If you are living by yourself during lockdown, there are ways you can turn this time you have into me time that you really enjoy, that strengthens your mental health and wellbeing.
Anita Brown, an accounts administrator, lives with her cat Teddie. Living by herself and working from home during lockdown can have its challenges, but with all the extra time at home, Anita has enjoyed the opportunity to turn some meh time into me time, by focusing on doing the things that she really enjoys.
"I'm using Duolingo to learn French, because I want to travel around France one day. I'm also making my way through a long reading list, and I'm working on perfecting my sewing skills."
Making time for the things that she enjoys has really helped to maintain her mental health and wellbeing during lockdown.
"Having uninterrupted time to focus on my personal interests and learn new skills gives me a sense of accomplishment, which makes me happy."
Science has shown that taking time for ourselves like Anita is doing helps us manage feelings of stress, anxiety and depression and makes us feel happier and more satisfied with our lives – even during hard times like a level 4 lockdown.
Anita's daily walk is essential to her staying in good spirits during lockdown and helps her to feel connected to the world outside of her lockdown bubble.
"My favourite way to spend my time is to go out for a long walk each morning before I start work. I like to get outside, watch the birds, and see other people out and about."
She is also grateful for the company of her cat Teddie, who spends his days out exploring, but comes home at night for a cuddle on the couch.
Anita's number one tip for others living by themselves during lockdown is to get outside if they can, saying that nothing makes her feel better than being amongst nature, even if it is just for a few minutes. She also recommends doing things that distract you from the lockdown, like trying out a new recipe, or having a go at a new hobby that you've always wanted to try but haven't had time for.
How could you turn your meh time into me time during lockdown? Visit www.mentalhealth.org.nz/metime for ideas.