I know a few families are struggling to manage anxiety at the present time. I hope the tips below can help a little until life returns to some sort of normality.
- Aim to create structure & routines in the day:
o Breakfast, work, lunch, chores, exercise/fun activities, tea, shared activities/watch TV, bath/shower, bed
o Visuals can really help to provide structure & create predictability. Children who are anxious may have a poor working memory so if they can check the daily timetable it may help.
o Using timers can also provide structure, particularly for a child who is reluctant to work/exercise. If they know or can see time ticking away it may help. (For some children timers can create more anxiety so use with caution)
- Stick to regular meal times, getting up & going to bed at the same time each day.
- Ensure good sleep routines – limit screens. No electronics 90 minutes before bedtime.
- Exercise together, have fun together. If your child is reluctant to do exercise give them an element of choice eg. Bike ride or walk. Joe Wicks or Just Dance
- Stay connected with family & friends – online games, Facetime, family Zoom quizzes
- Avoid excess Corona talk, excess news & social media.
- Provide facts & explain what is happening now – focus on positives. Listen & reassure.
- Give clear information & discuss how to manage risks.
- Give daily chores to your child to complete this can be dusting and hoovering or creating a meal plan & a shopping list.
- Identify sources of anxiety & challenge them.
- Create some challenge every day to give a sense of purpose & achievement – perhaps try to learn a new skill together, master a card game, grow some plants, follow a recipe.
- Create/develop some shared interests – I know a lot of people are watching all of the Marvel films in order as a family. In my house it is re-watching all of the Harry Potter films.
- Manage your own anxiety, you may unwittingly pass your anxieties on to your children. Take some time out for yourself where possible.
An new online platform has just been developed to support all young people in Liverpool.
Everyone can access activities that promote their well being and support their mental health. You can book onto live streamed yoga classes, fitness, mindfulness etc.
The Witherslack Group have recorded a number of webinars that are free to access and well worth a watch. They cover managing anxiety and mental health, establishing routines and mindfulness exercises.
The website Partnership for Children has several activities that can be downloaded to help boost your child's well being at this difficult time. Activities include keeping a feelings diary and creating a worry jar.
Merseyside Youth Association’s mental health promotion team (RAISE Team), has developed a range of bite-size courses, adapted from courses they have previously delivered.
These sessions cover a range of mental health issues which impact on children, young people and their families.
The sessions - which are part of the Liverpool CAMHS Covid-19 response, supporting early intervention and resilience-building - will last between 20-30 minutes and will be delivered via Zoom to groups of people at various times of the day and evening. They are inviting parents as well as members of the children and young people’s workforce to take part in these sessions together.
Some of these courses have been developed in collaboration with members of the Alder Hey's Mental Health Support Team
There are some other ideas and resources on the SEND tab on Homework Hub.
Best wishes, take care,