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Ideas For Mentoring During Lockdown

Stories   |   August 31st, 2021

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Living in Lockdown affects us all differently. We particularly think of how this impacts on the families and young people you journey with and the effects of an extended lockdown for yourselves as well. We acknowledge those for whom lockdown adds unwelcome stress and we are aware that your mentoring may be impacted. 

But be encouraged that even brief connection matters. From last year’s lockdowns we learned that it’s okay if it’s just one five minute phone call/connection during lockdown - matches easily picked up where they left off after lockdown. 

Some connected through online gaming, some even played boardgames over a Facebook Video Chat by matching each other's moves on their home set of a game owned by both households. 

Some were able to just call or text or send memes or if arranged with parents, maybe FaceTime, or a chat on FB or WhatsApp.

Some were just general chats but thoughtful questions about how things were going or if they had been helpful around the house or kept active.



  • Look after you and your bubble (see our Self-Care Tips below)

  • Check out the Ideas for Lockdown Hangouts below including 40 Ka Pai Things To Do Outside and Reading a Book Together Online (see below)

  • This week most of our young people's families will be receiving Food Parcels and Chur Packs from us so ask them about what was in their pack and encourage them to show you any creations they make from the craft material

  • If you have concerns about your young person’s wellbeing - check out our Immediate Risk referrals and Safety Planning sheet or read through this article Real-time Resilience Strategies for Coping with Coronavirus

  • Keep connected - Loneliness and isolation is a big deal for young people in Aotearoa and for many adults, which lockdown only compounds. Establishing ways to maintain connection may be very important

  • Teach people about the virus. Knowledge is power. Watch this video from kiwi scientist and government advisor Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl). It’s aimed at children but superbly covers all the bases (and is fun to watch) 



Idea 1: Read or watch a storybook online together and chat about it afterward

Here are a couple of excellent, fun and inspiring stories that you can see/listen to online:

  1. Arohas’s Way is a kiwi offering that follows young Aroha as she deals with stress, worrying thoughts, fear and loneliness. There’s a version of it read by Suzy Cato. Suzy also looks at some of the healthy coping ideas at the back of the book (see here). These coping ideas dovetail nicely with the 5 Ways to Wellbeing we talked about at Level Up last month (attached). (NB: if Suzy Cato seems too young, you can find other readers by searching “Aroha’s Way” on YouTube.)

  2. Catching the Moon read by Kevin Costner and young Jillian Estell is an inspiring true baseball story about having the courage to follow your dreams




Idea 2: 40 Ka Pai Things To Do Outside - Download and forward this onto your young person if you feel they’re running out of ideas for things to do at home during lockdown


Idea 3: Check out these 5 Ways to Wellbeing Ideas for Lockdown                     


At Upside we believe that self-care is the first step to caring for others. We can’t stress enough how important it is to look after yourself!

  • Get in touch with your Mentoring Supervisor if you want or need to korero

  • Make a plan with whoever you are self-isolating with. Do you have any goals for the coming weeks? What sort of routine do you want? How will you achieve this together?

  • Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media

  • Take care of your body - Take deep breaths, stretch, or practice mindfulness/being present. Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep

  • Make time to unwind - Try to do some activities you enjoy like baking, walking or reading a book

  • Connect with others - Talk with people you trust about the changes, your concerns and how you are feeling

  • We think the 5 Ways to Wellbeing provides some excellent leads for achieving both care for self and support for others