This period has been tough for everyone. Our way of life that was once routine has changed and adapted to our daily changing world. However, we can all agree that we are all going through this together and for that, can support each other through this. It is vital that in these times, you look after yourself so you can be best prepared to be a support to those around us.
Your partner, your children, your looked after children and even your pets will feel the benefits from you looking after your own wellbeing. If anything can be learnt about this difficult time, it is that looking after your mental wellbeing is a priority. I know its easy to focus on the negatives, but we have been given the gift of time and for that, we must make the most of it.
Here are some top tips for looking after yourself during isolation:
1. Keep your brain active with activities like sudoku, crosswords, wordsearches as well as playing board games with your young people.
2. Use OpenLearn to discover a wealth of free online courses to do from the comfort of your home.
3. Limit the amount of news you and your family watch whilst trying to use a media outlet that does not exaggerate and scare monger. Use the government and NHS website for updates on the coronavirus. Talk to the young people about what is happening.
4. Try to follow your normal routine as much as possible – maybe write it on a poster you can involve your young people in creating.
5. Get as much fresh air as possible, even take up gardening and utilise your one activity a day to go for a run or a walk. Explore your surroundings whilst adhering to government guidelines.
6. Make plans to video chat with people or even groups you would normally meet up with. Video chat services such as Zoom, Facebook messenger and Skype are great resources. You can even watch a film with friends at the same time via video chat services.
7. Do all those jobs you’ve been meaning to do and give everyone in your household a task for those jobs. Write a list and take turns to tick them off as you complete them. Wanted to do a sort out? Been meaning to call up a school friend for a catch up? Decorating you’ve not had enough time of? Put it on the list.
8. Change the background of your phone to something that makes you smile.
9. Follow positive pages on your social media channels. Positive Instagram pages such as globalpositivenews and goodnews_movement share uplifting daily stories from around the world.
10. Make time for self-care.
What even is self-care?
Self-care is about making a point of looking after your own wellbeing. This doesn’t require spending lots of money, it is purely about doing the things that make you happy. During this time, we don’t have as many resources as easily accessible as usual but that isn’t a problem. Finding joy in the simple things is key. Here are some examples:
• Using your favourite mug.
• Reading a good book.
• Going for a walk.
• Having a bath.
• Listening to your favourite music.
• Watching your favourite TV show.
• Speaking to a friend or family member on the phone or via Facetime.
• Doing a hobby, you haven’t had the time for.
There are a lot of uncertainties in this time, but you can guarantee you can make the most of it. Writing a list of just three things at the end of the day that has been good about the day is hugely beneficial for finding the positives in every situation.
Things to do as a family for self-care
As the Easter holiday creeps up on us, lots of plans and holidays have had to be cancelled. The below are some ideas of what you can do with your young people during this time to keep them entertained.
• Create a tent out of blankets and throws in your living space, put up those Christmas tree lights and have a camp out with your family. You can use fireplace footage on Netflix and pretend you are sitting by a campfire.
• Create natural art with objects you find in the garden or on your one walk a day and make a collage with your findings.
• Circuit training around the garden or in a well-spaced out room in your house. Draw pictures of different activities and you and your family must visit and complete each activity. For example, hop on one leg 10 times, do 10 star jumps, 10 squats, 2 roly-polies etc. Maybe this could grow into a mini Olympics with a scoreboard and prizes crafted by the young people.
• Pick a song and create a choreography. Why not film it and everyone dresses up? We would love to see what you come up with!
• On a nice day, take the young people out into the garden and take them on a scavenger hunt! For example, create a list of things for them to find such as a ladybird, a worm, a snail and a butterfly. Don’t worry, they don’t have to collect them and keep them as pets! To top it off, you could have a picnic in your garden.
• Set up video “play dates” with your young people’s friends so they can still stay in contact.
• Get the young people involved with baking and cooking.
• Make a short movie with your family in isolation and give everyone a role. Roles such as the director, the cameraman, the writer, wardrobe department, hair and makeup.
The most important thing is to have fun. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our young people reflected on this time and mainly remembered all the fun they had?