Explore your taha tihana (physical wellbeing)

One in five Kiwis experiences a mental illness each year. Almost all of these people will recover or live well with the right tautoko (support).

Te Whare Tapa Whā is a model of health that helps us identify where we need extra support. It describes health as a wharenui (meeting house) with four walls. These walls represent:

  • taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing)
  • taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing)
  • taha tinana (physical wellbeing)
  • taha whānau (family and social wellbeing)

Connection with the whenua (land) forms the foundation. When all four walls and the foundation are strong, we feel strong too, including our top two inches (our mental wellbeing).

What is taha tinana?

Taha tinana is your physical wellbeing. It is about how your body grows, feels and moves and how you care for it. Taha tinana is just one aspect of health and wellbeing and cannot be separated from all others. It’s important to acknowledge that sometimes your taha tinana might not be as good as you’d like it to be, and this might be beyond your control. What’s important is that you take care of your physical being and do what you can to nurture it, regardless of your current physical abilities.

Why is taha tinana an important way to wellbeing?

Working to nourish and strengthen your taha tinana will help you to cope with ups and downs at work and in life generally. When you feel physically well, it helps you feel mentally well too. Having good physical wellbeing means you can focus on your mahi and take leadership in helping your hoamahi (colleagues) live healthier lives too.

Exploring your way to wellbeing through taha tinana

  • Make a commitment with your hoamahi to pick one thing you could do to improve your physical wellbeing. It could be supporting one another to quit smoking, drinking more water, having regular lunch breaks or eating more fruit and veggies. Start small and encourage each other to keep working at it!
  • Look at how accessible your workplace is for people who may be using wheelchairs or other mobility supports to get around. Visit www.beaccessible.org.nz for more information.
  • Kai nourishes our bodies. Take some time to prepare some healthy meals to take to mahi. Check out our recipe ideas for inspiration. You could hold a MasterChef competition with your hoamahi!
  • Try a body scan meditation. Notice where you might be holding tension and learn to breathe deeply and release the tension from your body. This is a great thing to try to do before a big hui or presentation.
  • Have a massage therapist or yoga instructor come into the workplace to give 20 minute sessions to people who want them.
  • Start a social sports team – it’s a great way to release stress and connect with your hoamahi outside of the workplace.
  • Organise a regular lunchtime walk or complete one of our Activate workouts with your hoamahi.

Take some time to reflect on what taha tinana means to you. If you tried out any of the activities about what specifically made you feel good and what didn’t? If any of the activities helped to boost your mental health and wellbeing why not find ways to include them regularly in your week.

Register for the Health and Wellbeing Portal

 As a benefit of membership MAS Members register for the MAS Health and Wellbeing Portal. Giving access to health and wellbeing articles, recipes, tips and information to help maintain a balanced lifestyle. If you’re a MAS Member and would like to register for the Portal, simply click the button below.

Source: Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand is a charity that works towards creating a society free from discrimination, where all people enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing.

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