If your question is not answered below, please email us:

In the guided mindfulness tools there are meditation practices, what is meditation?

Meditation is one way to practise mindfulness, which is paying attention to what’s happening in the present moment. When we meditate, we can take some time to sit, breathe and allow our attention to settle, often on the breath.  

When we learn to meditate, we’re training our minds to have more present moment awareness. You might think of it as going to the gym for the mind. It takes practice and commitment. With time, things become more comfortable.  

You don’t need to sit cross legged to meditate! You can sit in any way that feels comfortable to you. You can choose to close your eyes or focus on one point with your eyes open. It’s important that you meditate in a way that feels comfortable for you.  

Written by Kristina Cavit & Brady Polkinghorne. 

Why is meditation beneficial?

Practising mindfulness is about taking care of our mind. Meditation and mindfulness teach us to be more at ease with our mind, however it is, in each moment. By being kind to ourselves and thoughts, mindfulness can provide us with a healthier perspective.  

The more we practise, the easier it gets to calm a racing mind and to be present with whatever we’re doing. 

Research shows that meditation can help us feel less stressed, sleep better, increase our ability to focus and even improve our relationships!

Written by Kristina Cavit & Brady Polkinghorne. 

What can I expect when meditating?  

Here are some common experiences when meditating.  

  • You can’t sit still: As soon as you sit down to meditate, you can start to feel restless! This is very natural. You’re not ‘bad’ at meditating if you can’t sit still. Take a moment to give the feeling some space and when you’re ready, you can return to the breath to ease any tension. 

  • Your mind will wander: It’s normal to have a busy mind – humans have over 60,000 thoughts a day. Even monks get distracted by thoughts. When this happens, simply notice that your mind has wandered and return to the practice or the breath. This trains the mind to come back more easily. With time, you’ll notice you can meditate for longer periods without being distracted. You are developing the ability to begin again –  without judgement. You’re not trying to switch off your thoughts, you’re learning to observe them without judgement.  

  • You might feel emotional: You might start to feel worried, anxious, angry or bored during a practice. These feelings are completely normal and safe. Try not to push them away. Instead, do your best to give them space and know that it’s okay to feel this way. It can be really helpful to name your feelings and to notice how your body feels. You might feel heat or tension in different parts of the tinana/body. Have a sense of acceptance for these feelings and know that it can take time to get comfortable with your thoughts. When you’re ready, you can bring all of your attention back to the breath to ease any tension. 

  • You might feel nothing: This is also very common and you’re not doing anything wrong. Keep turning up each day with an open mind and things will naturally unfold on their own. Remember that no practice is time wasted. Every time you meditate, you are practising mindfulness and taking care of your wellbeing.
    You might try too hard: There’s no such thing as being ‘good’ at mindfulness   in fact, trying to achieve something can become an obstacle to mindfulness. This is one place you don’t need to try hard! Instead, you’re learning to develop the qualities of letting go, self-compassion and non-judgement. Exhale deeply through the mouth and bring your attention back to the practice. 

  • You might get sleepy: Feeling sleepy is very normal! Our mind is doing its best to find the balance between being calm and turning off. Sitting upright or standing is a helpful way to stay alert. Practising mindfulness first thing in the morning or at the same time each day can also be helpful. 

Setbacks along the way are normal. Remember – You’re doing a great job and there’s no perfect way to meditate! Kia kaha, keep up the great mahi 💜 

Written by Kristina Cavit & Brady Polkinghorne. 

Is mindfulness right for me?  

Mindfulness is for everyone, but how we practise it might vary from person to person.

That’s why we have designed a program with several different tools to help you gain that mindful moment. You don’t have to use all of the tools and can design this month to work in a way that’s best for you. Whether that’s drawing, doodling or writing your thoughts down in a journal, practising mindfulness and meditation with the guided audio or choosing a mindful activity such as taking a walk in a park and observing the sounds, sights and smells around you, it’s up to you how you create your ideal mindful moment.


My friend, whānau or colleague needs support with their mental health, where can I find more information?  

Great question - it’s awesome to hear you want to support someone close to you. It can be difficult to ask for help when someone needs it, so well done on being a person your loved one or colleague can trust. Our website has a wealth of resources you can access to help. You can also try these tips on supporting a loved one experiencing mental health challenges on for size.

I am concerned about the feelings, thoughts and emotions that might come up for me when practising mindfulness. What should I do?  

Practising mindfulness could bring up some tricky or distressing thoughts, emotions or feelings. These thoughts and feelings are totally understandable and valid.

