Well Being during the COVID-19 crisis
There is a lot of information available about how you can support the well-being and mental health of all members of your family during the current crisis.
I have been through the information available from different sources and put together the strategies suggested.
- Keep a routine – even if your routine is more relaxed that during normal school time, having a routine will help everyone in the household.
- Set an intention/ set a goal at the start of each day – plan ways to fill your days and involve the children in this planning so that they have some control over what is happening. Set a goal to make a positive impact each day for yourself and those around you, even if it is something small.
- Look after your body/ make sure you get some exercise every day - move your body each day even if it is indoors dancing round the living room. Load up on healthy fruit & veg to support your immune system.
- Connect with people and nurture relationships - Reach out digitally by sending messages to friends; create a Whats-App group, remind them of a memory, share a funny photgraph or let them know something you're grateful to them for. It does not matter what the message is that you send as long as it is positive and you send it!
- Be kind to and help others - make some extra food and drop a meal off on the doorstep for a friend who is unwell, check whether an elderly/ self-isolating neighbour needs anything. Encourage your children to draw pictures/ make cards for family and friends who are self-isolating. Doing something kind for someone else is also good for your mental well being
- Look for what's good/ focus on the positive / see the funny side- take some time to notice the world around you and be grateful for the good things. What can you appreciate even in difficult times? Can you think of something each day that has made you happy? Have fun, be silly and play games as a family. Talk to your child at bed time about what has been the best part of each day.
- Make the most of the time at home/harness your creativity/ learn a new skill. How can you make the most of the time at home? eg learning a new skill ( help your child learn to ride a bike, touch type, cook etc. For adults; use the internet to access free online courses ( learn a language, new skills or new craft etc)
- Try and get sunshine and fresh air every day- even if you are only out in the garden or walking round the village, being in the sunshine and out of an enclosed space will have a positive impact on your well-being. Many villages have bear hunts set up in them, so take the children on a bear hunt and try to spot all the bears.
- Recognise when you are feeling anxious and stressed – use breathing to calm yourself. Take care with news and information and consider how much of this you access; is it adding to your anxiety? How reliable are the sources of news you are accessing? Consider how much of the news children are hearing/ seeing and the impact it might have on them. If you are feeling claustrophobic / trapped try looking at the sky, opening windows to let the fresh air in, spending time in the garden, and changing the room you are spending time in if possible.
- Talk to your children and answer their questions about the COVID-19 pandemic honestly and at a level they can understand. The following links will take you to some resources that may help with this;
Dave the Dog picture book
When the world stayed at home
The stay at home superheroes
And remember to be willing to reach out and ask for help when you need it too.