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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.


 

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.

 


 

Editor’s Perspective: 24 October 2019


“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Melinda Collins
Melinda Collins

 

It’s long been said that laughter is the best medicine and, although the sentiment behind this age-old adage is by its very nature rather sweet, the science on laughter actually stacks up.

Not only does laughter decrease stress hormones and increase both immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, improving your resistance to disease, it also triggers the release of our natural ‘feel-good’ chemicals – endorphins. These handy little hormones promote an overall sense of wellbeing and can even temporarily relieve pain.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on happiness recently, not because those around me are bouncing off the walls with happiness, but because I have seen the people around me not give way to unhappiness.

You see, happiness isn’t just about the external manifestation of what we consider as ‘happy’, it also enables us to get through some of the most trying situations without allowing them to break us.

According to the Dalai Lama, relying on external forces to determine your mood is a sure-fire way to failure if it’s sustainable, long term happiness you’re after. And, since we can’t control the weather, others’ actions or toddlers (yes, I have two of them!), it might be time to take charge of what we can control – how we react to all of the above.

After all, as Gabriel García Márquez once said, “No medicine cures what happiness cannot” and I can’t think of a life philosophy I’d rather live by.

 


 

Editor’s Perspective: 10 October 2019


“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” – Coco Chanel

 

 

Melinda Collins
Melinda Collins

 

Elite horse racing and fashion have long gone hand-in-hand and, while Cup Day is evidently an opportunity to honour a more traditional aesthetic, it equally represents the opportunity to add some colour and creativity to your hats, shoes and dresses.

We’ve got all the stylish secrets ahead to make it a dazzling one, from six-time Fashion on the Field judge Jackie O’Fee’s tips to blitz the competition, to a list of the hottest Cup Week breakfasts and after parties. We’ve checked out some of the region’s best places to put your ensemble together and we’ve even looked at the mammoth effort that goes on behind the scenes to pull Cup Day together.

Whether it’s the thrill of watching exceptional equine champions compete for glory, the rush as your horse bags a win, or getting a piece of the sartorial action, there’s no shortage of reasons to get in behind the hottest day on Canterbury’s social calendar. So, what’s yours?

 

 


 

Editor’s Perspective: 26 September 2019


“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed, embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and, above all, become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” – Roald Dahl

 

 

 

With more than 250 million book sales under is authorial belt, The Times placed Roald Dahl 16th on their 2008 list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’.

Yet rewind to his school years and his teacher wrote, “I have never met anybody who so persistently writes words meaning the exact opposite of what is intended,” in his school report. “He seems incapable of marshalling his thoughts on paper!”

It was the made up bedtime stories he told his five children that sparked his passion for writing. He went at it full speed, embraced it with both arms and, from an old wooden shed in the back garden, with a wingbacked armchair, a sleeping bag to keep out the cold, an old suitcase to prop his feet on and always, always six yellow pencils at his hand, Dahl created the worlds of The BFG, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many, many more.

So live passionately, live purposefully and don’t let the words of others stand between you and what you want to do.

 


 

Editor’s Perspective: 12 September 2019


“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch, but in her own wings. Always believe in yourself.” – Anonymous

 

 

I’m a fixer upperer. I’m not sure where this desire for improving things stems from, but I seem to get a greater satisfaction from renovating something existing, than from building from scratch. Whether it’s a house or a life problem, I love nothing more than getting stuck into a project.

So with my latest project being my health, I’m a little hindered by my lack of a medical degree; which is why Dr Libby Weaver is my new best friend.
In our 29 August issue of Metropol, Dr Libby talked about her latest book – The Invisible Load. A guide to overcoming stress and overwhelm, it covers the mental side of stress; how much of what we perceive as stress (such as that overflowing email inbox!), isn’t actually stressful (unless it really is life-threatening) and that the inner turmoil that we experience as a result of letting these things get to you is one of the greatest health crises facing the modern woman.

I don’t do life by halves; something my three kids, three dogs and the full time job that I passionately live and breathe, will attest to. I love every single one of these areas of my life, but it is a lot of love to juggle.

I’ve now got my hands on a copy of The Invisible Load, so it is perhaps ironic that the only problem I now have left to solve is how to find the time to start reading it.

 


 

Editor’s Perspective: 29 August 2019


“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” – Jennifer Dukes Lee

 

 

Dear Friday night emailer,
I usually start my email responses with ‘thank you for your email’. Unfortunately, in this case, I cannot do that.

I’m unsure if I’m more shocked or saddened by what you chose to email me; a complete stranger and someone for which you had no idea of what was going on in my life at that moment.

You mentioned your letter to the editor was not ‘publishable’ and I agree, but it was also not ‘send-able’. Yet for some reason, you thought it was OK to send it to me. Is it because the act of emailing de-humanises the recipient? Because I suspect – or at least I hope – that the email you sent me wasn’t how you would speak to your own family; your own friends; even your own acquaintances. If you’re about to click ‘send’ on an email you wouldn’t want someone sending your own child, then don’t click send.

I’m not sure whether it was Tiki Taane’s tattoos or mohawk that offended you so. Had you read the associated article, you would have found that there is so much more to Tiki than tattoos and a mohawk.

In fact, you would have found the back story of one of this country’s most prodigious talents; the story of a father; of a partner; of someone’s son; the inspiring story of how music saved him and of the beautiful way he proposed to the love of his life, with their children alongside.

I’m not angry with you for sending that email. If anything, I’m sad for you. I’m sad because the world is a big, vibrant melting pot of diversity and you’re never going to see the beauty in that.