Self Care

You reap what you sow. Winter we LOVE thee.

Despite the delay in this experience experiment update, I’ve still been out there in these Winter months undertaking certain activities to see how they can help with our Wellbeing support. Winter and I have not always been the best of friends but it really just required a little more creativity with how I valued and spent my free time. Are you the same? How’s this season gone so far for you? It is the season to reflect, explore and attempt different projects – below I’m squeezing in two months worth (so 4 different experiences) into one. We are all busy people aren’t we – so I’ll make this snappy!

Scrapbooking

This idea started as an attempt to keep my mum (who was recuperating at home from surgery) occupied but she soon lost interest and overwhelmed with all the content that was on Pinterest to pin. I, however, did not! Whether you wish to make a physical scrapbook of family photos or pictures that tickle your fancy or get online with Pinterest, one of the big psychological pluses associated with scrapbooking—in fact with any craft or hobby, is that it has the ability to transport both you and your care recipient to a different place, away from routine concerns.

And if mindfulness practice or meditation is not for you, being focused on a craft is fantastic to distract you from your everyday problems and get you fixated on something that hopefully turns into something pretty too. It is incompatible with worry, anger, obsession, and anxiety, so if you find you are often struggling with these emotions – give scrapbooking a go. If you’d like to check out some of my Pinterest boards, I have a personal one here and a Happylocal themed one here. It is a great pastime for not only being having instant gratification but also delayed positive feelings as you go over your work or reconnect with the ideas you collected. This experience helped my personal value of being creative and taking time out for myself to give my distracted mind a rest.

Spa time at The Lost Spring

We have recently moved to the Coromandel and in the township of Whitianga, there is a spa treatment and hot pool facility that is a must-do experience for both visitors and locals alike. We were able to secure a locals card, where you can go as many times as you’d like in a month for $70. Obviously, this is a gorgeous place to properly unwind in and to have a date with my husband with no little person around to distract either of us (as children are not allowed here). We felt instant gratification but also sought to incorporate this social activity into our weekly routine to reconnect as a couple as well as be transported to somewhere exotic and exquisite temporarily which is often a challenge in the Winter months!

Micro-volunteering

Everyone thinks that their schedule is already stretched to the limit; what with work not being left at the office door thanks to smartphones or family life jammed packed with school events or mum and dad constantly playing taxi. But time is spent accordingly to how you value you it, and taking time out once a month to do some micro-volunteering (a one-off volunteering commitment) is worth seeking out for the Mental Wellbeing benefits alone. I have just started putting together a local charity’s quarterly newsletter, which is all on my time schedule (I’m doing it sporadically over a few nights) and is bringing so much joy, connection and local promotion to this local charitable community…it’s selfishly making me feel great to be a part of it. Depending on what region of New Zealand you live in, the two resources I would seek out ad-hoc volunteering opportunities are the local branches of Volunteering New Zealand or Seek Volunteer. Between these hardworking organisations, they’ll have something for you and your in-demand skills! Volunteering can really help you thrive in the Gallup Wellbeing indicators – Social and Community, supporting your personal purpose and local contribution related values. You will not only increase your network through volunteering, it can really help develop soft skills that are helpful for daily living or undertaking employment. It’s a good activity to give you both instant and delayed gratification too.

Designing your life

This experience may be a bit strange to some, but life can take hold of us and throw us around sometimes resulting in confusion as to where on earth our time has gone. Does the sentence “Can you believe it’s August already” sound familiar? Yep, that’s usually me too. Only this year I do know where it has gone; with financial challenges, miscarriage, growing another bubba, building a house, raising a toddler, building an online community and being a Cancer patient carer. Despite all the challenges, one of the exciting (although no less demanding) features of that list is building a house.

We decided a few years back to put the wheels into motion for moving to the middle of nowhere to design a new way of living that was more in line with our ethics and beliefs. So imagine 12 hectares of native bush with a basic, near passive-haus standard rectangle house that is off-grid, with fresh food growing in raised beds and an eco-retreat in the near future plans. We are doing it all on a shoe-string budget now but we will believe it will be a powerful and enriching way to live for our little family or friends to enjoy. We wanted to be part of a small community where everyone knows your name and people look out for each other. It’s going to take a long time for it to be finished as such, but it fuels our values of trying to live by example and have as little footprint on this earth as possible – even trying to enhance it. For assistance on where to start, we thought this online course looks pretty good here and we are trying to follow the lifestyle principles as outlined by the Bill Mollison’s Permaculture movement.

Have you tried any of these experiences above? If so, I’d love to hear how you find they support your Wellbeing in the comments below!