Be kind to yourself during lockdown

Be kind to yourself during lockdown

Be kind to yourself during lockdown

The lockdown can really take its toll on people in so many ways with a range of emotional, physical and financial stresses.

We’re continuously bombarded with news and politics from the UK and around the world which can create a very negative impact on our wellbeing. Combine this with the stress of trying to work in a different environment away from your usual workplace, having to home school children, being away from family and friends as well as the lack of physical exercise, can make you feel very low.

It’s therefore critical that we take care of ourselves during this period and are kind to ourselves.

Here are some small but manageable suggestions we believe can make a big difference to your wellbeing during these challenging times:

Get some fresh air

  • Even if it is simply standing outside your front door or on a balcony to take a break from your screen.
  • If it’s possible to go for a walk or a run, try and get outside and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.

Keep talking

  • Isolation has been identified as a major problem during the lockdown so it’s important to keep talking. We’re so used to chatting to colleagues in the workplace whilst making coffee, during meetings, at lunchtimes and all if this has suddenly stopped.
  • Make an effort to set up video chats and phone calls to keep you motivated and focussed.

Plan your day 

  • Having a structure to your day is crucial.
  • Plan your day around what works best for you, if you’re most productive in the morning, then work that into your daily structure.
  • Remember to take set yourself realistic and achievable tasks and take plenty of breaks.

Take time off

  • Read a book or take a bath, have a coffee break, just anything that is not focussed on work or the news so you can switch off for a little while.
  • Take time to work out, whether that’s yoga, a run or some online Zumba!

Being kind to yourself will help you cope much better with these challenging times as well as come out stronger in the long term. Use the time to discover new things about yourself, find new interests and take pleasure in the small things in life.

Preparing to return to school

Preparing to return to school

Preparing to return to school

There’s so much discussion and speculation about the return to school and how this will be managed.

The impact of the past couple of months on pupils and staff is significant and this needs to be considered as we prepare to return to school.

Taking the time to prepare and consider your approach as things begin to return to some sort of normality will help everyone manage the return more effectively and help ease both pupils and staff back into life.

Support for staff 

This does not stop at general staff in schools but extends to everyone. Headteachers and principals have been under huge additional pressure throughout this time and are not robots. They face the same additional challenges and more and more stress. We must acknowledge support needed and think now about how this will be managed through this period of lockdown and also when we return to school

Relationships 

So many of us will have fantastic relationships with children and families and these will have had to be altered over the months of lockdown. It will take time to rebuild these so allow that time and don’t be hard on yourself when it doesn’t all ‘get back to normal’ immediately.

Re-establishing routines 

We know how important routine and structure is and how this will have been missing for many young people and their families during this time. Adapting back to school life with the routine of bed times and alarm clocks will be something of a distant memory to some. What can we do to encourage routines and structure in preparation for returning to school as well as to maintain a positive and healthy emotional health and wellbeing.

Different home schooling experiences  

Some children will have had a full on home schooling experience, some will have done absolutely no home learning and then most will have had some. There will also be differing ways in which they will have experienced home learning and some will have easy access to resources and technology and some will not.

Difference between those who have been on site and those who have not 

Many children attending school will be those from families with a key worker and they are likely to feel worried and anxious about that person in their family. Sadly there will be children who have experienced loss and bereavement during this time.

Safeguarding

Sadly there will have been safeguarding issues throughout this time that we are both aware of or not. There has been an increase in domestic abuse incidents and unfortunately there will have been an increase in child abuse. We know this and are therefore able to plan and put necessary support in place. Think about the additional pressure this will put on the safeguarding teams within schools and plan for additional support from other key staff such as senior leadership team, heads of year, pastoral staff, form tutors etc.

Transitions 

Saying goodbye, proms, exams, moving schools…….. all things affected by this time. So many schools work so hard to ensure smooth transitions and support children with changes in their lives. Recognise this time has altered this and it will impact us all.

Staying Safe Online

Staying Safe Online

Staying Safe Online

Staying at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives means we are spending more time online.

This means we must all be extra vigilant, follow good security practice and make sure our children are safe too. It’s also important that we check the facts behind what we read and remember to take regular breaks.

Spending time online can be very beneficial for children, particularly at the moment, but we recognise that many parents may worry about online safety.

To help you stay safe:

Make use of parental controls

If you have downloaded new apps or bought new devices like web cams or tablets, remember to adjust the privacy and security settings to suit you.

Have a conversation with your child about staying safe online

  • Most children have a positive experience online, accessing educational resources and entertainment and connecting with friends and family.
  • Encourage your child to speak to you or a trusted adult if they come across content that makes them uncomfortable.

Check your security and privacy settings

  • Adjust privacy and safety settings to increase security and control the personal data you share. Look for the ‘privacy and security’ or ‘settings’ on the app or website.

Block unsuitable content

  • It is important to understand the website or app you are using and how they do things – find out in their terms and conditions.

Protect against Fraud

  • Criminals will use every opportunity they can to scam innocent people. Beware of fraud and scams online including COVID-19 related phishing emails and text messages.
  • Do not give out your personal information to websites or in response to emails/text messages you do not recognise or trust.

Take a break

  • It is easy to feel overwhelmed with information at this time. 24-hour news and constant social media updates can make you more worried.
  • It’s important to take a step back and think about how this is affecting you. If it is, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to coverage of the outbreak.
  • Check in at set times or a few times a day. There are a range of tools available to help you manage screen time.

Take regular breaks from your screens. Remember you are allowed to leave your house for one form of exercise a day – alone or with members of your household. Use this time to switch off from your online devices.