I scheduled this topic on my blog post planner to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week coming up at the end of September here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Little did I realise just how apt this post would be. The world is still ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic as the Delta variant makes its presence felt globally. Twenty years on from the tragic events of 911 and the current events in Afghanistan give us all pause for reflection. Not to mention the state of the natural world as fires continue to burn in the Amazon, ice caps continue to melt, and extreme weather events continue apace.
If there was ever a time for resilience, for emotional agility, for self-care, it is now.
What follows is a collection of resources to inspire hope and aid your journey to resilience, emotional agility and self-care.
Let’s start with the Pure Spaces Wellbeing Toolbox where I have carefully curated bite-size tools to help craft a sense of personal wellbeing.
Action for Happiness calendars are just brilliant. I stumbled across these when we went into our first Covid-related lockdown in March last year. Each month continues to comfort and motivate. This is the one for Self-Care September.
Two mindfulness meditation apps I love are Smiling Mind and Headspace.
Smiling Mind has a free app with some excellent meditations. There is something here for everyone but I especially love their focus on mindfulness for children and mindfulness in schools.
Headspace is probably one you’ve heard of before. There is great Netflix series which steps you through their take on mindfulness meditation and its benefits. There are also lots of videos on the Headspace YouTube channel to check out, like this one:
Even if you feel a bit strange about the idea of meditating or feel you are not good at it to begin with, please stick with it. I can speak from personal experience about the benefits to your overall wellbeing of developing a mindfulness practice. When I think about overall wellbeing I think about the Māori concept of Te Whare Tapa Whā. This concept is also covered in the Wellbeing Toolbox.
I came across The Resilience Project recently. Their research shows that there are three pillars to building resilience – Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness for which they use the acronym GEM. Check out their TRP@Home list of GEM activities. Something there for everyone to try.
Another tool I have found extremely useful are the 5 guideposts to mental wellbeing from the Mental Health Foundation New Zealand. Simple and it feels accessible no matter your state of mind.
It is so inspiring to see all these incredible humans sharing what they have learned on this journey to self-care and growing resilience. This movement is happening everywhere at every scale great and small.
I am so excited about this next one – Ubuntu Women! The work of the Nourish Eco Village is just wonderful and to know I can support this simply by signing up to Ubuntu Women gives me joy. And I get access to some great content with the Mama Africa flavour that speaks to my soul 💚
For me self-care includes a regular exercising of my mind. I am a lifelong learner. Right now I am interested in connecting back to Nature in every way possible at the same time as trying to understand our need as humans to reconnect with the natural world. I have just completed an online programme with GVI. They offer a range of courses in Sustainable Development I can highly recommend. There is also scope to add an internship (virtual or in the field). Such an incredible opportunity for personal growth and professional development.
GVI host Virtual Open Days once a month – well put together online events that give you a good insight into how the organisation works, the impact for good they drive around the world and what you can expect if you get involved. Register for September’s Open Day HERE. There are fabulous scholarships and deals on offer at these Open Days so it really pays to be there.
One last little tool for hope and assurance I can offer relates to my spirit animal. 22 September is World Rhino Day. I love that this day to celebrate the chubby unicorn falls in Self-Care September! Rhinos are a symbol of assurance, steadiness and confidence that all is unfolding as it should if we remain grounded in Mother Earth and that this too shall pass.
Take care of yourselves 🧡