Kia Ora and welcome from the Mighty Waikato.

I hope you are well and that today is a good day for you. If it isn’t, that is okay. I hope you are therefore taking care of yourself in the best possible way, and attending to ‘what you need, right here, right now’.

So where to start…!!  Perhaps Happy New Year, and welcome to the first newsletter of 2023. What a start to the year, my goodness!! Two Cyclones in 2 weeks have caused extensive damage and earthquakes. Another flurry of Covid at the end of last year, and not much of a summer to top up our Vitamin D and relaxation requirements (unless you live in the south island). Hopefully, we will now see a more settled Autumn to bring some calm and restoration back to society before winter presents itself.

As I observe what is happening around us, and the chronic stress levels caused by the constant rollercoaster of disastrous events happening in our world, the need for extra emotional resilience is becoming very evident.

So I have started having conversations about “kitting out your tool kit”. What is in your tool kit at present that supports you when you are struggling to deal with the impacts of life’s events on top of a chronic condition/s? What additional tools or habits could be helpful to add in?

Recently, I was consumed with worry, concern, and hopelessness while sitting with the unknown and uncertainty during Cyclone Gabrielle, waiting to hear news from family in flood-stricken areas.  Luckily, I had a few good tools in my tool kit, but I added another tool – I asked myself regularly throughout the week – “What do I need right here, right now”. What a really helpful question!! Most of the time the answer was, “just breathe Tracey”, other times it was “be mindful Tracey”, or “name 3 things I feel, see, smell etc…” It is an excellent question to help you ground yourself at times of heightened stress. So go ahead, I ask yourself this same question. And stick a note to the fridge if you need reminding.

I am really looking forward to connecting with you all in one way or another this year. We have some great topics coming up so be sure to keep an eye on your emails. And remember to see our website for notes and powerpoint presentations from previous topics. This month we spoke about The Process of Change. I am sure you will be able to relate to what we spoke about and gain some understanding and insight.

Nga mihi,

Tracey Larsen

Waikato H&WF

(P.S. And yes the family were safe, no suffered no flood damage, thank goodness!)