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Mental health organisation gives parents tips to help their children

Mental health organisation Centre 33 has shared their top tips for parents to help keep their children positive during this time of isolation.
Mental Health
Local counsellor has advised people how to look after themselves in self-isolation (photo: Pixabay)

With young people home from school and the need to achieve social distance by staying indoors, it's likely that their mental health may be challenged. 

Although Centre 33 are still operating remotely, they've provided tips for parents to help the young people in their homes, while helping themselves too.  

It is important to not only consider physical health during this time, but also to pay attention to our mental health. 

Centre 33 said: "It is normal to feel worried, stressed and anxious when we are faced with uncertain situations, but the sooner we acknowledge and learn to take care of our mental health, the healthier and better equipped we’ll be to cope with the situation we're having to face."

They have acknowledged that it's important to: 

Look after yourself 

They said: "Taking care of our mental health and checking in on others is something that we can all do, and we need to remember that by looking after our own mental health, we’ll be best placed to look after our children."

Be active

Centre 33 added: "Try to make sure that you and your family get regular exercise every day. YouTube has lots of exercise videos for kids and adults. Get children involved in planning their own indoor P.E. 

"If current government advice permits, try to get outside once a day either into your garden if you have one or in a place where there are few people. If you can’t go out, open the windows for some fresh air and take some time to look at the world outside."

Take notice

They advise people to: "Take a break from the news and social media and concentrate on what’s happening in the here and now in your family. Notice and appreciate the small things. Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your wellbeing."

Connect

The mental health company added: "Social connection is one of the most important ways that we can look after our mental wellbeing. Social distancing is going to make that trickier, but we’re lucky enough to have technology to help us out. Think physical distancing, but social connections.  

"Social media is great, but if you can, try to have phone calls or even video calls. Arrange to FaceTime/Skype a friend for coffee, phone relatives more often than usual. While it can be helpful to share worries, try to find other things to talk about too."

Give

Centre 33 continued: "Research tells us that giving back to our community helps people to feel valuable and makes us happier. We might not be able to contribute to our community in our usual way, but many people will still be able to find ways to give back. 

"Lots of community groups are setting up schemes that aim to help vulnerable people at this difficult time.  If you want to get involved, check out local social media for ideas. 

"Many of us will not be in a position to offer practical support. We can still offer mutual support to friends and family by checking in with them regularly."

Keep Learning

They said: "Learning a new skill or honing an existing one gives us a sense of purpose and achievement. When we are busy learning, we are less likely to experience anxious thoughts and worries. 

"Social-distancing will bring new challenges, but it will give many of us the time to start a new hobby or learn about an area that we’ve always been interested in."

They added: "For the most part, children will need what they’ve always needed; love, attention and opportunities to learn and play. If children are home for long periods because of social-distancing or self-isolation, the following tips might be helpful: 

"Try and keep to a structure and routine that suits you. Keep bedtime and morning routines close to existing ones to promote a sense of normality that children will find reassuring. Encouraging them to get up and dressed during the week will help maintain some difference between weekdays and weekends.   

"Keep boundaries firm and make it clear that you expect the same standards of behaviour as usual. Boundaries show that adults are still in control and taking care of them, which helps children to feel safe. 

"Make sure they get some time to burn off energy every day.  Younger children will enjoy assault courses, discos etc. Older children and teens might respond better to fitness videos."

They are currently offering support remotely but are open for business. Any young person can get in touch by either calling 03334141809, texting 07514 783745 or emailing help@centre33.org.uk