COVID-19 - Wellbeing in self-isolation

How to look after your mental health and wellbeing when you have to stay at home.

By staying at home right now, you’re doing a great thing to protect the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders, including your whānau, friends and community. Ngā mihi, thank you.

It’s all right to feel anxious, angry, scared or worried right now. Your wellbeing while you’re staying at home is important and we want you to know you’re not alone. He waka eke noa – we’re all in this together.

This resource/page has some ideas about things you can do to support your mental health while you’re in self-isolation to help you feel good and get through. If you’re struggling and need to talk, free call or text 1737 to have a chat with a trained counsellor. They’re available day and night.

Stay connected, be kind (especially to yourself) and keep moving. We’re going to get through this.

Wellbeing tips

These tips are to help get you thinking about what will help your mental health at the moment. These small actions are big mood-boosters – find what works for you and keep at it.

Use technology to stay connected

Connect with the people who are important to you on the phone, through social media, video chats and text. Self-isolation doesn’t mean cutting off all communication – in fact, it’s more important than ever to talk and listen, share stories and advice, and stay in touch with the people who matter to you. For example you might want to organise a digital shared lunch, or schedule a daily phone call with your grandmother.

Take notice of things that make you feel good

Eating healthy food, noticing the beauty outside your window or on a walk around the block, taking time to thank people. What ngā manu (birds), ngā kapua (clouds) ngā rakau (trees) can you can see? Pay attention to how you feel when you do these things and then try to do them more often.

Keep moving

Try not to spend all day in bed or on the couch. Getting some exercise helps your mind and body to release tension and stress and gives you the energy and good feelings you need to get through. Find ways to move your body and your mood every day. Remember, you can go outside, but you need to limit your contact with others. It’s ok to go for a walk, run or ride your bike, as long as you avoid people who aren’t self-isolating.

Think about what you have to give

Giving helps us to feel we’re still a part of our whānau and community even when we have to stay at home. You’ve got so much to offer – get creative and think about ways you can give your time, skills and knowledge to help others. For example can you text a complement to someone, share a recipe or book recommendation on social media,  or call someone who might be feeling lonely?

Stick to a routine

This sounds boring but it will help you get through each day. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat regularly, shower, change your clothes, get some fresh air, book in video-chats with colleagues or friends, do your chores. Make sure you make time for fun!

Find ways to relax

This is especially important if you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Finding things that help you breathe deeply, switch off and recharge will help you to feel better.

Go on an information diet

Covid-19 is a global issue and the endless updates from news outlets and people on social media can be completely overwhelming. Visit for information and pick one trusted news source and check it once per day. Pay attention to how news coverage makes your feel and switch off if you need to.

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