connections.  

Connect refers to making social connections, or whakawhanaungatanga. A sense of feeling connected, loved or belonging with others is strongly associated with better wellbeing and other health outcomes by providing a sense of meaning, safety, support and purpose.  

A few ideas to help you connect:

Rāmere / Friday

Keep Learning | Me Ako Tonu

It might be the last day of MHAW, but today’s the day to reflect on what you’ve learnt throughout the week and implement those tools into the weekend and weeks beyond. 

Evidence suggests that learning or trying new things creates a sense of achievement, competence and stimulates engagement with the world around us. There are lots of ways that you can Keep Learning today and every day. 

A few ideas to help you keep learning: