LAB, Kanoa Lloyd, Chris Parker, Sharyn Casey and more share their COVID-19 lockdown survival tips

With Tāmaki Makaurau stuck in COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown until at least September 14 and the rest of the country languishing in the more fast-food-friendly, but ultimately still cabin-fever-inducing alert level 3, Aotearoa is feeling the lockdown blues. 

The novelty factor of previous lockdowns has well and truly worn off, and now most of the coping mechanisms we developed during the dumpster fire of 2020 - baking banana bread, whisking up fluffy Korean coffees, exhausting the 'Yoga with Adriene' playlist on YouTube - are proving ineffective. 

With that in mind, Newshub asked a bunch of well-loved Kiwis how they're staying sane while staying at home, in the hopes of providing a touch of inspiration, a delicious-sounding smoothie recipe - thanks, Melodownz - and a reminder that we really all are in the same boat. 

Kanoa Lloyd - The Project NZ host 

The greatest luxuries in life when you have a newborn are finishing a cup of tea or having a full shower where you get to wash your hair and put moisturiser on and everything! I can definitely recommend both of those things for everyone in lockdown.

I am really obsessed with rose scented things at the moment. I have a rose soap and rose body lotion. They make those stolen minutes in the bathroom feel like a full noise spa treatment. 

I also have a thing called a Kanda Wand, from Two Birds Beauty... if I get two minutes to massage my face with that then I'm in heaven.

Chris Parker - Comedian

Lockdown kind of weirdly reminds me of having a career in the arts. We used to always say 'you have to define success for yourself' so that you don't compare yourself to other people in terms of career goals. I don't have - believe it or not - the same career goals as Channing Tatum, so I am going for what I am trying to achieve in my career and I think the same applies for lockdown. 

You have to define success for a day, and that might be a walk, or getting out of bed and watching something that isn't Love Island, or reading one chapter of a book or giving every member of your bubble a compliment so that it's less tense in the house... just one thing that can shape the day and then that defines a successful day.

That's what I am doing at the moment, I'm thinking: 'I'm not going to beat myself up that I haven't achieved everything I needed to today but actually I had a great breakfast and I did 30 minutes of work this morning, and that is a success'. 

Joel Shadbolt from LAB - Musician 

Every morning I get up and make coffee for everyone on the machine. It gets us all on a buzz for the day. I also just bought toothbrushes to polish the spokes on my Harley [Davidson]... so that should kill some time!

Sharyn Casey - The Edge Afternoons host 

I'm trying really hard to not sit on my phone at night time so instead I've been getting in 30 minutes minimum of reading before I go to sleep.

Some great lockdown reads are: 

  • Taylor Jenkins Reid - Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo 
  • Rachel Joyce - Miss Benson's Beetle 
  • Matt Haig - Midnight Library 
  • Rebekah Campbell - 138 Dates 
  • Candice Carty-Williams - Queenie 
  • Balli Kaur Jaswal - Erotic stories from Punjabi Widows 
  • Sajni Patel - The Knockout 

It's so hard, especially if you have kids at home, but finding a way to stop everyday is vital and I find reading helps me escape to another world.

Melodownz - Musician 

I make a smoothie every morning to start my day - my smoothie tastes like shit but it's more of a medicine, it contains spinach, banana, mixed berries, ginger, turmeric, hemp protein powder, chia seeds and sea moss gel. I have a dog named Yoda, he's a red nose pitty, and he motivates me to take him on walks daily so that helps me get out of the house and get some fresh air.

I then hit my home studio and make music for about four hours a day. I'm fortunate to have a downstairs area with a mini gym set up, ping pong table and pool table, so I've been having table tennis tournaments with my cousin who I live with. After a full day of being active I'll mix some kava and Melo down.

Ingrid Hipkiss - Newshub Live at 6pm weather presenter 

For me it's all about setting goals, but I set the bar very, very low, so that at the end of the day I have some sense of achievement. So it might be 20 mins of housework, an online workout, and an admin job I've been putting off. I limit the goals and keep them short and achievable... if I'm motivated to do more then that's great, if not at least I've made progress and that gives me a boost.

Kings - Musician 

I'm currently on painkillers for bursitis [joint inflammation] so taking prescribed Tramadol and trying to make music has been fun. I've been cooking with the kids, watching movies with the kids, yelling at the kids... but more importantly working on something super dope and super secret. 

Snacks wise: Mi Goreng and those 'cut-them-yourself' sausage rolls for kids parties

Amanda Gillies - The AM Show presenter 

During the last lockdown, my co-host Mark [Richardson] got fit and I got fat, baking daily and then gorging on the high sugar, high calorie treats. It was a delicious but unhealthy time, especially at my age. So this time, I've created a 'treat for a chore' scheme. I have to complete an hour's work around the house - from gardening to vacuuming - to earn the treat. I'm also binge-watching movies and have finally started on a pile of books that had been gathering dust on the bookshelf. Plenty of sleep is squeezed in, in between. 

Cam Mansel - ZM Late Show host 

I have been spending lockdown biking around the neighbourhood, the neighbours might be beginning to think I am a bit crazy. I've been trying to get 30km in every day but staying local means going around and around and around the block. The good news is there's next to no traffic on the road so it's the perfect time to hit the streets on a two-wheeler. 

My cooking skills aren't the best but with a bit of extra time up my sleeve I have branched out and have been trying a few new recipes. Pappardelle was a recent discovery and it is definitely the superior pasta (I am no Masterchef). Throw in some chicken, rocket and a drizzle of lemon and well, just call me Gordon Ramsay. I promise I won't swear as much as him… although I did burn the garlic, so parental guidance is advised. 

It's been good seeing everyone wearing masks and taking care of one another. I still haven't got my head around not smiling at people when I am wearing a mask but I think that's probably a fairly common issue in these times. Stay safe out there, New Zealand. Much love!

Oriini Kaipara - Newshub Live at 4.30pm presenter 

In the last couple of days I've been enjoying relaxing at home. Have been cooking more (once or twice a day is much more than nothing, which is where I was pre-lockdown), sleeping lots (a luxury for many of us!), and catching up on kapa haka.

My kapa haka and I were due to perform the two first weekends in lockdown and ashamedly, I hadn't learned a couple of items for a planned Haka Ngahau mass performance. So I'm learning those and enjoying watching the series of Haka Ngahau online. 

My favourite thing to do at the moment when I don't have to work is sleep. Did I mention it's a luxury? It's important in more ways than many of us give it credit for. 

Joe Naufahu - Actor 

Create a routine for yourself everyday. We are creatures of habit so if we're used to getting up and going off to work every day then we need to create a similar routine even if we are at home. 

Set times in the day that you're going to exercise. This is a MUST! Exercise has multiple benefits and while in lockdown we need ALL of these! I post up daily workouts so make sure you check them out.

Get a journal because writing is therapy! Write down everything! Maybe some goals, things you always wanted to do and make some action plans to get them done. You can still be productive on a deeper internal level even if you aren't getting things done!

Laura Tupou - Newshub reporter and The Project NZ host  

I make sure we have plenty of time outdoors with my daughter (vitamin D!) and the secret... ensuring there are lots of treats in the cupboard so surviving each day can be celebrated with chocolate!