Wellbeing advice for Families – March 2020
During this time of uncertainty and change, the fear of being out of control adds to the many challenges at the moment. We are not in control of a lot right now, but we are in control of how we chose to respond and our children need us show the best Dugma Ishit (leadership by example) to help them through this.
Whilst so much is changing around us it is important to keep some stability. A healthy routine at home can aid this. Children thrive off having firm support around them, they need boundaries and to continue showing expected behaviour. That includes healthy sleep, activity and eating patterns. We have a duty to actively parent our children now, more than ever. But we also need flexibility and self-kindness to give ourselves permission to deviate from timetables and to re-navigate along the way.
Life is different and unknown but we have a responsibility to ensure it is still valuable and meaningful. We can’t press pause on life for the coming weeks / months. We need to live, albeit a different way that may take time to adapt to. It is important to seek the opportunities arising. It is throwing us all out of our comfort zone but it may well make us stronger individually and collectively. We need to adapt and keep living life.
We need to protect our own and our children’s’ mental health whilst we are surrounded by the fear of challenging physical health? I turn to the “5 Ways of Wellbeing”.
Connect Good relationships are so important so ensure your children are connecting with the right people. Make sure these people make them feel good and support their positive mental health. Encourage them to remove themselves from spaces that do not do this.
Be active Get your children outside as much as possible. Fresh air can do wonders for our mental health or be creative indoors. Do it together and have a laugh.
Take Notice How are they are feeling and what are their needs? What makes them feel good? –do more of it. What is draining them? –do less. Invite, hear and acknowledge their emotions and choose how to work with them. Keep the conversations flowing with your children. Notice and appreciate the little things that make you smile
Keep Learning Encourage them to learn new skills and try new hobbies such as writing a blog, learning to paint, do a science experiment together etc. Start a book and read together as a family.
Give Encourage them to find ways to give - write cards to neighbours, call relatives, sort out old toys to donate when we can. This is what being a mensch with integrity looks like.
I encourage you to be kind to those around you and be kind to yourself. We are all in uncharted territory but we are stronger emotionally together than alone. Embrace the opportunities we are faced with and be determined to come out stronger.
Jessica Overlander-Kaye, JCoSS Wellbeing Practitioner, The Community Wellbeing Project