How to cope as a family in isolation

David Price, workplace wellbeing expert and CEO of health and wellbeing provider Health Assured, has some advice on how to look after your family’s long-term well being during lockdown.

 

In the coronavirus pandemic, the normal rules don’t apply, and the simple act of going outside to enjoy the sunshine is now potentially deadly. It can be hard to get across the importance of this to children. David Price, workplace wellbeing expert and CEO of health and wellbeing provider Health Assured, has some advice on ways to get yourself and your family through the lockdown – practically, and emotionally.

Stay active

Inactivity means boredom, and boredom means terrible moods. Try to make sure you’re all moving and keeping active. You can go outside for exercise as a household, so take advantage of this.

Depending on the age of your child, you can keep them occupied with crafts. Probably not appropriate for teenagers, but a paper aeroplane competition can get your children working hard, and maybe learning something about physics, too. Table top and board games are also perfect, the time to show off your dice-rolling prowess has come.

Manage anxiety

It’s an extraordinary world we live in right now, with the coronavirus situation virtually unprecedented. It’s vital to make sure your children understand the gravity of the situation, but also important to ensure you don’t frighten them. Let them know that this is a serious time, and the whole world is in the same state, but don’t let them think they’re in immediate danger.

You are likely anxious, and that’s fine. It’s natural to have certain worries right now. But you should get on top of these worries, to remain healthy for those family members who need you. Limit your news and social media exposure, talk to your friends via video chat and stay busy yourself to keep the anxiety down.

Plan the days

Children tend to be used to a routine, with school taking up the bulk of their time. And as you’ve probably noticed from half-term holidays, they get a bit antsy when that routine suddenly isn’t there. You should try to make sure there’s a regularity to their days, to stop their minds wandering too much.

They’re likely accessing schoolwork online now, so work out a schedule with them. You know your children best, and know whether they need this schedule to be solid, or to have a little flexibility. But ensure they have breaks, that they’re working toward well-defined goals and they have access to the resources they need.

Organise your work

Working from home with kids can be challenging at the best of time, and these are certainly not the best of times. You likely feel under a lot of pressure juggling work and home commitments.

Now is the time to talk to your employer about the possibility of flexible hours. If you’re all set up to work remotely, getting a little bit of that work done in the evening to free your afternoon hours for your family is a great idea. And it also means getting a little self-care time in, too. It’s vitally important to keep your own head above water, with mindfulness, meditation and some alone time.



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