What the FashioNZ team are doing for our mental health in lockdown

FashioNZ team lockdown wellness

We wanted to share some of how we’re looking after ourselves in lockdown. Image by James Yang.

In these strange and stressful times, one comfort to take away is that we are all in this together and looking after our mental health is one of the most important things we can do to get through another lockdown. Some of the team and I at FashioNZ thought we would put together some tips on how we are managing during lockdown, what we do for self-care and what our guilty pleasures are…

Kia Kaha Aotearoa.

What things do you do to get yourself motivated in the morning during lockdown?
Beauty & Wellness Editor, Nina – I am used to working from home, but having a child home with me has its challenges, so the key for my motivation is routine. Our morning routine consists of a shower and getting dressed for the day which is a big one, I find I have more motivation if I am not just in my pyjamas all day! A big, strong coffee is an absolute must and then my son and I head off for a bike ride, while I walk – this is not only great for exercise, but also for my mental health. We try to get about an hour in (weather permitting) then head home for lunch. My son has class online at 12:30pm every day and we spend about an hour all up doing schoolwork, he is only seven and we find anything more is too much for us both. He is then allowed to have some screen time and that leaves me with time to work – hopefully, uninterrupted!

Editor, Evelyn – I’m not much of a morning person, never have been, I tend to stay up later and get up later. I always have a big glass of water first thing when I’m up in the morning while I’m thinking about my day, I don’t drink coffee so I use fruit as part of my breakfast for that morning kick start. Most of the time I’ve done my to-do list for the day the night before which means I already know what I need to do. I call my sister Carolyn (who is my business partner) when I need motivation and also generally for some sister chat most mornings. I try to get out for a walk in the morning too but most of the time it’s in the afternoon. Having some time out in the fresh air definitely helps uplift my mood.

Business Director, Carolyn – Keeping to my normal morning routine and making sure I exercise before I start working and music! Crank George FM or my favourite playlists on Spotify and having a dance around the kitchen.

Contributing Writer, Charlotte – I try and get up at a reasonable time and stick to my alarm because it’s SO easy to just stay in bed for hours when it’s a lockdown. I like to start the day with my trusty English Breakfast tea and look at my to-do list making sure I prioritise what work is needing to be done that day. Ya girl loves a list.

Contributing Writer, Meagan – I’m still working from home, so I get up, have a shower and get dressed as normal. I’ve actually been working from home for the last seven years, and while working in my pyjamas was a novelty early on, I found that it doesn’t get me motivated to start work in quite the same way as getting properly dressed. I definitely go for slippers rather than shoes though!

Photographer & Videographer, James – There will normally be either a kitten or child that needs something, so sleeping in really isn’t an option. First thing each day it’s a basic but super strong coffee to the rescue, focus on the positives, appreciate what we have – a beautiful outdoors to enjoy and it’s such a great privilege to be based in NZ. Motivation for me normally comes in the form of inspiration from art and media, which we have amazing access to browse online.

What is in your self-care toolbox, to help you manage during lockdown?
Beauty & Wellness Editor, Nina A big part of my self-care toolbox is my skincare routine. It sounds so simple, but doing my morning skincare routine makes me feel accomplished and ready to take on the day. Walking is also another tool for my self-care, I find it helps to clear my head, and again, makes me feel as if I have accomplished something. I also try not to be too hard on myself by trying to do something every day. If I am not feeling great one day, I try to allow myself some downtime, by setting work or cleaning aside and spending time with my son or just watching my favourite show on the couch.

Editor, Evelyn – Looking after my skin helps me feel good about myself, I love Emma Lewisham products and use the brand’s cleanser, serum and moisturiser every day. It’s easy to not bother washing your face when you’re always at home but it helps keep that sense of normalcy and my skin has improved so much in the past year of using these products I want to keep up my routine. I also do online Pilates classes a couple of times a week, try and sit outside in the sunshine on days we have nice weather and as always, drink a lot of water.

Business Director, Carolyn – FaceTiming with friends and family, walking, music and diaphragmatic breathing.

Contributing Writer, Charlotte – Prioritising sleep, drinking lots of water, doing at least one nice thing for myself every single day and making sure I stick to my strict skincare regime (SPF included)!

Contributing Writer, Meagan – I make sure I go outside every day – even if it’s just walking to the end of the driveway and back! I have also been making sure I stick to my regular skincare routine; take regular breaks to get up and stretch; and check in regularly with my friends and whānau for chats.

Photographer & Videographer, James – My 10-year-old daughter and I bought an electronic drum kit last year (best purchase ever by the way). We do online zoom lessons during lockdown with our legendary teacher Zel. It’s a great challenge that we can keep working at and you get to feel the improvement in skills a little each day. Have to say nothing’s more therapeutic than bashing the skins hard, working up a sweat trying to keep up with a fave Foo Fighters song or the likes.

What are your guilty pleasures during this lockdown?
Beauty & Wellness Editor, Nina My partner is a Brewer and we are big craft beer people, so I would say my biggest guilty pleasure is a beer or two at the end of the day. My partner is an essential worker (yep, beer is an essential service!) so he is away working all day, so it is nice to spend time together chatting about our days, before settling in to re-watch Game Of Thrones on the couch with some snacks – also another guilty pleasure!

Editor, Evelyn – I didn’t get to bake at all during last year’s lockdown as our oven had died right before it started so I’ve been going a bit nuts baking all the things this time which has been really fun. I love 90s and 80s films for the nostalgia so I can often be found watching things like Friends and Clueless on Netflix in the evening.

Business Director, Carolyn – Pinot noir while watching L’Agence and Cooking with Paris

Contributing Writer, Charlotte – Coca-cola for sure, I drink SO much water – but I also drink a can of cola daily in lockdown. It’s a little tradition that my partner Logan and I have together. We must have cola during lockdown!

Contributing Writer, Meagan – I don’t have any guilty pleasures, I embrace them wholeheartedly! I have been enjoying some extra time to tend to my houseplants though.

Photographer & Videographer, James – Locked in our house with stores of different instant ramen, it’s hard not to eat more than you should. The Korean noodle packet that I rate the most highly is ‘gamjatang’ and is tragically sold out at all our local groceries, so eagerly awaiting more stock of this to arrive in the country. We also often have fun trying out ways to elevate these meals by adding in dumplings, egg, pork belly and veg etc so you can very easily live off this on the daily.

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