Coping with Self-Isolation
Looking after your wellbeing if you are staying home
Plan your Day
Structuring or planning your day can be helpful
Occupy your time: think of the balance between pleasure and mastery.
There may be chores to do around the house or garden but you could also see it as an opportunity to try new things or do some on line learning.
This is just one website which is offering free online learning – courses have option of free, upgrade or unlimited with the free option having limited period during which you can access them.
Find your preferred online sing along community!
If you like Classical or opera:
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra – offering a ‘Digital Concert Hall’: https://www.digitalconcerthall.com
New York Metropolitan Orchestra is live streaming presentations through their website: https://www.metopera.org
Check out your local library for free online resources or search on line for free reading & audio book apps.
Cheshire West & Chester: https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/libraries/eresources.aspx
Free stories for Children:
Move more every day
Not just Formal exercise but anything which gets you moving such as gardening, dancing (even cleaning).
At Home work outs
Suggestions for Free online exercise classes
Down dog – providing free membership to their yoga, barre and HIIT apps until April 1st: https://www.downdogapp.com/
Sport England have relaunched theirsportengland.org webpage to advise how to keep active while at home.
Want some more ideas?
If you want any more ideas as to how to fill your time have a look at this list of free, online, boredom-busting resources from Chatter Pack:
Try a relaxation technique
Try some of the ideas in the ‘Managing the understandable Anxiety & Uncertainty’ section but also music, reading or other hobbies and activities (arts, crafts, cooking, gardening – whatever takes your fancy!)
Stay connected online with friends & family
There are many free online video platforms which allow group chats such as WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom or Duo so you can:
- Have a dinner party over video chat
- Host an online book club
- Check in with friends
https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/23/the-best-video-chat-apps-to-turn-social-distancing-into-distant-socializing/ Provides their recommendations of which of the apps out there you and your (perhaps not as tech-savvy) friends and family could use, whether it’s for a coffee meeting, a family get-together or a late-night gaming hangout. Their list is for individuals looking for a free solution to easily connect with others, not for small businesses or enterprises. The focus is on ease of use and features that make it attractive to ordinary people. Every app is free and cross-platform, meaning iOS and Android at least, with many supporting Macs and Windows machines as well.
This article outlines the huge array of ways to connect online and do things you might once have done face to face. Just to highlight though it is a selection of possibilities rather than specific recommendations and you are encouraged to use your own judgement as to what might suit you or your family.
Social Media and the News
The Good - There are many Facebook and other social media groups popping up to support people at home with suggestions of what to do and how to occupy yourself and children. I have not reviewed every single social media platform or group but here are a few ideas to think about:
Facebook – check group rules or ‘about’ for what is allowed or encouraged – for example ‘Family Lockdown Tips & Advice’ – reports to not approve any posts related to the virus or social distancing but encourages recommendations & ideas of things to do. Remember you can search Facebook pages & most social media for what you want by clicking on the little magnifying glass whether it’s for ‘online singing’ or ‘kids education’.
There are also many YouTube (& similar platforms) with videos & live streams of educational activities for children
This article just gives a few ideas of the sort of things which have gone on-line
The bad and the ugly – there are also a lot of anxiety provoking posts circulating highlighting scary statistics and stories as well as spreading ‘false news’ and myths about the virus (e.g. how to cure it, how to prevent it and how long it might survive) – Particularly if you are finding these stories fuel your anxiety limit your news intake to once a day, avoid reading social media posts about coronavirus and only use approved NHS or government websites to check for the most up to date information on the virus
Improve your sleep
Feelings of uncertainty and changes to daily life may mean you have more difficulty sleeping.
There is a lot you can do to improve your sleep. Aim to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even at the weekend if you can, and try to get some natural sunlight (by opening your curtains and windows) where possible. This helps to regulate your body clock which can help you sleep better.
Alternatively you could aim to stop worrying about sleep or trying so hard to sleep!
The sleep school offer an ACT approach to Insomnia or struggles with sleep. https://thesleepschool.org/
Resources for Children & Young People: Talking about Covid-19 & Reducing Worry
Talk to Children & Young People about COVID-19
Tips for parents and carers include:
- Stress and anxiety in such an unusual and unpredictable situation is normal.
- Be mindful of the delicate balance between reducing any anxiety & getting them to follow the guidance to prevent infection (let’s face it happy birthday is boring the 99th time, especially when you have a game to get back to!).
- Children can sometimes believe that they are responsible for events that are beyond their control – reassure them that it is the adults’ job to keep them safe.