Put your own wellbeing and safety first. If you think you might struggle with mindfulness, talk to someone you trust – a friend, whānau member or health professional who can help you through it. There’s no pressure to participate in mindfulness, and there’s plenty of other ways you can work through distressing thoughts and emotions – we’ve listed some ways here.

I am/someone close to me is really struggling with my/their mental health. What can I do?  

Thanks so much for sharing this with us, this is a really brave step. We hope you have some support around you at this time.

You can text or call a team of trained counsellors for free on 1737, at any time of the day or night. From 2pm-10pm, 1737 have a free peer support service you can call too. Healthline is also a great option to access help – you can call them on 0800 611 116. More information about accessing mental health services can be found here.

You can find more details around support here, as well as a list of helplines.

Arohanui, we hope this helps.

Can I start a team with friends, family, or colleagues?  

Yes, the more the merrier when you register! If you want to sign up as an organisation, school or community group to take on this challenge together please email us at mindfulnessmonth@mentalhealth.org.nz to discuss the options.

How do people donate to my event?  

The best way for your family and friends to support your event is by sharing the link to your page. Here it is easy to make a secure online donation, using a credit/debit card. Can’t find your link? You can search for your page using the search bar on the donate page.

How can I promote my fundraiser?  

Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, are a great way to tell all your family and friends about your fundraiser, and generate donations. Once you have created your page, there are direct links to post your event page to these platforms, as well as a link you can email.  

How can I keep my sponsors up to date?  

Regular updates on your how you are going is a great way for your sponsors to track your progress. On your dashboard under ‘My Page’ you have the option to write blogs to post all your updates on. Another option is to send your sponsors emails from your fundraising page. Under “My Dashboard” you will see “Get Support” where you are able to send emails to your contacts. 

Where is the money going? 

Click here to learn more about all the important mahi your incredible donations support. 


How can I make changes to my event page once live, like change the date of my event, my message or image? 

Please click here and log into your account and you will be able to edit and resave everything about your event here.

I have forgotten my account login or password

Please click here to Login. You will be asked for your email address, and then click ‘Forgotten password’. A link to reset your password will be sent to your email. If you’re still stuck flick us an email at mindfulnessmonth@mentalhealth.org.nz  and we can do a password reset at our end.   

How long after my event will people be able to donate to my page?  

If you think you may receive donations after this time period, please use the 'Donate' button on our website to pay us the funds. Click here.

Please do not send cash directly to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ. If you have collected cash you can deposit it into our bank account:   

Bank: BNZName of account: Mental Health Foundation of NZAccount number: 02-0100-0752592-097Reference: Your Supporter IDCode: MINDFUL


It’s really important if you deposit funds this way that you include a clear reference so we know who to make the receipt out to. Once you have made payment - flick us an email at mindfulnessmonth@mentalhealth.org.nz letting us know the amount, date, and name the receipt needs to be made out to.

Can people who donate get a tax-deductible receipt?  

All online donations will receive an automated tax receipt to the email address provided when the donation is made.  

We cannot provide a tax-deductible receipt for donations made to a raffle, auction or to someone who provides goods, a service or general cash for event sponsorship.

I have collected cash during the event, how do I pay this to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ? 

The easiest and most secure way is to pay the total amount using a credit card via our Donate button on our website click here. 

You can deposit the funds directly into our bank account here:   

Bank: BNZName of account: Mental Health Foundation of NZAccount number: 02-0100-0752592-097Reference: Your Supporter IDCode: MINDFUL

It’s really important if you deposit funds this way that you include a clear reference so we know who to make the receipt out to. Better yet – flick us an email at mindfulnessmonth@mentalhealth.org.nz letting us know the amount, date, and name the receipt needs to be made out too.   

One of my sponsors lives abroad. Can they donate or sponsor me in another currency than the NZ dollar? 

Yes, they can use their credit card to donate the amount they wish. Their provider will then convert the amount into NZ dollars. Please note they may be charged a fee by their provider for a foreign currency transaction.  

Who can I contact for additional fundraising questions about my event?  

For general fundraising enquiries contact mindfulnessmonth@mentalhealth.org.nz 

What if fundraising isn’t an option for me?

We understand fundraising can be hard for some and our priority is for as many as possible to access this Mindfulness Month. If you can’t / aren’t able to fundraise you can still participate by setting up a fundraising page, then making a personal donation to the campaign to participate in the challenge. We do ask for a donation of $60 as a contribution toward making a better mental health system for all and to help cover our costs.