Wendell’s tips for surviving life under lockdown

COVID-19 has turned all of our lives upside down and despite many people offering a viewpoint that it’s a great opportunity to recharge and reset we know that actually this is harder than it sounds when mixed with the reality of working from home, flatting or family life. The Wendell team has been sharing our ideas for activities, wellbeing and our coping mechanisms and we thought it was time to share them with you! We’ve come up with a list of what we’ve found most beneficial in these turbulent (yet tedious) times.

Establishing a routine

One of the first things we did when entering the lockdown was establish what our routine was – it doesn’t have to be anything too detailed – even just setting a time to check your emails or go for a walk each day. We’ve found it really alleviates lethargy and the boredom of not knowing what to do – if you’re working from home it also helps with that age-old issue of procrastination!

Entertainment – for you and those tiny humans you might live with

This has been a key factor to staying sane when confined to our homes – we’ve been trying to get inventive with this and these ideas could be a great way to stay in touch with friends, workmates and family. We’ve had weekly pub quizzes on Zoom, ‘achievement’ bingo cards and a step and meditation challenge – with many more in the works!

Half of the Wendell team have kids at home and have been sharing their insights on how to keep the kids happy, relaxed and (hopefully) tired by bed time. There is a wealth of resources online and here are a few we have found;

  • Save the Children have come up with a fun (and educational) way of keeping your kids entertained. A range of celebrities have recorded a series of stories for the Instagram page #save with stories.
  • National Geographic has an incredible (and informative) kids site filled with reading, games and competitions with a useful ‘what is coronavirus’ article,
  • Oxford Owl is here to ‘help your children learn’ and caters to all age ranges – and comes with a free eBook library!
  • A few other cool ones we found are; Circletime – filled with interactive stories, family cooking videos and even yoga classes, ABCYA brings you educational games and My First Garden is where you and your kids can collaboratively learn gardening skills from scratch!

Sometimes the simple things really are best though – one of our property managers Claire has found two rakes plus two kids in a garden full of leaves has resulted in endless fun!

Health and wellbeing

Mental and physical health is one of the most important (and hardest) things to maintain during this period. We’ve started a Wendell’s step challenge for the week – 10,000 steps a day and to keep us motivated we’ll post our results each morning. Although doing it collaboratively is great you could just set yourself a personal challenge and use your phone – apps such as My Fitness Pal have step challenges you can use and comes with a one week free trial for the Premium feature you’ll need.  Les Mills is also doing free workouts every morning at 9am on TVNZ and are also available on demand.

It’s not only physical health that you need to maintain but mental. What we’ve found is that communication is key and if you’re feeling low or lonely to try and get in touch with a loved one to talk it through – even if it does have to be over Zoom! We’ve also discovered some amazing wellness apps that could help; WhatsUp? – a wellbeing app with tips on how to support yourself, as well as lots of emotional health support and an SOS line, Calm – a mindfulness app for meditation and sleep assistance and Daylio Journal where you can keep a private journal and select moods and activities to correspond. Great for creating and analysing your daily patterns to increase wellbeing and productivity.

Food is an integral part of health and can also be incredibly uplifting. Getting creative in the kitchen is a great way to spend the lockdown – you could take the time to really perfect those skills you’re lacking like poaching the perfect egg or nailing a medium rare steak. It’s also something the whole family can get involved in – famous New Zealand chef Josh Emett is doing an incredible ‘how to’ series on his Instragram page using limited ingredients in which you can regularly see his kids helping out and enjoying the results!

This is a great time to support small, New Zealand owned businesses in a time of need. SOS Café has been created and it’s an incredible way of supporting your local café or favourite restaurant. You simply buy a voucher and use them as soon as you’re able. It could potentially mitigate a lot of the terrible consequences that COVID-19 is going to have on the hospitality industry and keep your favourite barista making your coffee!

If you’re struggling to find some items or just want food delivered to your door we’ve found this comprehensive list of what’s still available over the lockdown period – https://delivereat.co.nz


This is an opportunity to upskill – there are a huge amount of online resources that could be tapped into; use Duolingo to start learning a new language, listen to podcasts from Oxford University to broaden your knowledge or even learn to code for free using The Code Academy!

You can also use this time to educate yourself to directly benefit your career and work on the essential tools you need in the workplace by studying topics like problem solving or leadership and management. LinkedIn Learning has a huge range of technical, creative and professional courses that are free or low cost – with a one month free trial with access to all courses.

As this is a trying time for everyone (especially the financial impact) we’ve also discovered FastConnect – a utilities broker that can negotiate better deals on your behalf and potentially get you discounts. Seeing as we’re all in the house a little more it would help to minimise your bills and be on the best deal possible! You can phone them for free on 0800 88 55 99.

Although it’s a tough time to get motivated (and a tough time in general) we hope you find some of this as useful as the Wendell team have and for more COVID-19 information specific to renters please see our Tenant Question and Answers.