Look after yourself - Wellbeing for the change of season

Written by Melissa Roberts.

NZBWN Wellness 78 SPEAKERSSeasonal change can often be a reminder to check in with ourselves and those around us. So, it’s fitting that our Wellbeing for the Change of Season event on the Autumnal Equinox was an evening of conversation and connection at Tanya’s in Chelsea.

The key message from the evening was that checking in with our whole selves is so important and often not done frequently enough. Pausing and reflecting is for everyone, whether you are the type of person who only downloaded the meditation app because you’d heard it would help you relax, or you’re a life-long yogi.

NZBWN’s very own Bronwen Horton opened by sharing her top tip for surviving and thriving in the London winter; make it a priority to get winter sun.


Tanya Maher, our host shared the importance that nutrition has to play in feeling like a well-oiled machine when we most want to hibernate.

Tanya’s top tip was to try adding a mix of Camu Camu powder - much higher in vitamin C than citrus - and bee pollen to breakfasts, for an incredible immune booster and winter healer.

Career coach and headhunter Jan Kirkpatrick reminded all of us that, while our reptilian brain may try to convince us the office printer is as life-threatening as a lion quitting veganism, it’s probably not.

Her tips included:
• Reigning in our flight or fight response. The right amount of stress can be a positive motivating force, but prolonged high-level stress can have a multitude of damaging effects.
• Her top tip was super simple; just breathe. Long, deep breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Using a technique such as 4-7-8 breathing (breathe in for 4, hold for 7, breathe out for 8) can reduce stress levels within minutes.

Another tool for combating stress is mindfulness. Kate Reid, who’s former career was as a broadcast journalist at media heavyweights BBC and Sky and who is now an expert in executive, team and leadership consulting, unpacked the concept.

Her top tip is to take a few minutes during the day - for example the time spent putting the kettle on - to pause and reflect. Linking those mindful moments to something we do regularly helps it become a habit.

Amelia Hutchinson rounded out the evening’s panel of experts with her notes on how we can literally shake it off the winter blues. A former dancer with the English National Ballet, Amelia now works as a certified trainer in ballet, barre and pilates alongside completing her Bachelor of Business.

Her tips included:
• Just making a start will form a routine
• Get outside every day (ideally between midday and 2pm in winter)
• Make sure you move every day. Whether that’s a short stretch or yoga sequence first thing in the morning, or going to a class after work.

Thank you to all who came along and were part of a truly spectacular evening - and remember that you can keep the conversation going by using #wespeakkiwi.

Businesses involved:
Rebecka Heineke from Babes Balanced launching SailFit retreats.
Naomi Smith from The Balanced Kiwi.
Rachel Alderson from Rachel Alderson Nutrition.
Kirsten Reade from Singingtree Yoga.

A big thank you to:
• All of our inspiring speakers
• MC Louise Chunn - editor of Planet Mindful magazine, former editor of Psychologies magazine, and founder of online client-to-therapist matching platform welldoing.org
• Our generous host Tanya, Chris and the rest of the lovely team at Tanya’s. They served up nutrient-packed cold pressed juices and canapes that disappeared straight off the plates - particular shout out to the mouthfuls of heaven that were the Blueberry and Lemon Cheesecake truffles.
• Fran Hales for capturing photos of the night
• Louise and the Planet Mindful team for gifting copies of the magazines
• The NZBWN volunteers always willing to lend a hand