For Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, the theme is Reimagine wellbeing together - He tirohanga anamata.
When we think of how we re-imagine well-being, the first thought that comes to mind is Covid-19 and all the changes that the various levels of lockdown have brought about.
Re-imagine to us means doing things differently, so we asked the people we partner to tell us their lock-down stories and how they re-imagined their well-being through the various lock-down levels.
Here are their stories.
Toni's Lockdown Story
The biggest learning for me over Covid19 and being in the different levels of lockdown was to understand about social distancing and I have the poster on my bathroom to remind myself. I have a facemask which I now wear when in contact with strangers. I have the Covid app on my phone to track where have been.
I have adjusted well with the extra time I have at home now. I enjoy the times I have been able to meet with people for either lunches or dinners or just having a coffee with my friends from Pou Whakaaro.
I still find it helpful keeping a daily diary about how I am feeling. Also, it helps me when I get confused and don’t understand what others say as I tend to forget things.
I have started a knitting project, I am making a scarf using French knitting – I have a break every 5 minutes so my joints won't ache. The scarf is getting quite long now. I enjoy the knitting as it relaxes me and I feel less anxious about Covid-19.
Brendon's Lockdown Story
Brendon is part of the Pou Whakaaro Men’s group, who meet each fortnight to enjoy each others company and experience new things.
During Covid, transport has been unavailable and Brendon was very limited as to what he could take part in.
Through an organisation called Whanau on Wheels, Brendon received a sturdy bike, a helmet and some safety training before he started off with his new freedom.
He now meets up with his friends regularly, the last time was to the local RSA for a beverage and a game of pool.
George's Lockdown Story
During Level 4 Lockdown we kept an extra vigil on George due to his vulnerability, he has no family here and the only other community contact was with the Man Up group who dropped him off fresh vegetables each week.
Because George loves to paint, we put together some paints and brushes from our craft cupboard and took them to his home along with some rocks that he started (he calls them Aroha rocks) and the lovely hubcap that he has now completed.
George says "painting helps me to stay well, it helps me to meditate and concentrate on all that I have to be grateful for and try not to
be too concerned about what was happening in the world.
I chose not to watch the news because it upset me to know what was happening around the world especially in my home country of Holland. I was grateful to have the paints and have something to do during the day and also the visits from Pou Whakaaro and Man Up.
I hope that we don’t go back to level 3 or 4 again because it’s too lonely not being able to visit the places that I go to each week."
Kirk's Lockdown Story
Kirk has always been interested in gardening and growing his own vegetables, which helped him identify that he enjoys working with wood.
Kirk uses recycled free pallets to create planter boxes, these pallets are collected from various areas. This hidden talent is now expressed through his beautiful planters, which are currently displayed in his back yard.
The planter boxes have allowed Kirk to refocus on his well-being and increasing his self-esteem, self-worth. Kirk is now experimenting with other projects.