Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals what she misses most during coronavirus lockdown

Ardern says she misses people most during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Ardern says she misses people most during the COVID-19 lockdown. Photo credit: Newshub

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed she misses interacting with people most during New Zealand's month-long COVID-19 lockdown.

Ardern was speaking at the daily press conference on Tuesday when a reporter asked how she was personally finding the lockdown which is almost two weeks in.

"I did get asked this this morning. I miss people," she says.

"So this is nothing against any of the fine people in this room but I am in this job used to having a lot of contact with the public and I miss people."

Wednesday is day 14 of the coronavirus lockdown, with New Zealand in self-isolation in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19 which has infected over 1 million people and killed 82,000 worldwide.

Kiwis are remaining inside their homes, only leaving them for essential services which for some people is only a few hours a week.

Ardern is encouraging New Zealanders to stay in touch while in isolation to improve good mental health.

Ardern shared some tips from psychologist and broadcaster Nigel Latta on maintaining mental health during the pandemic.

"Amongst all of the things we need to think about as we tackle COVID-19 (including people's health and their livelihoods), I also worry about everyone's well being and mental health," she wrote on Instagram.

The Government also released a new campaign on March 19 aiming to provide mental health support to people during the COVID-19 crisis.

"COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or worry about the future," Health Minister David Clark said at the time.

"We want people to know that they are not alone, and many Kiwis will be feeling this way. This is completely normal and the messages in the campaign launched today tell us that it’s okay not to feel all right, all of the time."

The Mental Health Foundation is also helping New Zealanders through the month, telling people we are all in this together.

"It's a tense time for most of us. COVID-19 is scary, and it’s rapidly changing the way we work, socialise, travel, access healthcare, exercise, shop and live," it said.

"The number one message we want New Zealanders to hear is this: we will get through this if we work together. Connecting with people who make you feel safe and loved is the most important thing you can do to look after your mental health.

"Self-isolation or staying at home makes this difficult, but not impossible. We're going to have to get creative."

While Ardern has been busy working she has also made time at home to spend with her daughter, including making a tower out of building blocks which she posted to her Instagram page.

Other New Zealanders have also been coming up with some interesting ways to keep entertained.

Some people have been increasing their fitness regime with at-home workouts, while others are mastering recipes and some people are even cutting their own hair with hairdressers shut down.