News Tips from across the ditch: How New Zealand got through a lockdown

Tips from across the ditch: How New Zealand got through a lockdown

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First, it was pavlova, then the lamington. Now, it’s the lockdown measures to defeat a pandemic.

Normally when Australia steals things from New Zealand, it’s because we know it will make our lives better.

And Victoria is taking a note from their book with the Stage 4 lockdown.

Although there are some sharp differences – they didn’t have a curfew but were also not allowed to get takeaway food, there are a few things we can learn from our Kiwi cousins to make it through the restrictions.

Carly Drury, 38, said getting out every day and calling mates will get you through. Photo: Carly Drury

Carly Drury, 38, lives in Wellington with her partner and three young kids.

She said the more you can relax into it, the better it will be.

“I liked it in a strange way. We were forced to slow down,” Ms Drury said.

“There were lots of cons. We’re a family of five – so three children under 10 trying to do homeschooling. Both of us work full time. We were lucky our employers let us work from home.

“I think my kids watched 10 hours of iPad a day.”

They made lunches in the morning for the kids, stopped stressing over homeschooling, started a diamond craft kit to keep busy in at night, and kept a routine.

“Definitely getting out every day helps,” Ms Drury said.

“I know you’re only allowed for an hour, but just a walk around the block killed time, and [provided] a change of scenery. Change is as good as a holiday.

“I found after week two, I just relaxed into it, almost accepted our fate.”

The best thing to do is pick up the phone and call a mate, she said.

“I made the effort to pick up the phone calls, lots of WhatsApp chats. I found speaking to people was really good for my mental health,” she said.

Yvonne Bonh, 36, found new things to do to pass the time. Photo: Yvonne Bonh

Yvonne Bonh, 36, and her partner both had their careers in tourism hanging in the air.

She said the hardest part was managing everyone being home constantly, but they broke it up with fresh activities, exercising and Zoom hangouts to pass the time.

“I increased my running. That was time to myself every couple of days,” Ms Bonh said.

“Exercise helps. Getting the kids out and doing different things with them.

“One thing that was really helpful was scheduling regular social time. We started having Saturday night drinks on Zoom with a group of friends.

“Most of them also have small children and live in different cities to us, so in some ways, we became more social through lockdown, and we’re still doing the calls now, months later.

“I just want to say how much we feel for you all over there. It must totally suck to be in this situation, but you will get through it and if you all follow the rules it will get better.”

Writer and beekeeper Katherine Douglas, 27, said the social isolation was the hardest part.

Katherine Douglas learnt to make amazing meals and taught herself SEO. Photo: Katherine Douglas

To ward off boredom, she signed up to online courses, taught herself SEO and dug deep into cooking.

“I think the best thing is to try to make sure you don’t slip into doing nothing,” she said.

“I did that at first, slightly overwhelmed with how the world was seemingly falling apart and struggling to find any motivation. But that just makes it worse.

“I tried to see the positives instead and made sure to keep myself pretty busy. That being said, it is OK to have times to just relax and not force yourself to be productive.”