WELL-BEING FOR FAMILIES

SLEEP

This is related to exercise – we all tend to sleep better if we’ve been physically active. So try to fit some exercise into every day. Try some evening yoga to calm you down. And now is definitely the time to enforce a no-screens-before-bed rule. 

BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND HAVE FUN

  • Give yourself treats.

  • Pamper yourself.

  • Watch a few box sets.

  • Read some great books.

  • Do some jigsaw puzzles.

  • Play some board games.

  • Play with your children on their games online. Perhaps you will love too will love Minecraft!

  • Make plans with your family for the things you’re going to do when this is all over.

 

BE CREATIVE

Lose yourselves in creative activities. It doesn’t matter what the end product looks like  – it’s all about the process and maybe learning something new  e.g.

  • Drawing

  • Writing

  • Playing music

  • Knitting

  • Building things out of clean junk

Use the time you’ve got to learn something new –  perhaps with your children. See the websites under each subject on this page.

Work with your kids on whatever they’re learning – and don’t forget all the useful life-skills that aren’t covered by the curriculum.

Bake and cook together, do some gardening, diy or decorating, learn an instrument or language.

IF YOU'RE STILL ANXIOUS

Try everything above and if none of that works, do something you can control. Write down what you’re worried about – in a diary, say – and put it away.

Practise meditation (lots of courses online) and deep breathing. Focus on helping others.

The Headspace app is recommended by some of our staff and is currently free during the crisis. https://www.headspace.com/covid-19

 

REASSURE YOUR CHILDREN

The WHO has very helpful advice, including:

Encourage children to express their feelings. If they feel anxious, they should be able to say so.

Provide them with information. Be honest, but be sure to emphasise the positive: they are not likely to die, more people have recovered from the virus than have passed away.

If they are in a high-risk group, keep them socially isolated and assure them that you are doing everything to protect them and that if you follow the rules together, there is no reason for them to be infected.

And of course, remember that children may need extra love and attention. Keep them close!

 

KEEP A ROUTINE

Mental health experts agree that it’s important to maintain a routine in the days of isolation, or everything can blur into sameness. Mark out different parts of the day for different activities. Agree a schedule with your kids, so they know when it’s time to do some gaming, when they need to move about, when they need to make food or be helpful, when they need to sleep.

 

EAT WELL & STAY HYDRATED

It’s currently difficult to find certain foods in some supermarkets, but there are already lots of ideas online for meals to make with store-cupboard staples. Eat a balanced diet. Get children involved in planning meals and in helping to prepare them. Make sure everyone drinks lots of water, too.

RATION YOUR INTAKE OF INFORMATION

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has some excellent advice, including to avoid looking at the news constantly – limit yourself to a couple of times a day. (A constant stream of updates can be very disorientating.) 

Consider where you’re getting your information from. Is it sensationalised? Is it actually helpful? The NHS websitethe UK government’s information, and the WHO are all good places to start.

The WHO also recommends sharing good news – if you hear about a successful vaccine trial, for example, or a slowing infection rate.

This is the time to be mindful about your social media use. Are you really concentrating when you pick up your phone? Could you wait another hour before you look?