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Coming through the other side of lockdown sane


Hey all you cool cats and kittens! We’re in week two of the lockdown, so hopefully many of you are beginning to find a bit of a rhythm.

We wanted to make sure that in the sea of COVID-19 content, we were being constructive and helping our peeps out, so we went in search of some trustworthy, digestible, actually relatable and realistic advice. This is a list put together by a UK-based aged care management app start-up called Birdie (which Briar’s cousin Finola Rance happens to work at). Below is a list of tips and resources to get you through the lockdown, but keeping you sane in the process! Briar’s put some of her editing magic on the list so it includes NZ-based information, and we’ve added some points we think you’ll find useful. From entertainment options to a day structure template, it's all here!

And for anyone that’s feeling anxious, depressed, unsure, shaken, emotional: please hear this: it’s ok to be upset. It doesn’t matter that a lot of other people might feel the same as you – your feelings still matter. Talking it out can be a scary thought, but it will seem much smaller and more manageable when you say it out loud and talk to someone. You are not a burden.

Let’s look after one another, and make kindness contagious.

Wellbeing during lockdown

Physical wellbeing

  • Create an alternative commute to signal the beginning and end of the day by spending some time going for a walk or bike in the morning and evening. Although how good is it not having to deal with traffic and roadworks?!
  • If the gym is part of your usual routine, incorporate some at-home exercise classes or circuits into your day. TVNZ is streaming group class fitness every weekday at 9am (but no one can hear you puffing away, how good?!).
  • Check out these virtual exercise classes from Qinetic, some good at-home tips, Yoga with Adrienne, Yoga with Kassandra and this basic stretching sequence.
  • If possible, create a work station in your house separate to your bedroom or sofa
  • For advice on correct work posture, please see WorkSafe NZ advice
  • Install the Healthy Browsing extension to your Chrome. This will give you a nudge when it's time to get some water, stretch etc.

Mental wellbeing

  • Try and limit your news consumption to reputable sources (e.g. Ministry of Health, local DHBs, live press conferences, Stuff, NZHerald, RNZ) and only once or twice a day to avoid false news and unnecessary panic. Look past the clickbait headlines – is that really a reputable news source? Try to read a news story rather than just the headline.
  • Headspace, a mindfulness app, has opened some of its app/resources up for free to the public.
  • If you don’t work or concentrate well with the radio or noise, unlock out any background noises in your remote working space using brain.fm or Noisli
  • Do a quick breathing exercise. Check out this article for how to reduce anxiety and increase focus.

Social wellbeing

  • Schedule video calls with friends, family and colleague for regular check-ins throughout the day; breakfast, tea breaks, lunch, dinner, beers etc
  • Were Friday night drinks a regular thing for you? They still can be! Get your crew together using Zoom, Houseparty (this one has games you can play in the chat), Mircrosoft Teams or Skype – there’s heaps of free video calling platforms out there
  • Help your neighbours in need. Offer to help them with shopping, dog walking for example but strictly without contact to comply with the lockdown. Market South has a note template here you could leave in their letter box

Entertainment options



  • Ever wanted to master Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon? Or perhaps make a pavolva that envies even your mum’s? Teach yourself some new recipes, or give yourself longer than you usually would to prepare nice meals.
  • I (Briar) find Jamie OIiver’s website really good with a lot of delish recipes.
  • Hamilton-based food budgeting blogger Kathrine Lynch has some great tips on her Facebook page Busy Happy Kids on how to feed families well on a budget.
  • Learn something new; knitting, origami, sewing, embroidery, a language, an instrument

Arts & Culture

  • Take virtual tours of museums and art exhibitions using Google Art & Culture or check out some on this list
  • The Metropolitan Opera (The Met) is livestreaming opera
  • Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber will be streaming productions of his show on his YouTube channel
  • The Royal New Zealand Ballet has been live streaming some of its productions. Check out their Facebook page for more info.
  • The UK's National Theatre is live streaming shows once a week for free on YouTube
  • So many places are live streaming free content and many other places have free 7-day trials (just remember to cancel on day 7 if you don’t want to be charged).

Remember, try to support local business where possible. This is tricky, but there’s some local people still operating in Invercargill, e.g. local dairies, Koha Kai, The Pantry.

Day structure template

During the work week, it’s important to maintain some sense of normality – even though what we’re living through is anything but normal. Keep at it, guys! We can do it!


- Wake up at the time you normally would throughout the work week to keep routine
- Try a virtual commute and move your body by going for a walk or cycle
- Set up a video call with colleagues, friends or family to have your breakfast with
- If you’re working from home, try to create a work station separate from your bedroom or sofa
- Take regular breaks to move your body, have a chat with colleagues for 5 minutes, make a cup of coffee


- Schedule a lunch video call with someone else
-Make some coffee or have a snack in the mid-afternoon if you usually would at work
-Take a walk around your house/section for a breather
- Go for another walk or bike ride at the end of the day to signify switching off and your alternative commute home


-Leisure time: check out the entertainment section above for suggestions and ideas
- Keep your usual bedtime routine and go to bed at your normal time
- Good time for a quick breathing exercise