- Friendships are key to maintaining resilience for children, so help them to maintain these relationships through phone calls, online communication, and writing letters.
- Having a routine and structure helps children to feel secure in uncertain times.
- Restrict access to rolling news coverage.
- Play is fundamental to the wellbeing and development of children of all ages, and a great way to reduce stress in adults.
The following information has been copied from a BPS post by Dr Roman Raczka, DCP England Lead:
There is some specific info for children and young people, children perceive risk differently and do not know how worried to be; many of them are very worried and have been since the start of the outbreak, and are also very worried about their grandparents and any family or friends with underlying health conditions. Parents are going to have a key role in helping their children understand what is going on, providing information and reassurance, limiting media overload for their children, and being aware of how their own reactions might impact on their children.
The following links may be useful:
Thinking about 0-3 year olds: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3210-tips-for-families-coronavirus
BBC newshound video from Dr Chris and Dr Xand from Operation Ouch
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51861089 (this is fabulous and very accessible - Operation Ouch is by far the best programme on telly, in my opinion!)
Unicef guidance for parents: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/how-talk-your-child-about-coronavirus-covid-19
Social story idea for children https://theautismeducator.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/The-Corona-Virus-Free-Printable-.pdf and a comic for children about corona virus https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus
Emerging Minds Australia about talking to children about worrying events https://vimeo.com/394049129
BPS Has also released this Guidance on talking to children
For Gruffalo Fans: Free information book explaining the coronavirus to children
Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler, has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. The book has had expert advice & input from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, two head teachers and a child psychologist. https://nosycrow.com/blog/released-today-free-information-book-explaining-coronavirus-children-illustrated-gruffalo-illustrator-axel-scheffler/
The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:
- What is the coronavirus & How do you catch it?
- What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
- Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
- Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
- Why are some places we normally go to closed?
- What can I do to help?
- What’s going to happen next?
If you are struggling with how to talk to you children about this ‘new normal’ you may find these helpful:
Tips to share with children to help them cope with the new normal...
...and getting through lockdown together with teenagers
Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus - This came from US National Public Radio. It was recorded end of February so be aware latest guidance may change.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With COVID-19
Cheshire & Wirral Starting Well- Wellbeing Information
The Cheshire & Wirral Starting Well website Provides a range of information on health and wellbeing, guiding you to extra support if you need it.
Resources for Children with Special Educational Needs
We are living in very uncertain times, but we have put some COVID-19 SEND specific downloads on this page that we hope are helpful.
If you are supporting a person or child with an Autistic spectrum condition or have ASC yourself you may find these resources from the National Autistic Society helpful:
Autism NI also have a range of resources for supporting For Children & adults
For Education and Schooling
This is one of several websites suggesting resources & tools for home learning
Going online - Many things are also popping up on social media
Such as Daily #LockdownSTEM challenge on Facebook
And other events such as museums have introduced virtual tours
There are lots of resources coming out for children here’s just a few:
PE with Joe Wicks – daily PE lessons via YouTube
Sport England have relaunched theirsportengland.org webpage to advise how to keep active while at home. It now includes resources on workouts you can do indoors with your children. If you are tight for space, their Disney dance-along videos created by This Girl Can are a fun and compact way to exercise. https://www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/activities/disney-workouts/
They also have links to games and activities for indoor play that means kids will be up and moving throughout the day.
Even Superhero or Harry Potter themed workouts for kids! (but beware they tend to be quite short)
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Free audible stories for Children
Working from Home
Working From Home Resources
There are a range of resources available to support you with the switch to working from home. Some are specifically tailored to the current context others predate coronavirus but provide useful tips.
Coronavirus and isolation: supporting yourself and your colleagues Toolkit
A collection of resources to support your mental health whilst working from home
HELPING YOU THRIVE Remote Working Survival Kit
This is a crowdsourced effort to help people and organisations with remote working at this time of acute need - the reasoning is that the better people are able to do this the more effective it will be and the better the outcome for society, with less risk of the rapid spread of disease which benefits everyone.
A Work from home Guide
This work from home guide h as helpful considerations and was not developed specifically within context of coronavirus.
The Leapers Little Guide to... Working well from home under self-quarantine for Coronavirus.
For Working Parents
This guidance is intended to support working parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been developed by frontline doctors, lawyers, HR professionals and wellbeing coaches. It is not intended to replace or change the advice given by Public Health England, NHS England or your personal health care providers, which remain the authoritative sources for guidance. This content will be updated on a daily basis.