The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand has created a Twitter web function to help get people into the habit of taking a break from their busy technological lives.
Hosted on the Mental Health Awareness website, the tool allows users to tweet what they have noticed during their day.
The MHFNZ’s communication manager, Paula Taylor, says the web tool’s main purpose is to show people how technology can be used in a positive way.
“What we’re saying to people is – did you notice something today? Did you stop and notice someone who let you in the traffic, did your child do something amazing, or something small that you thought was wonderful?”
Taylor says a major positive of this web function is that it can be used by everyone.
“What we are trying to get away from is people sitting in the lotus position and chanting. It’s about finding your own thing that supports your mental health and wellbeing.”
New Zealand Association of Occupational Therapists executive director Siobhan Molloy says occupational therapists understand the value of taking a break.
“A scheduled break is an opportunity for physical and mental rest, and provides a space to re-evaluate work priorities, progress and outcomes.”
Clinical psychologist Sue Dykes says taking a break helps people to be more productive.
“Taking a break from our stressful habits can help us start afresh and be more creative.
“It can also change the way we respond to a stressful situation and alter our preconceived ideas about it.”
Dykes says people are finding it increasingly difficult to take a break and be more mindful.
“For example, those who spend time stuck in traffic can take time out and just relax.
“I would say there are just as many opportunities to contact with nature and people are often surprised that they do hear birds in the city.”