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Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 19 March 2020


“Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be” —Sonia Ricotti

 

New Zealand could become a “lifeboat to save humanity from extinction” if there was a catastrophic pandemic, according to an Otago University report pre-dating COVID-19, just a few short months ago.

Although it was a fictional genetically-engineered pandemic threatening human survival that formed the basis of the report, the World Health Organisation has officially declared COVID-19 as a ‘pandemic’ and global panic surrounding the spread of the virus has since reached epic proportions.

Although it makes absolute sense for countries to take urgent and aggressive action on border control to contain its spread, it is equally important that we adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach when it comes to our domestic activities; our economy relies on it.

COVID-19 has spread from biological to financial and economic parts of our lives.

But it’s in our hands how this affects our domestic trade. It’s not time to stop going out for dinner, to stop heading to the movies, or to stop spending time with friends; it’s time to support our local businesses, while following the Ministry of Health’s hygiene guidelines of course.

It’s an unprecedented time in the travel industry and we’re in uncharted waters; airlines have cancelled routes, cruise companies have postponed trips and countries have closed their borders.

But at the time of print, New Zealand has had no community spread of COVID-19.

While it might be time to reconsider long haul travel, maybe this is the opportunity to realise just what we have in our own backyard.

Why not head into your local travel agent and get planning your Bay of Islands escape, a Queenstown vacay, or perhaps this is some extra time to plan a bigger, better overseas sojourn… for next year!

In the meantime, our younger generations are watching us and learning about how to respond to stress and uncertainty. Let’s wire our kids for resilience, not panic.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 05 March 2020


“It is not happy people that are thankful, but rather thankful people that are happy.”
– Anonymous

 

 

The proverb above has long been a favourite of mine, despite a complete inability to harness the wisdom within it.

It’s been something I’ve been reflecting on during some trying times recently.

All first world problems of course. And when I break down every single one of those difficulties, it’s not hard to see that every single one of them is a good problem to have.

There are things that we all take for granted — things that have become ‘givens’ within our day-to-day lives.

Whether it’s the roof over our heads, the food on our plates or the clothes on our backs, they’re there and we always expect those things to be there.

But for so many, they’re not there; many lack the basic necessities of food, water and shelter.

Our unbridled access to these things makes it easy for us to get caught up with what we don’t have and not appreciating what we do have.

Which is where gratitude comes in.

There is a growing body of research which shows the psychological benefits of being grateful, including feeling happier and lowering stress, depression and anxiety.

It’s also contagious… when you feel that good, you make others around you feel good too!

So let’s make 2020 the year of appreciation, after all, only good things can come of it. And just remember, if you’re crying over spilt milk, be thankful you’ve got milk to cry over.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 20 February 2020


I’ve long been a ‘project person’. While this makes me highly efficient when it comes to getting things done, it means I’m not very good at relaxing.

 

Even my housework is broken up into ‘sections’ so rather than feeling overwhelming, it becomes heaps of little ‘goals’ that result in a mammoth job getting done.

But when those projects start to take over the weekend and more projects than fun is getting done, that’s when I know something has to change.

In my defence, we have been smack bang in the middle of selling a house and building a new one, which is particularly challenging when you throw three dogs and three kids in the mix, but nevertheless, I’m ready for something to give in the all work no play continuum.

The world is currently suffering from a global rest deficit; we crave rest and relaxation, but then feel anxious that we’re being lazy when we attempt even 10 minutes for a cuppa.

Whether this rest deficit is real or perceived, it’s damaging. We’ve long recognised the harmful effects of sleep deficit but, until now, it seems we’ve underestimated the effects of not resting.

Yet research tells us that spending time relaxing not only helps our decision-making abilities and lowers our risk of depression, but it also boosts both our memory making abilities and our immune system response.

Whether it’s a cup of tea and a copy of Metropol, some diaphragmic breathing and mindful meditation, powering it around the block with some headphones on, or curling up on the coach for a Netflix marathon, there’s a way to relax that will be just for you.

No matter what it is, it needs to be scheduled, after all, rest is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 06 February 2020


“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have.”

