I wanted to share with you some well-being ideas for all families at this difficult and uncertain time. The ideas focus on ‘this time’ that we will be having in our homes - now and potentially several more weeks of term 2. How often have we said, “if only I had more time …” I truly believe ‘this time’ is a precious time and could be seen as a gift to us. Some of the things are young at heart so modify as needed.
I know there are many anxieties and stresses now and possibly still to come, and there are no simple answers or solutions, but one of the most compelling things I have come across is the idea of what is within our control and actioning what we can. This is very empowering. The idea comes from adding the words “so I will …” to our thoughts and statements which requires some kind of action from us. For example, I am missing my friends so I will … call them on the phone or send them a text. We are worried about our grandparents so we will ... make them a card and give it to them when we drop off the food to their home. I am bored so I will ... do some craft or get out my Lego or construction and create something amazing. We are feeling frustrated with one another so we will … create ‘me time’ and ‘we time’ in our home. I am feeling overwhelmed so I will ... do some deep breathing and something calming for myself (i.e. meditation, prayer or go on a walk) or do some mindfulness activities (involving the senses and in the present moment). I am getting really anxious listening to all of this news so I will … turn off the tv and choose to do something else that will make me smile.
It really is just a matter of finding strategies that help you manage, regulate or calm that are just right for you. Some of these may include: eating healthy food and drinking water; having a warm bath or shower; going for a walk or jog, or doing some stretches or one of the many online indoor exercises on offer; jumping on the trampoline; lying on the grass and looking for the different images in the clouds; watching the ants and insects doing their thing in the garden; getting some sunlight; blowing some bubbles into the breeze and watching them drift by; reading a book; listening to favourite music; singing; talking to someone; praying; doing something kind for someone else; being grateful; thinking happy thoughts; being creative; deep breathing and/or meditation (visit Peaceful Kids for some lovely meditations); getting enough sleep (try lavender nearby your bed); have some lovely fragrances around you; hugging a real pet or each other at home; ) do something that makes you laugh ...
As a family, you could all write up your strategies on a poster and place them where everyone can see them and you can support one another with them.
We are also supporting our child(ren) to ‘learn from home’ as well as perhaps juggling ‘working from home’ too! This can be a tricky time but putting in a few guidelines may help ease the situation….
You can support your child(ren) by:
- Establishing routines and expectations - Start each day with a check-in to help your child(re) to clarify and understand the instructions given by their teachers and help them organise themselves, set priorities for the learning this day. A healthy routine daily is great for mental and physical health, as well as concentration and learning. Encourage regular exercise breaks - go for a walk, do some exercises, kick the footy, throw a few hoops. Make sure our child(ren) drinks plenty of water and eats healthy.
- Learning Space - Every home is different but it’s important to provide a quiet and comfortable space in which your child(ren) are to learn, just like at school. Where possible, extended learning should take place in a space your family shares. For example, a lounge room or dining room. These spaces are preferable over a bedroom, where your child can feel isolated and supervision can be more challenging. It should be a place that can be quiet at times and where you or another adult is present as would normally occur when your child(ren) is online time, dependent on their age.
- Communicate with your child(ren) - be great to start and finish each day with a simple check-in and can be a regular part of your routine. Ask about the instructions from their teachers and help them to organise themselves for learning today. Depending on your child(re) you may need to check-in during learning time as well.
- You know your child(ren) best - Every child has a range of strengths and abilities that they bring to their learning - some children will require more or less support for their learning from home - consider your child’s needs and discuss with your classroom teacher any matters that you are concerned about (via email). Remember routine and familiarity helps children and young people feel safe and secure. Some children find changes in routine very upsetting. If your child feels this way they will need your help to establish new routines to signpost their day. If you need further support you may wish to contact the school or a health practitioner.
I extend my deepest well wishes to you all at this time. I am contactable via email and will be looking at other ways I might be able to support your child(ren) or family during this time.
Time at home … time for calmness and time for connection, time for happiness and love, time to count our blessings.
Pastoral Wellbeing & Learning Diversity Leader
Stay tuned in our school newsletter for more ideas and conversations around promoting wellbeing and learning in our school community.
Have a great week, make the choice, be your best!