CAI students experience particular challenges in relation to anxiety and stress, staying healthy, getting fit, being overwhelmed in the face of university work, confidence, self-doubt and making friends. The focus of this workshop is simple, self-help solutions, peer support, and sharing to address some of these personal difficulties and to learn how to maintain balanced wellbeing.

This workshop was delivered on 20 July 2019 at the Unleash Space on Campus and the resources are collated here for you to use.

Definition of Wellbeing

Wellbeing is not just the absence of disease or illness. It is a complex combination of a person’s physical, mental, emotional and social health factors. Wellbeing is strongly linked to happiness and life satisfaction. In short, wellbeing could be described as how you feel about yourself and your life.

There are four dimensions of wellbeing:

  • Physical wellbeing
  • Mental & emotional wellbeing including self-confidence
  • Social wellbeing including relationships, whānau, self-esteem
  • Spiritual wellbeing arising from personal beliefs

Benefits of mindfulness/awareness:

  • Reduce stress
  • Relieve anxiety
  • Reduce depression
  • Increase feelings of wellbeing
  • Aid ability to relax

Over time with regular practise, experience:

  • More self acceptance
  • Improved relationships
  • Stronger intuition
  • Ability to stay calm when getting triggered
  • More depth and meaning in life in general

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your World

Abraham Lincoln once said, ”Most folks are about as happy as they want to be.”  Was he implying that, when it comes to our happiness, we actually have a choice? Apparently, yes. Research abounds on the impact of positive and negative thinking on ourselves and others, and the fact that we have the potential to transform ourselves by changing our habits of mind.

© 2014 by Jennifer Read Hawthorne

Read the full article here: 


Neurohacking: Rewiring your brain

Introducing neuroplasticity, and our ability to change our brain.


Dr Rick Hanson on how we can rewire our negativity bias

Rick Hanson is a neuropsychologist and the author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain.


Emotional Mastery: The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Feelings

What often blocks people from feeling capable in life and from having greater success with finances, health or relationships is how they handle unpleasant feelings. Psychologist Joan Rosenberg unveils the innovative strategy and surprising keys for experiencing the challenging emotions that lie at the heart of confidence, emotional strength, and resilience.

Resources from The University of Auckland

The University’s Student Support Center provides resources for supporting students in their health and wellbeing.


Wellbeing Groups

Register for any of the University’s support groups here.

Pasifika Women’s Support Group

The aim of this group is to provide support to Pasifika women, to enhance their wellbeing and help them navigate some of the challenges of juggling university life and balancing other commitments, for example, family, relationships, culture, church, community, etc. This is a confidential and safe space.

Social Confidence Group

Learn how to manage social anxiety, build up self-esteem and improve confidence in social situations.

Queer Men’s Group

Queer, trans, cis, gay, bi, questioning+

How have stereotypes around kiwi masculinity affected you lately? Sexuality, ethnicity, culture and other aspects of our identity also factor in. As we get to know one another, each week a topic of discussion will be raised.

Mental Health Awareness

One week every year in September is Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand, a good time to have conversations with the people in your life about what they mean to you and to work on your wellbeing.

Here are some more suggestions and resources:

Connect with nature

Spending time in the natural world is calming and energising. When we spend a lot of time indoors and working with technology, it can be hard to remember to get out and enjoy the natural environment.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has a page for created for Mental Health Awareness Week which includes links to walks and activities you could try:

Be well at work

If you are working, even part time, your work environment has an impact on your mental health. This site has fabulous information for team leaders and employers (pass it on!) including some useful information and strategies for employees coping with difficult situations.

Find out how to support others

1 in 5 New Zealanders will struggle with their mental health this year. It can be hard to know what to do if someone you care about needs support.

The Like Minds website has suggestions for what you can say and do to help when someone is suffering:

When someone’s safety is at risk

It’s important to know what to do if you discover someone is seriously at risk or could be suicidal, and to recognise that you will need support too. The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand has the most comprehensive resources for this situation.

To find out more about events, activities and stories being told during Mental Health Awareness Week, visit the website here:

Arts Wellbeing Collective

The Arts Wellbeing Collective is an Australian project working to gather tools and resources to support people in the creative industries in managing their mental wellbeing in the unique scenarios faced by people working in the performing arts and production.

This video is an introduction to their concept, and we find their resources section particularly useful with guides to maintaining wellbeing on tour, meditation and supporting the team around you as a creative person, as well as yourself.

Related Articles

How to find your superpower

“Determining strengths and weaknesses is an integral part of most professionals’ personal development. After all, if you don’t know where you’re strongest, you may have trouble aligning your work with your best skills and may even miss the boat on developing essentials skills for the future.” – Fast Company

Lifehacks for Creatives

The Big Idea listen in on Jess Johnson and Simon Ward’s discussion around “advice to my 22 year old self”, and discover some useful advice for making a successful creative life a reality. – The Big Idea


Teaching Resources

Download the Workshop Resource Pack:

Download the Facilitation Plan for this workshop:

He karakia mō te ata – download the karakia we used to open our morning session

Want more?

The resources from our other workshop in the Wellbeing series are available here: Workshop 2: Creative Resilience