We are currently undergoing very challenging and difficult times. Added to the fear of contracting the virus in a pandemic such as COVID-19 are the significant changes to our daily lives as our movements are restricted in support of efforts to contain and slow down the spread of the virus. Faced with new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues, it is important that we look after our mental, as well as our physical, health. There are many online resources and guidance available to support both adult and children's mental health, the following website is particularly good; Place2Be
Top tips for supporting mental health and wellbeing
- Try keeping clear routines, you should try to engage in one each of PACE activities per day:
Physical - going outside, or even doing a Joe Wicks type video exercise at home together promotes well-being, releases endorphins and reduces cortisol and other stress hormones.
Achieve - doing something that leads to sense of achievement, be it for the child completing homework, or for the parent tidying a room. It is important to name the activity before and congratulate each other on getting it done.
Connect - planning and then chatting to somebody important, even if it is online. Yes it is not the same as being face-to-face but it does make everybody feel better.
Enjoyment - do something that you really like, and it doesn't have to be virtuous, it could be eating a slice of your favourite cake! Again, celebrating that you have done it is important.
If we can implement the strategies described above, it will help our children's general well-being and also reduce their risks for developing more serious mental health difficulties.