In October I wrote about the importance of having an open conversation about mental health.  In continuing this conversation, I wanted to talk a bit more about how we can look after our own wellbeing.

The Canterbury Wellbeing Survey released in September found that life for many in Canterbury is improving.  Many of those I have spoken with are positive and aspirational about our city’s future.  Although we are heading in the right direction, some in our community still face significant hurdles to recovery, and the recent series of earthquakes will have been an unwelcome reminder for many. Drawing on the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Five Steps to Wellbeing’, I thought I would suggest some great options in the Port Hills. 

Connect by taking the opportunity to explore one of the many new community facilities going up around our suburbs. The Mt Pleasant Memorial Centre is now open, and progress has started on the Heathcote Community Centre and Library and Sumner Community Centre.  These rebuilt premises will be the perfect spots to connect with others over shared experiences.

Give your time by joining a community group.  I had the pleasure of working very closely with Hohepa Canterbury and 0800 Hungry this year.  These two committed charities and others like them are always looking for people willing to give their time.

Take notice and be curious of new developments.  Lyttelton will be getting an exciting new floating marina, with development starting in the New Year.  This will have significant impact on Lyttelton and help create an even more vibrant community.

Keep learning and try something new or rediscover an old interest.  This can be as simple as learning a new language or discovering the name of the iwi, hapu, maunga and awa of the place where you live. 

Be active and take advantage of the Christchurch Adventure Park.  Soon we will have world class mountain bike trails, a zipline (flying fox) canopy tour and activities for all fitness levels right on our doorstep.

There are many new projects popping up in the area, so let’s take care of ourselves and take the time to reflect on the developments and how far we have come as a community.

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