Good morning families!
I hope that it has cheered you all to wake up to another sunny day outside! Just what we need to help us rise and shine during some of these tricky times we are experiencing.
As all of our school team have been saying, this week is extra special, because it is Mental Health Awareness Week. This seems to have come at just the right moment, with lots of folk really having to work through difficult and powerful emotions, whilst we travel through these new an unknown times currently. I have read lots of the wonderful messages that you have been sent by our team and have seen the video message from Lynne at P2B too. There are so many good ideas and positive thoughts there to draw on, I hope you have found them as beneficial as I have.
I was looking over lots of the learning materials that we have on supporting our wellbeing, and particularly on the theme of ‘kindness’. Of course there is so much out there. Sometimes the internet and social media can seem to barrage you with ideas, almost to the point that it overwhelms. I am conscious that, as always, I don’t want to do that. Instead, I would like to just provide you on some of my reflections and ideas for when and if you need them. There is never an obligation to access these resources. Maybe just look at them as your reserve toolkit, that you can come to as and when you need it!
What I am sharing with you here comes from some documents that the City of Edinburgh Psychological Services team put together for families, to support wellbeing. I have tried to condense this information, so that it is easy for you to access, and contains the most important points. I have also included some online resources that I have specifically chosen because I think they are easy to access and do when you need them and don’t have the energy to sift through things!
I hope that families find this information useful when it is needed, and am very happy for you to let me know if there is something else you would like me to address.
Have a great day, be kind to yourselves and those around you, remember that you have a big team around you and we are all in this together. 🙂
Miss R x
Kindness and Compassion:
At times when many people are feeling anxious and uncertain, it is important to try to increase our levels of kindness and compassion, towards ourselves and other people. While everyone is at home for a long period, relationships can become strained and taking the pressure off yourself and others can be supportive. If things are not going to plan, take a break and do something relaxing. Allow children to do the same and be kind to yourself if everything falls apart for a bit. It will happen to us all.
Why is it important to be kind to ourselves?
- If we are kind to ourselves it is easier to be kind to others
- We are more able to cope with stress and anxiety
- We are modelling to our children how to be self-compassionate
- We are more likely to experience emotional warmth for our children
Why is it important to be kind to others?
- This is linked to feeling happier and improving well-being
- It helps social connection among adults and children
- It promotes positive parenting by improving parent/carer-child relationships
- It buffers against the negative impact of stress
We always say, ‘if only I had more time’. We do now. This is the time to try and do things a bit differently. We can slow down a bit, have family meals, take up mindfulness, read more. It is important for adults to try and find the positives in what is a very difficult situation and try to ‘grow’ these. If we can get something positive out of the situation, we feel like we have achieved, and we feel better. This will translate to our children as they will pick up on our emotional states. Our mindset will also influence the way that we support our children, while modelling how to approach difficult situations and subsequently develop their own resilience.
How do we try to adopt a positive mindset?
- Start the day with a positive statement or plan
- Focus on the good things, however small
- Change negative self-talk into positive self-talk
- Listen to positive friends, family or co-workers when seeking advice
- Accept the changes to your life and recognise what you can and are doing to manage
Some Useful online resources to Support Wellbeing:
When things are feeling very difficult it can make a big difference to speak to someone about the problem. This could be trusted friends or family. There is a great phone line for parents/carers, if you need it: Edinburgh Together Parentline (for support and advice):08000 282233
Yoga and Mindfulness Videos: https://www.aloyoga.com/pages/alo-gives
Childline: Calmzone (Lots of activities, videos and ideas to help calm us down, let go of anxiety and stress, and to get support when we need it. https://www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/calm-zone/
Cosmic Kids: Yoga and mindfulness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JD2b1g7nro
Six Different Types of Grounding Exercises for Anxiety and Intense Emotions http://www.tothegrowlery.com/blog/2017/4/18/six-different-types-of-grounding-exercises-for-anxiety-intense-emotions
Young Minds: What is a panic attack and how to help someone if they are having a panic attack? https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/how-you-can-help-someone-having-a-panic-attack/
Advice from the British Psychological Society: How To Talk to Children About the Coronavirus https://www.bps.org.uk/sites/www.bps.org.uk/files/Policy/Policy%20-%20Files/Talking%20to%20children%20about%20coronavirus.pdf
Ways to work with your child to regulate their feelings, if they are stressed, overwhelmed and need emotional support. These techniques can have a positive impact for adults as much as children: https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/47.1_Session2-CoRegulation-Techniques.pdf
Make a Worry Box: https://practicalkatie.com/2011/10/11/the-worry-box/