National data indicates that the current global pandemic is resulting in increased anxiety and reduced wellbeing for many of us. Probably no surprise there. We all move up and down the mental health curve in our everyday lives, but research suggests Covid may be pushing more of us down the curve. So, here are some ideas and link to help you to look after your mental health.
Maintaining a routine
A steady routine can help provide stability in a child’s life, which can give children and young people a sense of security and help reduce stress. Here are some tips you can use:
- plan regular weekly activities, such as seeing friends and relatives or taking part in a club or hobby
- have regular mealtimes
- set and stick to bed times, particularly for younger children, as sleep is important for children’s mental and physical wellbeing (NHS, 2017)
- establish a night time routine for younger children, such as reading a story before bed
- work with older children to create a routine that works for them – including homework, seeing friends, extra-curricular activities and time offline.
Interacting with younger children
The early years of a child’s life can help lay the foundations of wellbeing for their future (Falcounbridge et al, 2019). Positive interactions with adults during this time can help improve child’s mental wellbeing throughout their lives.
- have individual face-to-face activity with their child, such as talking, singing and playing
- follow the child’s lead: focus on what they choose, and support and encourage their curiosity
- maintain eye contact, as this helps build a strong relationship.
Links and Contacts
How to Stay Calm in a Global Pandemic
Coronavirus information for parents of disabled children
COVID - Womensaid
COVID 19 Services available for parents when struggling with mental health
Covid19 Childrens stories
My Hero is You, Storybook for Children on COVID-19
COVID19 Coping with Anxiety and stress
COVID19 Information and resources for parents who care for children with additional needs