Ways to Wellbeing

2014 five ways horizThe Five Ways to Wellbeing, Ētahi ara e rima ki te ngākau ora, is a set of five simple actions that have been proven to improve wellbeing in everyday life.

  1. Connect, Me Whakawhanaunga

  2. Give, Tukua

  3. Take Notice, Me aro tonu

  4. Keep Learning, Me ako tonu

  5. Be Active, Me kori tonu

You can introduce any of these actions into your life, any time, and you will begin to feel the benefits. Whakatōkia ngā rautaki māmā nei ki tō ao kia rongo ai koe i ngā painga.

Read the Five Ways to Wellbeing: A best practice guide, and visit the pages above to get some ideas on how to do each of these five things.

Start small, work at it – you will see the difference over time!


MG 5506Connect, Me Whakawhanaunga

Talk and listen – me kōrero, me whakarongo, be there – me whakawātea i a koe, feel connected – me rongo i te whanaungatanga.

People are stronger when they pull together. You can connect in so many ways…

  • Become involved in groups – singing, sewing, playing a card game or visiting gardens together.
  • Organise a baby photo competition with friends or colleagues – guess who the baby is!
  • Pot luck dinners – share dishes from different countries.
  • Celebrate your life through stories and photos, share with others or support someone you know to create a scrapbook/memoir – get the grandchildren to help.
  • Get involved with youth and youth events – show that old can still be bold!
  • Get your glad rags on and take a group out dancing for the night.
  • Organise a sing along evening with old favourites.
  • Visit or phone a friend you have not seen for a while – talk, talk, talk.

Give, Tukua

Your time – te wā ki a koe, your words – ō kupu, your presence – ko koe tonu.

It feels good to give. Everybody has something to offer. How will you play your part?

  • Join a group that advocates and supports older people.
  • Offer to take an older neighbour out for their groceries.
  • Offer to help an older neighbour with their wheelie bins on rubbish/recycling days.
  • As an elder, make yourself available to talk at events, school assemblies, class visits etc.
  • Join the board of a local trust or committee who could benefit from your experience.
  • Become involved in a community group – weeding the local park or knitting garments for newborns at your local hospital.

Dollarphotoclub 60290888Take Notice, Me aro tonu

Remember the simple things that give you joy – me aro tonu ki ngā mea māmā noa i ngākau harikoa ai koe.

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons.

Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

What you can do every day:

  • Stop for a while; take 10 mindful breaths in and out, calming the body and mind, then simply rest where you are noticing everything that is going on around you. This practice incorporates four keys aspects of mindfulness training:
    • stopping
    • calming
    • resting
    • noticing.

Together, these four steps are innately healing. Use an everyday environmental cue (the phone ringing for example) as a reminder to pause and breathe for three breath cycles, and take notice of the world around you.

  • Walk around the block with a tape recorder. Try to notice all the sounds you hear. When you get home, play the tape back and see what sounds you noticed and what you missed.
  • Have a mirimiri massage to sooth and relax your body and enhance your wairua. Taking care of the body and wairua are essential to the practise of mindfulness.
  • Take the opportunity to sit quietly in a busy place like an airport or a mall and notice the interactions between people.
  • Take the time to give a special thank you to people who support you everyday.
  • Learn yoga or meditation.
  • Start a photo diary of a particular favourite place. Take photos of the same landscape, person, or pet every day for a year and make an album.
  • Be mindful of the first mouthful of food you eat. See if you can really pay attention to all the flavours and textures of the food, the act of chewing and the act of swallowing. During the following meal, see if you can be aware of the first two mouthfuls of food, and so on.
  • Visit your local library for books on mindfulness.

Get moving More yellow plateKeep Learning, Me ako tonu

Embrace new experiences – awhitia te wheako hou, see opportunities – kimihia ngā ara hou, surprise yourself – me ohorere koe i a koe anō.

Seek out new experiences and challenge yourself.

  • Listen to young peoples’ stories, they hold gems too.
  • Check out activities in the area that you know nothing about – you may be surprised at what you learn.
  • Take a free community computing course and learn more about the internet.
  • Visit the library, see what’s new. 

Be Active, Me kori tonu

Do what you can – whāia te mea ka taea e koe, enjoy what you do – kia pārekareka tāu i whai ai, move your mood – kia pai ake ō piropiro.

Do what you can, enjoy what you do, be active and move your mood.

  • Try tai chi classes for strength, balance and mental wellbeing.
  • Go swimming or join water walking groups at your local pool.
  • Bring activity into the everyday, eg, don’t use the remote.
  • Play tennis, try Nordic walking, join a gym or try another sport and meet people at the same time.