22nd June 2020
We are on the countdown to the Summer Holidays.
As our focus this week is Wellness I have added some good websites with activities for both parents and children. It is important that we continue to look after ourselves as we look forward to the summer holidays and the continued lifting of restrictions.
I hope you find some of this useful, it can be used any time, not just for Covid-19.
As always, call or text me if you need help with anything and I will try to help you as best as I can.
Stay safe and remember to wash your hands and keep your distance.
Maeve (HSCL) 089 4729461
Here are some Top Tips:
- Go for a walk
- Take photographs in Nature
- Go for a picnic
- Go to the beach, Watch and listen to the waves, even dip your toes in
- Dance to your favourite music
- Practise Mindfulness
- Sit down with a nice cup of tea and quiet music to relax for 5 minutes
Relaxation Techniques and Meditation
Here is a podcast of Relaxation techniques from NEPS. It includes:
- Muscular Relaxation (Start – 4:39 mins)
- Deep Breathing Exercises (4:40 – 7:43 mins)
- Visualisation (7:44 – 11:28 mins)
- Body Focus (11:29 – 12:43 mins)
- Mindfulness Exercise (12:44 – 14:13 mins)
- Stretch (14:15 – end)
You can listen to it all or select the technique most suitable to you using the guide above.
5 Minute Meditation – Remember you are important so make some time for yourself
This website has lots of activities for looking after your Heart, Body and Mind. Lots of activities for families to do together and scroll down to the end for the Parents Section.
Anxiety Advice for Parents
Here is a link to a great document that gives advice on helping your child with anxiety and the benefit of being aware of and changing our thoughts.
Returning to School:
Here is a pdf for children who may be very anxious about going back to school. It is a story based on Harry the Hound and it shows how going back to school can be broken down into small steps to lessen the anxiety for your child.
There are also worksheets at the end which will be very useful for use with your child including
- My Return to School Action Plan
- My Feelings Page
- My Anxiety Safety Plan
- Grounding Technique
- Jam Jar Activity
- Positive Affirmations Activity
- An Anxiety Feelings Thermometer
- A page on what I can do to feel less anxious
- Lots more websites with ideas and activities
HSE 24/7 text service
Text 50808 is a free 24/7 text service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis.
When you text you will be connected with a trained volunteer who will chat to you and link you with supports that are available online, by phone and text to mental health resources for those who might be struggling at this time.
Text your message to 50808
HSE Mental Health Website
This website has lots of links to activities for a variety of mental health issues. Click on the link of the one that applies to you or someone in your family.
There are also suggestions of how to look after your mental health, including tips on sleep problems, and ways to support friends or family who may need it.
A Helpdesk for Vulnerable People in Cabra who are unable to leave their house
If you can’t leave your house due to illness, medical needs or not having someone to mind your child when you go out etc. you can call or email the details below to get what you need.
TELEPHONE: (01) 2228 555 | EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helpful Comics if your child needs to be tested for Covid-19
Covid-19 can be scary for children, especially if they display symptoms and have to go and get tested. Here is a very good comic strip explaining what will happen if you have to bring your child to a Test Centre to get tested for Covid-19.
You can read this with them before you go and it will help them to understand may ease their fears
If you are walking to a test centre:
If you are going to the test centre in the car:
Updated Local & Nationwide Support Services
Here are some updated contact details for people in Cabra.
Look through the list to find the correct service. The table explains what each services does. Simply contact the service you need should you or anyone in your family need to talk to someone during this time of uncertainty.
Here is a summary of the main tips and guidelines from the experts:
- Keep a normal daily routine going in as far as possible, even though you are at home. Continue to go to bed and get up at a regular time, do some school activities recommended each day as this will help. (See below for a sample daily routine)
- Get some fresh air daily. Just remember to keep to your family group, distance yourself from others and avoid playgrounds. (See below for some simple outdoor activities)
- Limit time spent on social media. We all need to keep up to date with advice but try to limit the amount of times you check in to once or twice a day, in the morning and the evening. This will help our mental health and reduce potential panic and anxiety.
- Get information from reputable websites. www.hse.ie , www.gov.ie , www.education.ie , www.rte.ie/news/
- Remember to practise good hand hygiene. See links below in talking to your child about Covid-19
- Stay Connected. Link in with family and friends daily through calls and texts to check in, keep in touch and lessen the feelings of isolation
Keeping a daily routine is important for ourselves and our mental health.
Each day should involve:
- Some exercise
- Some school work/ activities recommended by the school
- Some fresh air (where possible)
- Some leisure time: e.g. reading, computer games, phone calls to friends and other family members
- Include your child in cooking and chores as there is learning here and a great opportunity to cook healthy meals together
Here is a sample daily timetable you could use and adapt:
|Before 9am||Wake Up||Get up, get dressed, make your bed, have breakfast|
|9am-10:45||Academic Time||Complete some activity suggested from the school website (e.g. Maths, Gaelige)|
|10:45-11:30||Break/ exercise||Have a snack and do some indoor activity (yoga, jumping jacks, Go Noodle)|
|11.30 – 12:30||Creative Time / Baking||Do an art activity, some construction using lego, drawing, making up a dance, use a suggested activity from the school website|
|12:30 -1:30||Lunch||Children help with the lunch preparation and then eat together|
|1:30-2:30||Academic Time||Complete another activity suggested on the school website (e.g. English, project work)|
|2:30- 3:30||Outside activity for some fresh air||Go for a walk, cycle, play in the garden (see list below)|
|3:30 – 4:00||Chores||Select a daily chore to be completed (tidying toys, cleaning bedroom)|
|4:00- 5:00||Individual Time||Read, solve crosswords, make a wordsearch, listen to music, phone friends|
|5:00 – 6:30||Dinner||Children help prepare dinner and then eat together, Clear the table and wash up|
|6:30 – 7:30||Free Time||Watch tv, watch a movie, contact other family members/friends|
|7:30 – 8:30||Bedtime Preparation||Clean up any toys, get into pjs, brush teeth, read a story, bedtime|
Simple outdoor activities
When you go outside with your family here are some things you can do. Just remember to keep your distance from others and avoid the playground.
