This beautiful time of Matariki, with its bittersweet combination of maumahara (remembering) and new beginnings can sometimes evoke a lot of emotions. Missing those we loved and lost, cherishing treasured memories, looking forward to the time ahead with all our hopeful plans and dreams held in our hearts...
The long dark nights and short cold days where there never seems to be enough time to do everything can wear us down. We think this is a great time to remember to cherish yourself and your loved ones with some special focus on nurturing wellbeing.
Create whānau time to enjoy Matariki
Make a night to have a special family dinner and have a little korero with your tamariki to ask each child for one thing they would like to do to recognise Matariki.
- Remembrance may mean visiting Poppa and sharing stories of Nan's childhood, tales of when they were pēpi, or stories from your whakapapa.
- Sharing and celebration of harvest may mean inviting over their three closest friends for a special after-school feast.
- They can plan ahead by choosing a fun event to do in Spring like a trip to their favourite beach, or set themselves a special goal like joining a sports team or making their first kete.
- They can choose a game for the family to play, or ask for a special story (like the tale of Whaea Matariki and her six tuahine., or how they came to be in the sky.)
- Make something crafty - Lisa Cunningham has created a cool collection of things to do with a Matariki theme.
Take care of your wellbeing
A tricky part of being a parent is the constant focus on what's most important - your tamariki! But we aren't able to look after them really well, unless we are really well.
Providing a great school lunch, hugs and a warm home is wonderful, but showing your children a model of adulthood where communication is honest and cooperative, where work is done well but isn't an obsession, where their parents are energised and calm and do things they love; that's priceless too.
Everyone's journey is different but here are some ideas you may like to pick from to give yourself the gift of wellbeing inside and out.
Curate your friendships
Give your time and love to people who give you time and love. It seems so simple, but is often not the way things work! Support and care can eddy and change but overall your partner and your friends should be people who step up for you when they can. Having a network of true friends means you can spend more energy on people who lift you up.
Be true to yourself
Say no more often; and practice not saying sorry with it! Speak out about what things you like and ask for what you need. Over-extending ourselves on things we don't want to be doing is draining, whereas working on things you care about makes you feel fulfilled, even when the mahi is hard. Spend your time on things that bring you joy and achievement.
May we suggest a long bath with epsom salts or an oat soak, followed by nourishing natural oils for face and body? Oh you know us well! But seriously, our cleansing and natural beauty rituals really help set us up for feeling good!
Nourish yourself (and your lucky whanau)
In winter, Papatuanuku dishes up warming root vegetables, citrus fruits rich in vitamin C and lovely dark bittergreens like kale, collard greens and spinach. Here are 30 tasty winter vege recipes, you're welcome. If in doubt, pop them fresh in the blender with frozen peach chunks and fresh citrus and make a smoothie!
Put your nicest sheets on your bed, slip into your favourite pyjamas and go to bed early - with a hot water bottle if you like! Avoid screentime in the hour before bed, and enjoy a really good nights rest. Great sleep helps your body rebuild and repair, and keeps your mind and mood balanced.
Get out in Nature
No, it's not the warmest. Yes, we need to go outside! Being outdoors even for an hour can lift your spirits for days. Take a simple forest walk, skim stones at the beach or take a trip and explore the great Southern Lands.