Coping with life under lockdown has been hard on families but you can find support and advice on how to cope from:
Staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for many of us. Even when restrictions have been lifted, many of us are dealing with lasting effects on our family's physical and mental health. And there is no shortage of worrying news headlines. Here are some ideas to help.
There are so many events across the world and closer to home that can cause us to worry. From the pandemic, to climate change, conflicts, wars, political upheaval and the cost of living.
You may find children and young people in your family are aware of these issues, but have difficulty processing the news and have questions. Some young people with access to social media may share inaccurate or distressing content. Here are some links to help.
You may also be interested in: Support for staff during the Ukraine conflict
Keeping to a routine is a great way to add structure to your day and help maintain a sense of normality, even if things around you feel abnormal. Your routine doesn't need to be strict, but you should build in regular time each day for showering, eating and exercising, as well as hobbies and exercise.
Children, in particular, thrive with a good routine. It helps them to feel safe and understand what's expected of them. Try and keep to set mealtimes and bedtimes, as well as setting aside time for school and homework each day.
People of all ages and circumstances can start to feel lonely when they're no longer connecting with friends and family. Even at times when many things have opened up, some people find their social circles have got smaller and loneliness is still a big problem for many. Try scheduling weekly calls - pick up the phone, start a Zoom call, or a WhatsApp video call - for your family, your children, friends and neighbours to stay connected.
Taking regular walks in the fresh air is a great way to improve both your physical and mental health. And if you can walk in nature, in woods or green areas, research shows it can really boost your mood. Some people have moved to working from home more, so are walking fewer steps a day. Others may have started new exercise habits, but had varying success with keeping going.
Every day is a chance for a new start with exercise. Even half an hour a day can make a big difference to how you feel.
It's easy to become frustrated, or overworked and put off spending quality time with your family doing productive and fun things together. Try to set aside some time to do group activities , play games and enjoy each others company, especially for your children who will appreciate the time they get to spend with you.
If your child lives in Berkshire and is struggling with severe or moderate mental health difficulties, you can refer them to our CAMHS team for support on any of the following:
Please read our referral criteria before referring, or call us on 0300 356 1234 for help and advice on the next steps.
Find out more about our children's services
If you're worried about your child's health but aren't ready to refer them to our CAMHS team, you can also contact the early intervention services in your local area (also known as the Local Offer):