During these unprecedented times it’s important to look after your mental health and wellbeing, as well as the people around you. This includes keeping your brain constructively busy and challenged and those of children and young people.
Help and support others: Think about how you could help the people around you; check in on your family, friends and neighbours. Volunteering can boost confidence and mood, as well as keeping the mind busy on constructive tasks.
The national Every Mind Matters campaign, launched last year, has expanded to offer tips and advice on how to cope during this pandemic; dealing with social isolation, social distancing and the virus itself. Key highlights include connecting with others by maintaining relationships with friends and family through alternative methods like telephone, video calls or emails.
They also have a mindful breathing video if you need to feel calmer and more present - especially when the family may be burning your fuse more than normal!
Take the quiz to help create your own personalised mind plan.
The MIND charity have brought lots of useful information and resources together around staying at home and staying on top of things.
CALM are offering a free resource pack from soothing sounds and audio guides (including for children), mindful movement exercise videos and a lot more.
Talk about your worries
It is very common to feel worried or scared in the current situation but talking about how you’re feeling can really help. As well as reaching out to friends or family members there are also professionals available to talk, check out this list NHS recommended helplines
Those living with or supporting those with mental illness
Rethink Mental Illness have created an online hub to help people with mental illness and those who support them
Address your stress
Address your stress for Stress awareness month (April).
Resources for homeworking
Mental Health First Aid England have put together some guidance to support your mental health whilst working from home. As more of us are working at various 'desk spaces' around the home and in between childcare and homeschooling responsibilities, it's unfamiliar territory for many. It's worth taking a look at their animation/PDF to keep connected and aware of the support out there.
Keep your mind busy and challenged
Keep the mind active and get some quiet time with Hampshire libraries, who provide free access to a huge range of different resources including ebooks, magazines and newspapers. Some services will require a Hampshire Library card, but there is also lots you can look at if you don’t have one to hand.
Connecting with wildlife has strong link with our wellbeing. The People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust have some ideas of how to help and learn about wildlife from home.
The Point's #ConnectionPoint activities and resources:
- Inspiring Minds Gallery - The Point has partnered up with Solent Mind to offer a creative platform to express feelings and thoughts artistically during lockdown.
- Virtual programme called Arts Award Discover At Home for children and young people in Eastleigh Borough. Arts Award Discover is a Trinity College London qualification designed for ages 5 to 25 to explore the arts – it’s about trying things out, learning about creative people and sharing your findings with someone else. It’s really straightforward to do, whether you have experience in the arts or have decided to do something different at home.
- Meditation resources and a Mind Your Own checklist to help plan out your day and make sure you pause for your wellbeing.
Support for children and young people
Public Health England have created a fact sheet to help explain coronavirus to children at this bewildering time.
There is also guidance for parents and carers to support children and young people's mental wellbeing at this time
With UK households in lockdown, it’s likely that children and young people are enjoying more screen time than usual. Whilst technology is a great way for children and young people to stay connected, entertained and educated, it’s also more important than ever to ensure that they remain safe online. Internetmatters.org has put together a #StaySafeStayHome advice hub for parents. Thinkuknow has created a support page for parents, and each fortnight will be releasing new home activity packs with simple 15-minute activities you can do with your child.
The NSPCC have brought together tips and advice to help families find a balance and create structure, as well as advice and support.
Shout is a text service for young people feeling anxious and stressed. It’s free on all major mobile networks, and is for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
YoungMinds provides mental health support for young people in the current crisis.
To reinforce the habit of children washing their hands properly each time the NHS has created a fun video to help.
Activities for children and young people to keep their mind active
(see also #ConnectionPoint above and Wildlife Action)
The Point and Berry Theatres are thrilled to announce The Wonderful Window Challenge as part of #ConnectionPoint. Follow the fun and take part each week as they provide a theme, basic instructions and a list of materials you are bound to have lying around your home in order to transform your window creating something wonderful to capture your neighbour’s attention and brighten up their days. First up Kitchen Characters! There's storytelling to begin w/c 6 April with help from Bearface Theatre. Check out The Point's Facebook for updates and join in with participating in story content...
The Government have put together support children's education during this time - it includes 2-4 year olds, primary schoolchildren and SEND children. Remember "No one expects parents to act as teachers, or to provide the activities and feedback that a school or nursery would. Parents and carers should do their best to help children and support their learning while dealing with competing demands."
Families Hampshire West magazine has gone online to provide a Surviving Lockdown special with helpful ideas for parents including home learning resources, family health, pre-school play, activities and much more.
The BBC have launched their huge education push from 20 April to help parents and children alike during this challenging homeschooling period. It includes videos, quizzes, podcasts and articles across their many platforms.
Hampshire County Council have created Ten Tips for Hanging Indoors for school/college aged pupils.
Hampshire Music Service launches their Summer 2020 Festival - Tuning In. Join in their virtual music activities and projects, including body percussion and the Tuning In Challenge.
Change4Life, as well as great recipes for families, have brought together Disney activities to keep moving.
There are plenty of online book-themed activities for young people of all ages on the Booktrust website.
A group of well-known artists including Antony Gormley and Grayson Perry have got together to produce free art activity packs, to give you ideas on how to get creative at home. You don’t need to have any special art materials to take part, and new packs will be available each week from the website.
With all their usual meetings on hold, the Scouts have produced a range of activities to do while you’re inside and will be adding to the site over the coming weeks.
The Prince’s Trust have pulled together some of the most useful advice, guidance and resources so you can continue to upskill by developing your confidence and abilities during this challenging time, as well as find the answers to your questions on work and self-employment.
For more activities for children to keep moving, please see our Physical wellbeing at Home page