My house, my bubble: As New Zealanders stay home to fight COVID-19, Fiona Connor is talking to well-known Kiwis about what's helping to pass the time, while learning more about their craft and passions.
As a kid growing up, Mike King never felt like he was good enough. His dad was his biggest hero and King lived with a constant yearning to impress him.
But an instinct to pat his son on the head at every opportunity never came - a young King was more likely to get a boot to the backside.
The detachment developed a deep vulnerability within him that he carried through into his adult years underneath a confident and brash exterior.
During his years as a comedian, King lived in terror that people would find out he faced an ongoing struggle to accept who he was, attacking anyone who saw a kink in his armour.
In 2007, he had enough. Tired of hiding, he decided he needed a way out. It was at his lowest point he had an epiphany. King woke up and decided he had two choices; end his own life or open up about his troubles.
One night on the radio, King talked about his personal journey which had led to alcoholism and drug addiction. He was shocked by how many people called into the station sharing their own struggles.
It offered a new perspective, that maybe others were in similar situations. In 2012, he went to a Northland school and shared his battle with self-doubt, telling them the world is full of people who are unsure of themselves.
The experience ignited an eagerness to spread the truth about the toughness of persevering through adversity and difficulties that come with accepting and embracing a place in our world.
Today, his mission to change the way the country approaches mental health while normalising the "inner-critic" has helped tens of thousands of Kiwis.
In lockdown at his Auckland home with his wife and kids, the 2019 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year is "loving every minute" of a chance to get to chores he's had no time for while juggling work for his two charities I Am Hope and Key To Life.
Here he tells Newshub what's helping him and some advice getting through the last week.
What have you been achieving in lockdown?
My yard needed a lot of work done, all those little wee fidgety things with the moss and mould and all the crap. My gardens needed pruning and so I've done all of that. There's nothing more satisfying than pulling out a little weed, and watching the roots come out - it's like bliss. Now, I've moved onto the hallway, painting. It's a very productive time.
Is there anything that you're missing?
Money! I work for my charity for nothing so everything I do for Key to Life/I Am Hope, school and community talks, all of the planning, all of the fundraising, it's just done for nothing and I earn my money giving corporate 'back to work' talks, so the beginning of the year is the busiest time for me, and that's when I had my bike crash. Which I've got today, none. I had some work in February and did one talk, and then corona hit and all my talks were cancelled.
What impact did that motorbike accident have on you?
It's amazing how useful that near-death experience was, to help me enjoy the time that we're in right now. If coronavirus had happened last year, I'd have been stressing about not having any work. I've got no income. But it's fine. This experience put everything into perspective for me.
What's the biggest discovery you've made during lockdown?
I'm really annoying. I even annoy myself.
What are you grateful for?
My family is well, my family is safe, I'm getting to spend some quality time with everyone. I’m grateful that there are a lot of positives that we can hang on to. Maybe this can help us get a bit more perspective around our lives. Consumerism isn't everything.
Do you have any advice for Kiwis who have been finding this time difficult?
It's an old cliche, but people need to be living in the moment. Depression comes from reflecting on things that you 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' done, and going over and over and over it until eventually anxieties worrying about what's going to happen tomorrow, and 'how am I going to do this, and how am I going to do that' - the cure for all of that is getting back to the here and now.
Worrying about all that stuff is kind of like sitting in a traffic jam and going off your rocker because you're not moving - but it's not going to change anything. All you can control is how you think about stuff - it's about finding reasons, they won't pop into your head - you have to find reasons to be grateful.
One of the things I take solace in is everyone is in the same boat. Everyone has their own stresses, there's nothing we can do about it right now, look for the little things to be happy about.
What does the word hope mean to you?
Hope means connection. The inner-critic wants to get you in a room by yourself. He or she wants you to believe that no one else cares, that you're useless and you're hopeless. Hope for me is a more connected world, and what I am hoping out of this whole lockdown, is that we're more connected. Being kind during a lockdown is a really nice thing, but it's really hard to maintain that momentum for people that aren't looking for hope.
Before COVID-19, we lived in a world of crisis and outrage, generated by the media. We're worried about the crisis we're dealing with or the impending crisis. When there's no crisis, there's outrage generated. Let me demonstrate the effect that can have on a household, I'll come home from a stressful where my boss has been picking up on the one mistake I made, not the 99 things I did perfect, I'm feeling undervalued, I walk into the house my reactions are over the top because that's what I've been fed and I can emotionally or physically hurt someone. Everyone, stop being outraged. Yes, you're entitled to an opinion but there's no need to keep shooting everybody down. On social media, everyone turns everyone.
Gumboot Friday has raised millions for people in need of counselling services, how has it been affected this year by COVID-19?
We got smashed. We got absolutely smashed. I spent more money doing my tractor trek than we pulled in. That was our own money. On the day, I think we collected maybe $30,000. That means the Government is going to have to step up. You can't just keep funding apps. The jury is still out on apps - self-diagnosis apps. This can be extremely dangerous for people. Fund the apps, fund the phone services but we don't need any trials, don't need any evaluated studies. Face-to-face counselling works.
On April 3 this year, we had enough money in the bank to fund just under 4000 sessions earlier this month, on April 9, 2900 of those appointments had been taken.
What music will help you get through lockdown?
The 70s had the best music ever. It was universal music, too. We had soul, we had disco, we had heavy metal and it was all accepted, I've got such a huge eclectic musical taste thanks to 70s music.