Dear Parents and Carers,
The aim of this page is to provide you with some resources and ideas should you wish to use them, and to keep all the information we share with you in one place. I hope you find it useful.
In this strange time of uncertainty, we are hearing advice from all around us about what to do, what not to do and the advice seems to change daily. However, one thing we can be sure of is that something like this can provoke huge anxiety and concern for all of us. Looking after our physical health and needs is vital. But it is also essential that we give thought to our mental health and well-being at this time. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious, especially when we are concerned about our loved ones, our livelihoods and our own health.
It is important not to ignore the anxiety, but rather to address it.
So, here I am writing to you with some tips that may help look after your mind and well-being.
Think about access to media and social media
Some people can be quite paralysed by this anxiety and may want to completely stop interacting with the news
But for others this can be quite difficult. They want to know what’s going on. Not knowing makes it worse.
Think about limiting how much time you spend on social media or reading, listening or watching the news if it is making you anxious.
Do something you can control
It can help to express this anxiety in a way that you can control. That could be writing down what you feel, or keeping a journal
Let it go
Once you’ve written it down, let it go.
Be really aware of what you’re thinking. Sometimes we are catastrophising, we're focusing on all these ‘what ifs?’ Bring things back to what you actually know.
Make sure you are looking after yourself, doing what you can to help get a good night’s sleep, eating well and doing exercise. This can be a workout in the living room or hula hooping in the back garden!
Make plans to video chat with people or groups you’d normally see in person.
You can also arrange phone calls or send instant messages or texts.
If you’re worried that you might run out of stuff to talk about, make a plan with someone to watch a show or read a book separately so that you can discuss it when you contact each other.
Breathing techniques and mindfulness
Mindfulness is really helpful in working to alleviate anxiety and worry…….
Mindful eating. This involves paying attention to the taste, sight and textures of what you eat. For example, when drinking a cup of tea or coffee you could focus on how hot and liquid it feels on your tongue, how sweet it tastes or watch the steam that it gives off.
Mindful moving, walking or running. Notice the feeling of your body moving. You might notice the breeze against your skin, the feeling of your feet or hands against different textures on the ground or nearby surfaces, and the different smells that are around you.
Body scan. This is where you move your attention slowly through different parts of the body, starting from the top of your head moving all the way down to the end of your toes. You could focus on feelings of warmth, tension, tingling or relaxation of different parts of your body.
Mindful colouring and drawing. Focus on the colours and the sensation of your pencil against the paper, rather than trying to draw something in particular. You could use a mindfulness colouring book or download mindfulness colouring images.
Mindful meditation. This involves sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing, your thoughts, sensations in your body and the things you can hear around you. Try to bring you focus back to the present if your mind starts to wander. Different things work for different people, so if you don’t find one exercise useful, try another. You can also try adapting them so that they suit you and are easier to fit in with your daily life.
These are some apps that you can download to help with relaxation
- Calm. ...
- Aura. ...
- Stop, Breathe & Think. ...
- Insight Timer.
All of these can be done with your children. Make mindfulness in to an activity. Remember, this is an unknown. Anxiety and worry are as normal as normal can be in a situation like this, but we want to work together to support each other, ourselves and our families.
Look after yourselves
0845 4600001 or 01296 383962
Referrals into social care if you are concerned for the safety or well-being of a child.
This number takes you direct into social care to speak to the duty social worker should you not be able to make contact with your own social worker.
Family Action works to tackle some of the most complex and difficult issues facing families today – including financial hardship, mental health problems, social isolation and learning disabilities. Domestic abuse, or substance misuse and alcohol problems.
Women's Aid offer support to women & children/young people experiencing domestic violence.
01865 901600 or txt 07798 667169
Healthy Minds is a NHS service offering quick and easy access to talking therapies, practical support and employment advice. Anyone who is feeling depressed, anxious or stressed, is aged 18 or over and has a GP in Buckinghamshire can request help from Healthy Minds.
Every young person who gets help from our CAMHS will have a trained Barnardo’s buddy to work with them and offer support throughout their care.
For children and young people who are currently in care or leaving care and promote their right to be a part of the decision making processes that affect their lives.
Are independent charities offering young carers the chance to be young people free from their caring responsibilities through trusted activities, clubs, outings, holidays and one-to-one support.
A service with knowledge and information for many concerns and problems.