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COVID-19: Wellbeing and Mindfulness

Why Mindfulness?

A lot of the children were apprehensive about starting yesterday and clung onto their parents, however, after a day in school and seeing what it is like, they were much happier to bound in this morning and parents reported to me that they had a great day in school yesterday and were really pleased to be back in school. 

For me - it was lovely to hear more babbling voices, more giggling and laughter filling the classrooms and playground.

However, there are still a significant number of children at home. At school we are looking at the emotional well being of children coming in, especially looking at the effects of lockdown. Having catered for it in school, it must be really hard for lots of our families who have one child back in school and another working at home - the sense of isolation has just become profoundly worse now that their sibling is back in school. There will be a huge part of the children missing each other (even though they may have bickered continually whilst at home driving you to distraction).

This is where mindfulness training will be more important now. At school the teachers are using the site:

https://www.smilingmind.com.au/thrive-inside which gives an oversight to the emotional wellbeing and mindfulness training that will ensure the children look after their mental health. 

However, this is a site written more for employers and schools. So, I have been on a mission to see if there is anything out there that could help with mindfulness training for your children still in lockdown.

How Mindfulness Can Help During COVID-19 Rae Jacobson writes:

With schools closed and many parents working from home without childcare for the foreseeable future, it’s hard not to start spiraling. Responsibilities seem endless, the situation dire, and it seems like time to yourself has become a thing of the past…Take a deep breath. Literally. Feel a little better?

These are trying times, but incorporating mindful practices into your daily routine can help calm anxiety and build healthy coping skills. Here are some tips from our clinicians on making mindfulness work for you and your family.

The rest of this article is at: https://childmind.org/article/how-mindfulness-can-help-during-covid-19/

Some of you might be noticing signs of increasing anxiety in your child as they’re spending more time indoors and outside of their normal routines. These might include:

  • Regressing to behaviour they’ve outgrown, such as thumb-sucking or bed-wetting
  • Showing greater fear at being separated from you
  • Tantrums
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Expressing sadness, anger or fear
  • Sharing false information that they’re hearing from their peers or seeing online
  • Wanting to talk about coronavirus all the time
  • Not wanting to talk about the current situation at all
  • Having trouble concentrating

 Mindfulness will help with all the above issues if you are seeing anything like this at home. To explain it to children here is a great video by Kids Cosmic Yoga - Be the Pond - a guide to children and mindfulness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf5K3pP2IUQ

On the Covid-19 page of the website I have also added lots of activities that you may want to try with your child. https://www.wallop.hants.sch.uk/covid-19-wellbeing-and-mindfulness/

If you have any concerns about how your child is coping or you need any other support from the school, please let us know by e-mailing us, or phoning and speaking to us.

We’re extremely grateful for all the support you’ve shown us as we’ve adapted to these new circumstances, and we want to reassure you that we are still here to support you too.

We can and will get through this together.

 With warmest regards,

Martin Lambert

Head Teacher

January 2021 - be kind and happy

5 WAYS TO WELLBEING

 

Research tells us these proven five simple ways can make a big difference to a child’s happiness and help build their confidence and resilience.

 It’s the well-being equivalent to ‘five fruit and vegetables a day’.

Try and build these simple actions into everyday life.

1 CONNECT

• Take time to talk about feelings and listen

• Share mealtimes to talk about their day

• Find activities you can enjoy together as a family

• Encourage them to see their friends outside of school rather than by phone or online

2 BE ACTIVE

• Go for a walk, run, skip, cycle, swim, dance – whatever they may enjoy, indoors or outdoors

• Find a local group sport or activity they can join

• Exercise is a mood booster and a great way to feel good5

3 TAKE NOTICE

 • Take them out to a park, woods, the seaside or even a different part of the city or town so they can enjoy a varied environment

• Encourage them to notice how they are feeling and how they can process their emotions in a positive way

4 KEEP LEARNING

• Learning isn’t just for school. Encourage them to read ‘just for fun’

• Pass on skills like cooking, sewing, model making, photography and DIY so they know that learning can be fun

5    GIVE

• Help them to be kind, share and show interest in others

• Encourage them to do something nice for a friend, family member or charity

 

Other helpful resources:

BBC Children in Need A Million & Me

For more information about A Million & Me

YoungMinds 

A free parents' helpline with trained advisors who can talk to you about any aspect of your child's mental health 0808 802 5544 Mon-Fri 9.30am to 4pm.

