The 6th day of Christ­mas


Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - DANISH ROYALS -

When you’re feel­ing blue, touch green. Spend­ing time in na­ture im­proves your sleep, mood and re­duces a range of health prob­lems. Not to men­tion it gives you an en­riched sense of pur­pose. If you’re look­ing for a way to do some­thing for your com­mu­nity this Christ­mas, vol­un­teer­ing at re­gional or na­tional parks is a won­der­fully im­mer­sive way to stretch your phil­an­thropic mus­cles. The De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion needs hut war­dens and camp­ground hosts over the Christ­mas hol­i­day pe­riod at a range of sites through­out the North and South Is­land. They are also al­ways in need of cit­i­zen sci­en­tists who can help col­lect data about lo­cal ecosys­tems and wildlife. You can even be­come a bird “min­der” – DoC is look­ing for peo­ple in the Coro­man­del who can help pro­tect the en­dan­gered New Zealand dot­terel dur­ing the breed­ing months from now un­til March. If you have a few days spare, sign your­self up to help with gen­eral main­te­nance at one of the North Is­land’s most beau­ti­ful spots, Tir­i­tiri Matangi Is­land, over the Christ­mas pe­riod. The preda­tor­free is­land is a bird-lover’s par­adise. Visit­volved/vol­un­teer/.

Kind­ness and pos­i­tiv­ity can lead to longer lives. A 1996 study found giv­ing back was sec­ond only to danc­ing as a method for cre­at­ing joy. Vol­un­teer­ing re­duces stress and has been shown to be an ef­fec­tive an­ti­dote to de­pres­sion.

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