Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Wellbeing
The last few months have been worrying and difficult for us all to deal with. Lockdown has brought with it new issues and problems around social and emotional and mental wellbeing for adults and children.
Please find below some useful suggestions and ideas if the long Summer holidays prove to be tricky at times too.
We are delighted that we are able to welcome back all our children in September and are really looking forward to seeing them again and welcoming our new children and families too.
Ideas and Suggestions for Well Being
- Connecting with other people (is it possible to arrange any socially distant play dates?)
- Being physically active – (suggestion is the more physical activity the better – again appreciate no swimming pools etc available at present)
- Learn a new skill – maybe a possibility?
- Give to others – baking for extended family? Checking in with others and sharing the notion that others are in the same boat..
- Paying attention to the present moment. Focusing on one day at a time, lots of ideas on the internet around ‘Mindfulness’
Talk to your children about what triggers their worries:
- Use questions like “Can you tell me how you feel…?”, “Can you explain how you feel….?”, “Can you tell me what makes you feel this way?”
- Changes in routine, loss of connection with certain people such as friends can cause anxiety. Could your child write a letter to a friend? Can they use social media to make face to face contact with them? Could they make a card and send it to a relative or friend?
- Consider other behaviours that might increase anxiety – e.g. watching a lot of news. Children see and hear things that they don’t always fully understand, they may need it explaining to them in simpler terms alongside plenty of reassurance.
Talk to your child about their emotions:
- Talk openly about what makes you happy and sad – be honest with them.
- Talk about what makes them happy and sad
- Talk about other people you know, what makes them happy and sad.
- Talk about a range of emotions and “shades” of emotions – there are varying degrees of happiness…
- Model appropriate responses to challenges and healthy ways to express emotions.
eg its ok to cry, to acknowledge sadness and also to look forward to things… to get excited etc.
- Make sure your children can recognise differences between boredom, isolation and loneliness – these are very exceptional times.
- Dr Barnados’ resource for children, teenagers and families struggling with anxiety or their wellbeing in the current climate.
- NHS advice – 5 steps to mental health and well being