This week is Children’s Mental Health Week (1st-5th Feb 2021)
The pandemic has certainly had a devastating effect on children and teens. I have seen a rise in the number of enquiries I’ve had regarding young people. With many not attending school they are missing out on positive actions and interactions with peers which are crucial to their well being. Recent reports say that the pandemic has caused a range of harm to children including feeling lonely, sleep problems and reduced physical activity.
So what can you do to help to support your child during this time?
- Encourage them to think about what’s been good and what they’ve enjoyed that day. Filling in a journal or having a chat over dinner about the good things will take the emphasis away from the negatives and worries they may be experiencing.
- Allow interactions with peers virtually. We’re normally quite keen to limit screen time for children. Whilst this is still important we need to be mindful that virtual interactions are the only way children will get to spend time with their peers right now, something which is vital to their well being. So a couple of hours on that games console may not necessarily be a bad thing!
- Maintain a good sleep routine. Sleep is so important for our well-being. It’s the time where we sort through all our thoughts and worries, almost like gardening for our brains. Children and teens really need this in order to function to their best ability and to think rationally. Although it’s easy for bed times and get ups to slip when there’s no school try and keep as close as possible to a steady routine.
- Get moving! Any physical activity comes with huge benefits to the brain and our mental health. Even a 20 minute walk will release hormones in the brain which make us feel good and encourage brain growth. So whether it’s Joe Wicks or a daily walk try and get some movement into your child’s day.
- Be kind to yourself! If the home schooling hasn’t gone to plan that day let it go… Allow yourself as a parent time to relax. It may sound easier said than done but making that time will have a big impact on your children. They mirror behaviour and if you are stressed and anxious they will be more likely to pick up on this! Put your own oxygen mask on first!!
If your child is struggling right now or experiencing anxiety or low mood please get in touch. I work with children aged 9 upwards. Similarly, if managing home schooling, work and everything else is becoming too much for you as a parent then Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help.