When life is real tough take a reel break
Caitlin on Sept. 27, 2022
Who loves the smell of popcorn and hearing the rustling of lolly packets as the lights go down at your local movie theatre? When I go to the movies I’m not just excited to watch a film. The whole thing is an experience that makes me feel like a child again.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme is RECCONECT with people and places that lift you up. When I think of a place that lifts me up, the movies instantly comes to mind, and I suspect I’m not the only one who feels that way. For me there is nothing worse than arriving late to a movie. Why? The trailers of course. Fuelled by the anticipation you already have for the film you’re about to see, the climactic music, flashing scenes and strong one-liners really draw you in and give you a small taster of what could be greatness. Sometimes I’m more excited to see what’s coming out soon rather than what I'm actually there to see.
The screen widens, the audience goes quiet and you snuggle down into your seat waiting for the movie to begin. Then it’s just you and the film, a connection like no other. Life stops, worries disappear and your sole focus is what is happening on the big screen in front of you. Whether it is a rom-com, horror, drama or documentary, the screen has your undivided attention. You’re not even tempted to look at your phone – wow.
Throughout the film you journey alongside the characters as they face ups and downs, you build connections with your favourites, cast judgment on the tricky ones, and if you’re anything like me you will start guessing what will happen at the end of the film.
Sometimes we are prompted to deeply feel certain ways. Whether you are laughing or crying hysterically, sharing such raw emotions with a room full of strangers can be so satisfying and validating. It’s a natural release of emotions that you don’t overthink because you’re so distracted, and it’s hard to be embarrassed when its pitch black – my goodness, it is needed.
You might go with friends or whānau, or just on your own. No matter what you prefer there is always an opportunity to debrief afterward. Talking with your chosen people about your likes, dislikes and opinions just continues the magic of the movie. And if you go on your own, Reddit is there waiting for you with open arms, encouraging you to unpack everything you have just seen with like-minded people across the world.
The cinema is a safe place where I go to take a break from the outside world and immerse myself in worlds and times unlike our own. I can share this experience with others or it can be something personal. Emotions can run free here, and even though the room is pitch black it’s a space that really fills my cup.
This year for Mental Health Awareness Week we encourage you to reflect on the theme and reconnect with people and places that lift you up. You might find that your friends and whānau have similar people and places, or even totally different ones, and that is okay! The act of sharing what you hold close and dear is going to make everyone feel so great regardless if there are similarities or not.
So whether you’re like me…clearly a wee film nerd… and love going to the movies or not, we look forward to hearing what brings you happiness and aroha.
Waiho i te toipoto kaua i te toiroa | Let us keep close together, not far apart
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