Updated: Apr 30, 2020

The current Covid-19 outbreak and New Zealand's Level 4 Lock-Down status can be distressing for many people. You don't necessarily have to have a mental health issue to feel upset, anxious, or out of sorts.

Here is some great advice on how you can keep well during lock-down.

Look after your body

  • Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals and social distance from the fridge - if you can!

  • Exercise regularly – even if it’s a daily walk around the block or a morning yoga session from YouTube.

  • Try and stick to your regular bedtime and get plenty of sleep.

  • Make it a habit to be up and ready for the day, as you would normally - even if you change from night time pyjamas to day-time pyjamas.

Connect with others

Maintain healthy relationships

Touch base with family members and friends, build a strong support system, through messaging, emails, telephone calls, and video chats.

There are apps like Zoom where you can video chat with multiple people at the same time. Saturday night parties have already happened this way!

This is also a good opportunity to catch up with people you haven’t talked to in a while.

Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or a family member who is willing to listen. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, you can text 1737 and a counsellor will ring you. This is a 24/7 service. Crisis phone numbers are listed in Resources at the end of this article.

Take breaks

  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that any strong feelings will fade. Learning deep breathing techniques and mindfulness can help. Check out the Mindful website in our Resources below.

  • For children, there is Cosmic Kids yoga and mindfulness on YouTube.

  • Do some activities that you enjoy.

Do something new

If you are feeling bored, how about learning something that you’ve always felt curious about or wanted to do? Try new recipes, do something that you loved doing when you were a kid, teach something you know well – there are so many possibilities!


Find something positive about your day whether it’s general or specific, the more the merrier! You can share daily highlights with family and friends, or jot something down in a journal. When practiced repeatedly, this will help contribute to your well-being.

Acknowledge your feelings

Know that whatever feelings and emotions you are experiencing are valid and okay and that they don’t last forever. How you are feeling now about Covid-19 will be a lot different to how you will feel in 6 months, a year, or in 5 years time.

Stay informed

  • Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials, when you need to, but please be aware that there can be rumours during a crisis, especially on social media.

  • Always turn to reliable sources of information and resources like our local government authorities.

Avoid over-exposure to news or social media

Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting and overwhelming to hear about the crisis and see images constantly, this can keep you in a heightened state of fear or worry.

Instead, do something you enjoy and return to normal life as much as you can. You can still be informed even when you lessen your checks for updates.

Well-being Resources:

Health and Nutrition:

Fabulous Leftovers


Yoga with Adrienne

Connect with others


Although Zoom was created for work meetings, people are utilising Zoom to connect with family, friends, and community groups.

Need to talk?

Call or text 1737 for free counselling

1737 free counselling


Nourishing breath meditation


Udemy courses (including free courses)

Kids Yoga

Cosmic Kids Yoga

Mental Health Foundation Tips

Looking after your mental health during COVID-19 and beyond

COVID-19 and stress

New Zealand Government Mental Health Campaigns

Sparklers at Home

Fun well-being activities to support whanau to look after their well-being and feel good.

Getting Through Together

Excellent tips and articles on how we can get through COVID-19 together.

Reliable information sources

Official New Zealand Government COVID-19 information

Who to call when you are in crisis


  • Mental Health Crisis Helpline 0800 774 545

  • Pou Whakaaro support 07-308-8170


  • Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737

  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email or online chat

  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666

  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757

  • Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

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