Young People & Children Support during COVID 19
For most children, try to develop and implement a new routine that all family members can follow. This will provides a balance of several different activities and appropriate interactions with others. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour, which can make you feel worse.
Simple things you can do to stay mentally and physically active during this time include:
- Wake up relatively early – (annoying but it does help). Lying in bed until early afternoon will drain your energy levels and crush productivity. Set a nice alarm to wake up to and allow yourself more time to get ready and start the day properly.
- Stay connected to your friends and family via Skype, e-mail, video-calling and telephone / texting. Don’t rely just on texting though, as an audio-visual catch up is much more rewarding.
- Social media can be an excellent way to keep in touch with your friends and family. However, you should be mindful of your use of social media. Use it to promote positive interactions, and put your device away if it starts to negatively affect your mood. Many smartphones allow you to set time limits for certain apps such as Facebook or Instagram.
- It is important to maintain, where possible, some sort of daily routine. You should vary what you put into your routine to keep things different and interesting but try and include key elements consistently.
Make a to-do list (or schedule / rota) with reasonable and specific things included. Finalise your schedule / rota the night before so you are ready and prepared for the day ahead. Include spending time doing things you enjoy as well as things you need to do.
- Time to eat (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Time to network chat and socialise, social media / gaming (IT based)
- Time to do work, study, homework, coursework, learn, research
- Time for exercise
- Time for relaxing, personal downtime (non IT based)
- Time to spend with family
- Time to spend doing something fun / different / activity based
Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and recreational drugs
If needing to socially isolate, spend time with the windows open to let in fresh air, arranging space to sit with a nice view if possible and get some natural sunlight. Get out into the garden or sit on your doorstep if you can, keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from others.
If you don't need to isolate, you should try and get out of the house to do your daily exercise (walk, jog, run or bike-ride), keeping your social distance to at least 2 metres when outside.
Look to introduce fun activities for you and the family
- Themed meals
- Special movie / Netflix nights
- Quizzes and competitions
- Kitchen dancing / Karaoke
- Skype/FT friends other family to involve them too
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for feeling emotionally healthy the next day. We all feel better after a good night’s sleep.
Helping families with emotional and physical well-being
Websites offering links to a number of young people friendly resources
- Anna Freud (links to a number of wellbeing resources, list of sources of help for those with urgent needs)
- Childline (help and advice on a wide range of issues)
- Footsteps Teeside (coping with isolation, mental health & wellbeing. Resources peer reviewed by student Hollie Smith)
- Health for Young People (good links to advice & information on sexual health, mental health and long term conditions)
- Healthy Young Minds (Herts based, has links to local and national advice and sources)
- The Mix (advice and support for the Under 25s)
- Young People’s Health.org (wide range of links to valuable resources)