Frederick Keonig

 

 

It’s long been said that money doesn’t buy happiness and I’m sure that no truer saying has been said.

After all, some of the world’s most financially-rich are also some of the world’s most happiness-poor.

I think it’s easy for us to forget that happiness isn’t something that is handed to some people and not to others because, as the Dalai Lama once said,

“Happiness is not something ready-made; it comes from your own actions”.

Happiness results, not from circumstance, but how we react to circumstance and the beauty of that is the knowledge and appreciation that our reactions to circumstance are completely within our control.

So in 2020, my challenge to you is, smell the roses, use the good tea set, have the second glass of wine and accept the compliment.

And remember, no act of kindness, no hint of compassion, no good deed – however small – is ever wasted; 2020 is the year of happiness but let’s also make it the year of kindness.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 23 January 2020


“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” – David Bowie

 

 

When a New Year dawns it is already a great year – we’ve yet again been blessed with an opportunity to live and love.

And, although it seems rather cliché to say, it really is a time of year that is capable of inciting profound transformative change to mind, body and soul.

Of course while some changes in life work, others may not, but the whole point is about giving something new a go.

After all, as Einstein so wisely and poignantly pointed out, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity.

So whether the changes you are contemplating in your lives this year are great or small – whether it is simply to turn your talented hand to a new hobby, curling your tongue around a new language, changing jobs or taking an entrepreneurial punt on a new venture – go hard!

It’s time to give it your best shot and don’t worry if it doesn’t work out entirely as you had planned, you will no doubt be richer for the experience.

The Metropol team is excited to embark on yet another adventurous chapter in 2020 and look forward to you joining us on this journey.


 

Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 12 December 2019


While you’re looking after friends and family this festive season, it’s important you don’t forget to look after ‘you’.

Wellbeing Specialist Sarah McGuinness shares her top tips for keeping well over Christmas.

1. Be right here, right now: Practicing mindfulness is probably the last thing you’d think to add to your festive to-do list, but it can be a helpful calming tool.

2. Know that good enough is great: There can be a lot of pressure at this time of year, especially when hosting or staying with family and/or friends.

Be clear about what you can control and what you can’t, and what’s important and what’s not.

3. Be with people who love you in all your glory: There’s almost nothing better than spending time with people who love you for who you are and can make you laugh until your sides hurt.

Find time to be with those people and find ways to help each other take care.

4. Celebrate the goodness: When you get a chance, write down a list of all the good moments from 2019. It might be a list of big things, small things or both.

The idea is to come up with 10 to 20 things that make you smile and feel buoyant.

5. Support the community: There are many families that go without in some way at this time of year.

Consider donating your time or items to organisations that support families or individuals in need.

From the Metropol team, take care, stay safe and have a very merry Christmas. Metropol will be back with you on 23 January, ready to embrace all of the wonders that await in 2020.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 5 December 2019


“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”  – Maya Angelou

 

 

Remember that dress? It became a viral internet sensation on 26 February 2015, when viewers disagreed over whether the dress pictured was coloured blue and black, or white and gold. There were more than 10 million tweets mentioning the dress within a week of it surfacing.

While it was eventually proven that the dress was in fact blue and black (though I still have my doubts!), it also lends power to the idea that perception is everything.

I’m currently reading It’s Not You, It’s Me, by Camilla Sacre-Dallerup, who was the head judge on Dancing with the Stars NZ and is a bestselling author. She was recently in Christchurch to promote the book.

She’s a big believer in ‘reframing’ what we see as negative; seeing something in a new way, in a new context or with a new ‘frame’ around it. It’s life-changing stuff.

After all, Lou Holtz once said, “Life is ten percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it” and, if perception is reality, then you’ve got the ultimate power.

 


 

Editor’s Perspective: 21 November 2019


“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” – Gore Vidal

 

 

Looking down the line-up of The Crossing Fashion Starts Here Best Dressed Best Dressed finalists at Addington this year, I was struck by just how magnificent fashion is.

It was Rachel Zoe that once said, ‘Fashion is a way to say who you are without having to speak’ and I’m not sure a truer word has ever been said on the topic.

