Family & Education

Five ways to take care of wellbeing

How to keep mentally fit in lockdown Britain


During this time of uncertainty and change, the fear of being out of control adds to the many challenges we are facing. We are not in control of a lot right now, but we are in control of how we choose to respond. Our children need us show the best dugma ishit, leadership by example, to help them through this.

While 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 renavigate 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 or months. We need to live, albeit in a different way that may take time to adapt to and it is important to seek the opportunities arising.

We are 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 while surrounded by the fear of the threat to physical health. Let me recommend the “Five 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 online 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. 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 they 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 is wellbeing practitioner at JCoSS


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