Worried about COVID-19?
Taking care of yourself
Small Steps to feeling better
Free online tools for mental wellbeing
Take care of each other
Be kind and don’t discriminate
Physical wellbeing
Staying safe
Download the NZ COVID Tracer app

Worried about COVID-19?

It’s normal to be feeling down, anxious or angry about COVID-19. To help, we’ve put together some of our favourite information, tips and tools for keeping you, your bubble, whānau and community safe and well during all COVID-19 alert levels.

Stay informed by checking accurate, reliable and up-to-date information from trusted sources backed by experts. Be careful of information you find on social media – it may not be true or reliable. The Lowdown recommends:

Taking care of yourself

The impacts of COVID-19 might leave us all feeling a lot of different emotions. Everyone experiences things differently. You might be feeling a bit down, anxious, worried for others, angry or feel like you have no control. You might also feel positive, grateful, or relaxed. That’s okay too. These are all normal emotions and thoughts to have during a stressful time of uncertainty.

Luckily there are a few strategies that you can try to reduce those not-so-good feelings. Try some of these and see which ones work for you:

  • Deep breathing. It sounds really simple but can work really quickly. Try it if you’re feeling anxious, angry, or if you just need moment to chill out.
  • Movement. We know that physical activity can be good for mental health but you don’t have to go too hard, some people find that low intensity movement really helps. If you’re wanting to reduce stress, anger or anxiety, try walking, running, dancing or stretching.
  • Stay connected with friends and whānau. Depending on what alert level we are currently at, you might not be able to meet up with them. Try contacting them by video or phone calls, social media, texts and messenger.
  • Do something you enjoy. You could learn a TikTok dance, do some baking, read a book, listen to your favourite song or call a friend.
  • Acknowledge your feelings and seek support if you start to feel anxious or depressed. Contact The Lowdown team by free text (5626), call (0800 111 757) or webchat.
  • If you are already managing mental health issues, continue doing what you know is good for you, and check in with trusted friends and family if you are worried about how you’re feeling.

While it’s totally normal to feel stressed or anxious at this time, if you find that you are struggling (especially if you are feeling down all the time or your anxiety is getting on top of you), please reach out for support. It’s a tough time and talking to someone can really help, there are lots of support options available:

  • Talk to a trusted person within your bubble or connect with your whānau and friends on the phone or online (eg, mum, dad, aunty, kaumātua, friend).
  • Read The Lowdown’s tips for when Life Just Sucks.
  • Check out these online options.

Contact The Lowdown team by free text (5626), call (0800 111 757) or webchat.

If you feel unsafe in your home reach out to someone or visit this website to find the right organisation. In an emergency call 111.

Reach out. Staying connected is good for all of us.

Small Steps to feeling better

Gratitude is known to help you to be positive and lessen anxiety. Think about what you are grateful for. We all have at least one small thing we can appreciate, whether it’s your friends and whānau, your pet, a song or nature. Practising gratitude doesn’t take away the hard things we’re facing, but can help change the way we’re thinking about them.

Practice ‘grounding techniques’ like feeling the earth beneath your feet, the experience of deep breathing, the taste of water. Being mindful and present can be calming. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, use grounding techniques to reconnect you to the present. Take notice of nature, stretch your body, do something small to improve your spiritual or family wellbeing.

Check out the Small Steps website to try out gratitude and other helpful tools.

Free online tools for mental wellbeing

There are a range of free apps, toolkits, and other digital resources are available to help New Zealanders look after their mental wellbeing. Here are some of The Lowdown’s favourites:

Getting Through Together offers a toolkit of tips and advice on how to cope with the stress of COVID-19.

Sparklers at Home is a resource for parents to talk with their primary-school-aged children about their mental health and wellbeing.

Mentemia provides practical tips and techniques to help you take control of your mental wellbeing.

Melon app includes a health journal, resources and self-awareness tools to help you manage your emotional wellbeing. Melon also provides an online community for New Zealanders to connect and support each other, and daily webinars for health and wellbeing.

Staying on Track is an online course teaches practical strategies to cope with the stress and disruption to everyday life from COVID-19.

Small Steps website provides you with tools, resources, and info to support your mental wellbeing and provides info to help you support your friends and whānau.

Take care of each other

Remember to check in on your mates, even the one who you think might be doing fine. They may be feeling all these emotions too. Take the time to listen to others and hear how they are feeling. You may not be able to solve their problems but you can listen and provide support. Be kind to them.

You don’t have to have serious conversations all the time. You could just chat about the usual stuff. For more information on how to support someone, take a look at our tips to support a friend.

Be kind and don't discriminate

  • Be kind and continue to check in on neighbours, older people, or those who are unwell. Remember to check what COVID-19 alert level we’re at to make sure you are checking in safely. When we’re social distancing, try contacting them by video or phone calls, social media, texts and messenger.
  • There are many ways you can support people through this time whether it is keeping in touch, running errands, or collecting shopping for them. Being kind to others not only helps them but it can also enhance your own wellbeing.
  • There are a lot of unknowns about COVID-19 but this is no reason to judge or discriminate. Treat others with respect regardless of where they come from, their age, or whether they have COVID-19 or not.

Physical wellbeing

  • Try to engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.
  • Eat a range of healthy foods that you enjoy.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Keep regular sleep routines. Check out these tips to improve your sleep routine here.
  • Physical activity not only improves fitness but boosts endorphins and supports mental health. Try to get some movement in your day by going for a walk, having a dance, joining an exercise class or doing some stretches. Remember to check what COVID-19 alert level we’re at to make sure you are moving safely.
  • To get a boost of productivity, try tick some jobs off your to-do list.
  • Do something fun!

Staying safe

There are a number of things you can do to stay safe, and help us unite against COVID-19:

  • Keep a record of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen. This will help with fast contact tracing if it’s required. You can download the NZ COVID Tracer app or simply keep a note of where you’ve been, when you were there and who you saw.
  • Read about how face coverings work, how to make sure they fit and when you need to wear them here.
  • Practice social distancing (sometimes called physical distancing). Stay two metres away from people who are outside your bubble, where possible. Find the social distancing guidelines for each alert level here.
  • If you live in New Zealand and are 12 or over, you might be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Check out these videos to learn the how the vaccine works, or click here for more information.
  • Practice good hygiene.
    • If we’re at alert level 3 or 4, or you're sick, stay home.
    • Wash your hands regularly.
    • Cough or sneeze into you elbow or cover your mouth and nose with tissues. Put tissues in a bin immediately.
    • Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • If you have any cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor to discuss getting a COVID-19 test or find more info here.

Download the NZ COVID Tracer app

Download available here: https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz

The faster we can contact people who might have come into contact with COVID-19, the faster we can stop the spread of the virus.

Here’s how you can help support contact tracing

  • Enable Bluetooth tracing – the faster we can alert people, the faster we can get ahead of the virus.
  • Keep scanning QR codes – the more we scan, the safer we wil be.
  • Add your up-to-date contact information
  • Keep the app up to date to get all the latest features.
  • Ask your whānau, friends and workmates to join in

Remember, you are in control of your information. You diary and Bluetooth data does not leave your phone unless you choose to share it.

Don't have a smartphone?

You can still register online to share your latest contact information.

For more information, head to https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz

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