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The science of kindness – Navigating the pandemic together

2020-08-21T09:59:37+12:00August 20th, 2020|

We were recently struck by comments in the media that some individuals felt that the government’s message to “Be kind” felt patronising after all this time. It got us thinking about what kindness is and what it means to us, as a society, and how it is often confusing and misunderstood. Then, during the [...]

Sips of kindness and compassion

2020-02-24T14:08:50+13:00October 8th, 2018|

  Connected, healthy relationships are vital for our wellbeing, and for many of us, our relationships are the foundation of purpose and meaning in our lives. During a recent yin yoga class our wise teacher spoke about bringing “sips of kindness and compassion” to our relationship with ourselves, in order that we might be kinder [...]

Connecting this Christmas

2020-12-03T12:16:06+13:00November 27th, 2020|

Christmas time can be really special for some, really tough for others and many other dynamics in between. At Umbrella, we know from our wellbeing assessments with New Zealand organisations that family and personal relationships can be associated with a significant amount of stress for many individuals.  Due to the global pandemic, it is [...]

Recharge your battery this December

2020-12-03T12:20:21+13:00November 27th, 2020|

2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges. No matter your circumstances, this year will have brought uncertainty and complexity to at least some parts of your life. When facing uncertainty, an extra amount of our mental energy is taken up as our brains naturally look to predict and find ways out of the [...]

Keeping the door open for wellbeing conversations

2020-10-30T11:35:16+13:00October 30th, 2020|

How do we have a conversation about wellbeing with someone who doesn’t want to talk about wellbeing? There will be times when people seem to be struggling yet won't accept any help you offer. It's understandable to feel frustrated, distressed and powerless. However, it is important to acknowledge that they are an individual, and [...]

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020: Reflections from the Umbrella team


2020-10-01T15:42:16+13:00October 1st, 2020|

From 21 to 25 September, New Zealanders around the country celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week. It was a fantastic five days full of thinking, reflecting, and celebrating our mental health and wellbeing. It was also full of engaging discussions around how we can grow as individuals, friends, teams, organisations, and as a society that [...]

Out the other end of lockdown: What can we take with us?

2020-05-18T09:11:29+12:00May 15th, 2020|

New Zealanders everywhere are rejoicing as we lift COVID-19 restrictions. But, if you have bittersweet feelings about lockdown ending and moving into Level 2, you can count yourself among the many. While the last two months might have been hectic for some (kudos to all you working parents with young kids at home), or [...]

Five tips to strengthen your relationships during isolation

2020-04-07T11:17:13+12:00April 6th, 2020|

“The strongest among us are those who can reach for others” - Dr Sue Johnson Feeling connected to others is an essential human need. Importantly, this connection with people can be highly protective when we are coping with difficult experiences. Researchers such as Barbara Fredrickson and Esther Sternberg have identified that our connections to others [...]