Toolkit to help beat lockdown boredom

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Kiwis are encouraged to take part in meaningful activities amid the COVID-19 lockdown to break temptation of flouting level 4 rules.

Occupation Therapy New Zealand – Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa have developed a COVID-19 toolkit to help New Zealanders “keep occupied and the virus in check.”

For those facing mental or physical hardship during the lockdown, having a range of activities to do could significantly reduce the possibility of harm to themselves or their loved one says OTNZ-WNA.

“New Zealanders suffering from mental anguish, too little physical activity, loneliness, or just simple boredom, can prevent themselves from flouting the stay-at-home rules and potentially spreading the virus by doing meaningful tasks during this time.”

Activities will vary from person to person - depending on their values, interests, aptitudes and goals, says the statement.

“At a high level, they include self-care, productivity and leisure. People of all ages and abilities can benefit from doing these activities to enrich their daily lives.”

New Zealand occupational therapy academic professor Clarke Hocking says we need to ensure people do not go stir-crazy while they self–isolate.

“We also need to be mindful of people who are now trying to work from home, with their children at home.

"Even when confined, people still need to have a routine that includes being physically active, having fun, staying in contact with other people, and not getting overloaded with the news every hour. . . what you do every day has an essential impact on your health and wellbeing.”

President of OTNZ-WNA Harsh Vardhan says today, various online technologies allow most of us to conduct meaningful activities whilst still allowing us to stay physically separated at home.

“Some local and international companies have altruistically made their platforms completely free. New Zealand-founded gym group Les Mills has made their group fitness classes available for no charge via TVNZOnDemand as well as broadcasting classes on TVNZ 1.

“Teaching people about free online and community resources is important, particularly less wealthy and elderly groups who might not have peers who can show them.”

The Toolkit provides activity suggestions and points people to a range of free online, government and community resources.

“The suggestions are not prescriptive, but rather a list of ideas that people can pick and choose from, to suit their own needs and situation,” says the statement.

The COVID-19 Activity Recommendation Toolkit is available here.

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