Christchurch psychiatrist's advice on how to mentally transition out of lockdown

The temptation to stay up late at night and sleep in during the lockdown can wreak havoc with your mood and make it difficult to get back to a routine.

Fortunately, a Christchurch psychiatrist has some advice on how we can ease the transition.

Seven weeks of lockdown and this bubble of 20 year olds are hanging in there.

"We get each other, motivate each other, lift each other up," student Poppy Clark says.

The university flatmates are learning what's required to cope in these close confines.

"Decided the best place to start would be to gain some sort of routine," Lilli Stevenson says.

"It was best for me personally to stay at the flat and keep it normal," Clark adds.

According to psychiatrist Richard Porter routine is the key to dealing with major disruptions like the worldwide pandemic.

He's part of a worldwide research team looking into how lockdowns affect people with depression and bipolar.

"What we are trying to do is build up a picture of the importance of these rhythms for people with mood disorders and learn how we might combat situations where they're really badly disrupted," he says.

The psychiatrist's tips are similar to those used to help fight jet lag. Go to sleep and wake up at a regular time, get some sunlight - morning is best - and get some regular, meaningful social activities with others at set times during the days.

And just as it was observed during the Christchurch Earthquake, the impact of lockdown will be delayed.

"There are going to be ongoing challenges," Porter says.