This week (23 – 29 September) is mental health awareness week in New Zealand. It’s curious that we are comfortable talking about getting physically fit but we don’t seem to talk much about getting emotionally fit or getting mentally fit.

The theme for this year’s mental health awareness week is explore your way to wellbeing – Whāia te ara hauora, Whitiora. And so, in keeping with this theme, I would like to invite you on a journey of exploration, a remembrance of all those things that make you happy.


What did you love to do as a child?

Tell me, what was your favourite thing in the whole wide world? Was it:

  • throwing the ball for your dog?
  • cuddling up with the tiny purrs of your kitten?
  • making cakes with your nana?
  • colouring in?
  • growing carrot tops?
here’s one of my favourite things, and yes I’m still enjoying tea parties today

Make a list of all those things you loved to do as a child. What of these things can you incorporate into your life today?

Your favourite holiday

Describe your favourite holiday. Who was there? Where were you? Do you have any photographs?

Leeds Castle, Kent
Leeds Castle, Kent

Take a moment and locate those photographs and indulge in a skip down memory lane.

Who do you love to hang out with?

Is there somebody in your life that simply makes you feel good?

great people

Maybe they’re really funny. Maybe they are super loving and supportive? Maybe they know all sorts of things and are really interesting to talk to?

Take a moment and set up a time to catch up with them.

Invest the time to stack up those happy thoughts

Investing the time to remember what you loved to do and finding a way to keep doing them increases your mental fitness, resilience and sense of well-being.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, I’m inviting you to take a moment and give yourself that gift. The gift of a happy thought…