This year’s Best Dressed Lady sash was draped over Nikki Pagen’s white, red and blue ensemble; which was simple in aesthetic and yet impeccable in its execution. In a bright and brilliant contrast, runner-up Stephanie Murray was in sunny yellow from head-to-toe. Meanwhile, for the Best Dressed Man Matt Anderson, cobalt blue was the name of the fashion game, with a hand-stitched checked jacket that he paired with bright white pants.

Despite – or perhaps because of – fashion’s increasingly casual constitution, the opportunity to welcome a much more traditional aesthetic is a welcome one. And yet, irrespective of the conservative nature of the day, we still manage to have fun with fashion, with hats, shoes and fascinators that are as colourful and creative as the jockeys’ silks.

But what caught my attention the most was the fact that every attendee – and there were 20,000 of them – was having a ball.

 


 

Quiz for a good cause


The ‘Dark Destroyer’ Shaun Wallace is heading to the city this month and it’s all for a good cause – or several good causes in fact.

 

 

After a chance encounter with Diabetes Christchurch Manager Lynne Taylor at his book launch earlier this year, Wallace agreed to attend the Diabetes Christchurch event for free.

Five Christchurch charities (including Diabetes Christchurch) will be involved in the quiz night on Wednesday 20 November. Each charity will be paired up with a local celebrity through a secret ballot system and the celebrities will compete against each other for the final victory.

Wallace has been a champion of the long running BBC general knowledge quiz Mastermind, a finalist on the first series of Are You an Egghead?, a contestant on Fifteen to One and The Weakest Link, plus the British adaptation of Greed. He’s been a celebrity contestant on Catchphrase and appeared as a guest in ‘Dictionary Corner’ on the Channel 4 gameshow Countdown.

Since 2009, he has been a ‘chaser’ on the UK television series The Chase. But to change things up from his usual ‘chasing’, Wallace – along with popular local musician Tim Beveridge – will be the one posing the questions to the well-known local celebrities at the Shaun Wallace Celebrity Charity Quiz Show.

Former Mayor Sir Bob Parker, Brett and Angel from ‘Married at First Sight – NZ’ and Metropol’s very own Editor, Melinda Collins, are some of the locals who will be vying for a win for the range of charities, which include The Christchurch Kidney Society, The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust and Age Concern Canterbury.

The proceeds made from the quiz will go to Diabetes Christchurch and the prize money to the winning charity.

The Shaun Wallace Celebrity Charity Quiz Show will be held at the La Vida Conference Centre, 34A Hansons Lane, Upper Riccarton.

Book now by calling 0800 224 224 or online at www.ticketdirect.co.nz. For more information on Diabetes Christchurch, visit www.diabeteschristchurch.co.nz.

 


 

Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 7 November 2019


“Health is a crown that the healthy wear but only the sick can see it.” – Imam Shafi’ee

 

Melinda Collins
Melinda Collins

 

You hear about broken hearts all the time. What you don’t hear so much of are stories of broken pancreases.

The pancreas plays a pretty important role in the body, producing insulin which keeps blood glucose levels in check. November is Diabetes Action Month and Shaun Wallace, the Dark Destroyer himself, is heading to the city to lend his support to this very worthy cause (page 28).

Two of the most common forms of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. For Type 2 diabetics – the most common type – their bodies don’t effectively utilise insulin. For Type 1 diabetics, their bodies no longer produce insulin. An autoimmune condition that has resulted from one’s immune system over-compensating its attack on a virus, Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition, for which there is no cure. And, from first-hand experience, I can tell you this makes for one crazy rollercoaster ride!

I have some pretty clever gadgets which make the journey a more palatable one, including a continuous glucose metre (CGM) that reads my blood sugars 24/7 and this is connected to an insulin pump, both are attached to my stomach at all times.

They’re a bit like having an accountant do your taxes; you still need to feed the accountant the right numbers or you will end up in a world of hurt, but they take the pain out of the job – quite literally when it comes to blood testing!

So, while you hear about people who wear their hearts on their sleeves, now you can say you know of someone who wears their pancreas on their hip.