Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Television Presenter Wendy Petrie shares her insights on Covid-19 and beyond......
In this interview series Wellbeing Workshop gets up close and personal with some of New Zealand's favourite Business Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Sportspeople and Celebrities.
Today we talk to Wendy Petrie - Journalist, Reporter and News Anchor of One News on TVNZ for the past 14 years. Wendy was a trusted face throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period in NZ, presenting the truth and giving the nation hope as cases declined over the 6 week period.
Wendy is a mother of 3 busy children and wife to Ross. She loves jogging and the out doors. Wendy shares some insights into how her family coped during Covid.
Name 3 things you’ve learnt as a leading TV journalist and news presenter from Covid-19.
1. That life can change in an instant. I’ve learnt over the years that no one is above Mother Nature .. I’ve reported on earthquakes, floods, droughts. Now I’ve seen a world health emergency.. A pandemic like we’ve never seen before in our lifetime.
2. We can never take anything for granted. This virus has tested us all, in every way. Its reach is enormous. Not only has it impacted our country but also the world’s economy. The effects will be felt for some time to come. It’s very humbling.
3. You need to be ready for change and adapt. Looking at how different countries have done this has been interesting. I think New Zealand has done an outstanding job of eliminating the virus but the economic effects will be tough. History is being made and we will look back and see how we could have done things better.
What was the biggest challenge you had to face as a result of Covid-19 and how did you overcome it?
I think the anxiety of not knowing what’s to come.
Initially the forecasts were dire. I was worried for my family, for my Mum, Dad and for our elderly.
We all hunkered down. I went to work which was helpful as it’s what I know. These stories are why we are in the news business. I learnt to just accept things were not going to pan out the way I’d expected.
2020 turned the world upside down. You adjust your expectations and be positive. There is always positive changes that can come out of even the worst situations. You get a sense of what older generations went through in tough times. Life still goes on.
Are you going to implement any personal changes as a result of Covid-19?
I never really stop, like so many working mothers. I’m always running around, feeding children, driving them around, sorting our lives out, exercising, getting to work. It was nice to push pause, to stop and just be. I want to keep some of that peace.
As a talented person who wears many hats - 1 News Anchor TVNZ, journalist, jogger, mother; what is your best advice to avoid burnout?
Do things for you. I treat myself. A girls trip is so good for the soul .. I really love one of these per year! A facial, a massage. Don’t be hard on yourself.
Do you think businesses will develop new levels of empathy and a greater willingness to talk about mental healthcare as a result of the pandemic?
I hope so. It’s a hard time with many businesses failing and feeling the pinch. It’s going to be difficult for a while I think. But certainly we’ve learnt if we band together we are all much better off.
What tools (if any) do you have in place to encourage ‘positive wellbeing behaviours’ in your line of work?
Don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes. It’s important to move on and not sweat it. Tomorrow is another day. Be grateful .. there’s always something to be grateful for.
What are you currently curious about?
New Zealand’s future, the world’s future .. when we will find a vaccine!
If you were going to invest in your future best self, where would you put your time and energy?
I love having time to myself for exercise, to recharge. Give yourself that time every day. I’d like to up-skill, learn business skills that could help me in another career. My husband would say I need to do a computer course as I’m not so tech savvy!
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