- Walk, cycle, scoot, run around the local area
- Have races between family members
- Play ‘I Spy’ as you walk in the park, local area
- Play chasing
- Bring a ball and kick it around to each other or play games such as Donkey or Piggy in the middle
- Fly a kite
- Complete a scavenger hunt https://www.pinterest.com/pin/420805158906930416/
- Plant some seeds in the garden
People to contact
We know that it can be challenging, worrying time being at home at the moment so if you need to talk to someone during the coming days for some further advice here are some free, confidential numbers you can call/email:
- Parentline: 1890 927277 or 01 8733500 www.parentline.ie
- National Parents Council Helpline: 01887477 email@example.com http://www.npc.ie/helpline-information/helpline-details
- Crisis Text Line Ireland: Text TALK to 086 1800 280 any time, day or night
- Cypsc have compiled a directory of local services in each area, follow the link to find many services: https://www.dublincypscdirectory.ie/parent-family
- Parenting 24/7 Website: https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/
- The HSCL phone will also be on daily Mon – Fri 9am -2:30pm. You can text, what’s app or call with any questions. 089 4729461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking to your child about Covid-19
The following link has important information on:
- Where to find information
- Hand hygiene
- How to talk to your child about Covid-19
- Some support services available
- ‘Cypsc Wellbeing Resources’
The following link is a video teaching your children how to wash their hands properly: Hand washing for children
Minding your mental health
The spread of Coronavirus can be a worrying time for ourselves and our children and as a result may affect our mental health.
It is important that we look after ourselves and follow advice but also remember that scientists and healthcare experts around the world are working around the clock to keep us safe, contain the virus and come up with a solution.
It is important to remind our children of this too as they may also be experiencing increased anxiety.
The HSE is encouraging us to remember that although life is changing at the moment this outbreak will pass.
Here are some ways your mental health may be affected:
- increased anxiety
- feeling stressed
- finding yourself excessively checking for symptoms, in yourself, or others
- becoming irritable more easily
- feeling insecure or unsettled
- fearing that normal aches and pains might be the virus
- having trouble sleeping
- feeling helpless or a lack of control
- having irrational thoughts
The HSE recommend the following 6 things so we can mind our mental health:
- Stay informed but set limits for news and social media: Constant news updates can make you feel worried. People on social media can talk about their worries which may increase your anxiety. Limit the amount of time you spend on social media to reduce your anxiety. Take information from trusted sources (hse.ie, rte.ie/news) to have accurate facts and avoid rumours.
- Keep up your healthy routines: Even though your routine is affected make sure to keep structure to you day. Pay attention to how you feel. Here are some ideas of how to relax and reduce stress:
- Stay Connected to others: Friends and family are a good source of support. Use email, social media, video calls, phone calls to stay social. Talking to other can lessen anxiety and worries
- Talking to children and young people: Involve them in making plans so they understand why and are not overly worried. Give them time to talk about how they are feeling. Share facts with them that are appropriate to their age. Limit their time on social media as it will increase their anxiety
- Support each other: It is normal to feel overwhelmed. Acknowledge your feelings and talk with and listen to others about our feelings. Look after your physical and mental health
- Don’t make assumptions: Don’t judge others. We are all in this together
The HSE have put together a list of services who offer support during this time:
Click on the following links or see the list of services below
- For more information: https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html
Mental Health Services
- GROW Mental Health Recovery
- Freephone 116 123 any time, day or night
- Email email@example.com
- Pieta House
- Freephone 1800 247 247 any time, day or night
- Text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply)
- Telephone appointments will be provided to replace face to face appointments – contact your local Pieta House for details
- Visit www.turn2me.org for peer support online, online support groups and counselling online
- Crisis Text Line Ireland
- Text TALK to 086 1800 280 any time, day or night
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for counselling support
- While face to face services are suspended, Shine staff will be available to offer remote support and an outreach service to people who use Shine services by phone and email.
- While face to face services are closed, information, referral and advice will be provided digitally, by email, SMS, phone call or video conference.
- Contact BeLonGTo for more information.
- LGBT Ireland
- LGBT Helpline 1890 929 539
- Gender Identity Family Support Line 01 907 3707
- Email email@example.com for support or information while face to face services are closed
- Visit Jigsaw Online while Jigsaw centres are closed – for mental health information for young people, their parents and guardians, and those who work with young people
- Mental Health Ireland
- Information line (01) 284 1166 available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Email email@example.com for information or support, while all face to face and helpline services are currently suspended. Online support groups continue as normal.
- Childline (under 18s)
- Freephone 1800 666 666 any time, day or night
- Text 50101 from 10am to 4pm every day
- Chat online at www.childline.ie from 10am to 4pm every day