Parent Zone 

Parent Zone offers support to families on any parenting issue including online problems.

Shout​​​​​​​

Shout is the UK's first free 24/7 direct messaging service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. To get help from a Crisis Volunteer today, TEXT CIN to 85258. (Shout is delivered in partnership with Crisis Text Line).

GP

Talk to your GP who will be able to provide further advice and support.

WHAT IS ANXIETY?

Anxiety is actually a perfectly normal human state – and despite its presence in the headlines as a major player in the mental ill-health of many people – it actually has its uses!

At moderate levels of anxiety, a person’s performance and attention to detail can improve. However, it becomes a problem when the feelings become more intense, last for a long time and begin to negatively impact on how well you can do things, your enjoyment of things and family life.

In general, stress and fear are seen as responses to specific, external factors, whereas anxiety is often internal and is usually concerned with what could or might happen. If you feel that your child is constantly anxious and doesn’t seem to improve with your support, it’s important to make an appointment to see your GP. However, there are some things you can do to support your child and this booklet goes through some of them.

A copy of the booklet be found by clicking on the click below:

Anxiety Booklet

THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP

We all know that our sleep is important to us. It helps us regulate ourselves and to learn well. You might like to have a look at this information together and think about the importance of getting a good night's sleep! 

 

WALLOP'S ONLINE SAFETY TIPS

Setting parental controls for your home broadband is the easiest way to filter and restrict inappropriate websites on any device connected to your home wifi. Making sure your children's devices are set up safely will help you to make sure they get the best out of their device. The website www.internetmatters.org has some great advice, simple instructions and helpful tips on just about every device, wifi provider and games console to help you keep your children safe at home. 

We have added a few of their really helpful guides below but clicking on the link www.internetmatters.org will give you access to all the resources that you need. We really can't rate their site enough! 

Parental controls for Android phones 

Parental controls for Apple iPhones 

Parental controls for Android tablets 

Parental controls for Apple iPad 

Parental controls for Vodafone mobiles (other networks can also be accessed by clicking here - other networks)

Parental controls for Netflix 

Parental controls for YouTube 

Parental controls for XBox Live (other games consoles can be accessed very easily by clicking here - other games consoles)

 

The checklist below, from the website InternetMatters, gives some simple tips to make sure you have a head start. 

ARE YOU SAFE ONLINE?

 

TheDigital Parenting booklet from Vodafone is now available. There is lots of good advice for parents to help keep their children safe online, we recommend the read! 

Vodafone Digital Parenting booklet 

We've been learning about Internet safety and have looked at an array of websites and internet "dos" and "don'ts".

We have learnt that: 

  • Once it's online you can't take it off! 
  • THINK before you upload and post. 
  • Think about what you type. If the message was sent to you, how would you feel?

The NSPCC have some great advice and tips for parents who want to understand more about keeping their children safe online. You can find these great resources by clicking the link below. 

NSPCC Online Safety 

Everyone should: 

 

S - Stay safe 

M - Don't meet up 

A - Accept emails only from people you know

R - Remember that information on the Internet isn't always reliable

T - Tell someone if something happens that makes you feel upset

 

Using tools such as Skype can be good for keeping in touch with others, especially if you have friends or family living abroad. But you still need to remember that safety rules should still apply. Don't talk to people you don't know and don't arrange to meet up with anyone you only know on the internet. Children should also not be sharing inappropriate photos or videos online. 

 

We have some tips for staying safe online which are included in the links below. Watch each video clip and have a think about what you could do differently to keep yourself safe. If you're a parent watching you are very important - you can find some more advice about keeping your children safe at the link below! Make sure you take some ideas to keep your children safe as well.

 

 

 

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