At The Toby Henderson Trust, the children and young people and their families have always come first. Never would we have envisaged closing because of a global pandemic and something which is causing so much uncertainty and such an unsettled feeling. Imagine how that is for our kids and how they must be feeling.
Therefore, staff at TTHT have been thinking of some creative ways in which we can still support you all…but from a distance.
This page will include some useful resources and videos which we hope you will find helpful during this unprecedented time
Please keep your eyes peeled for more information and more support as and when we have it. We are working very hard to get everything together as quickly as possible
This might be a useful social story to use with your child
- Some useful self help techniques to reduce anxiety
- Some handy tips to help your young person and make them feel a bit better in these uncertain times
- Its equally important to look after our superstar siblings during this time
Some self-care tips for families from our family support worker
It’s a really difficult time, so we thought we’d put together some tips and support for you and your family during this time of uncertainty. Coronavirus is something that we can’t control, therefore if we can control how we are feeling and make healthy choices, it gives us our control back.
For our children:
- Try and maintain some sort of routine: This will allow everyone to be able to manage their expectations of what might happen day to day. If your child is out of school, put together a loose timetable of activities. It can include some school work, which the school will have set (e.g. some maths or English work) as well as physical activities (Joe Wicks – The Body Coach – is doing a live P.E lesson every day at 9am; there are also some kids dance/Zumba classes on Youtube/Facebook, and kids yoga, and of course you can play some sports inside or in the garden, or go for a family walk around your local area, if you are able to socially distance during this). Also include some creative tasks, such as colouring, baking, reading, crafts or fun quizzes. Also timetable in some free time, where children can do what they like and maybe some electronics time.
- Make a jobs list too, where each day, your child can choose a job around the house or garden to help you and make it fun! They could even help you prep lunch or dinner.
- Give children/adolescents age-appropriate information. If they have questions, you can answer them in a way that informs, but doesn’t instil fear. You could also use social stories and visual aids, such as the resources we sent out (if you need these again, please do get in touch).
- The way that we act can have an impact on our children; if you stay as informed and calm as possible, this will allow our children to feel calm during an uncertain time.
What about you?
- Don’t forget about yourself – make time for yourself whilst all of this is going on. Do activities that you enjoy whilst being indoors. If you are feeling anxious, try to meditate using apps like Headspace or Calm, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, take time to breathe (have a look at Box Breathing, which is great for anxiety, and can be used by adults and children) and you could also write down how you’re feeling each day using a journal, or even writing it down in your phone. It can feel quite therapeutic being able to write things down, close the book and get your worries onto paper instead of swirling around your brain.
- Remember, it is okay to feel anxious, sad, scared etc. Make sure you don’t push these feelings away, or they can often mount up and get worse. Accept that it’s okay to feel those emotions and work on feeling better if you can.
- Keep your body moving – exercise can have a huge positive impact on mental health. Whether it be yoga (have a look at Yoga by Adrienne on Youtube), a high intensity workout (Joe Wicks on Youtube, or through your smart speaker) or just simply going for a walk or pottering about in the garden. Do what suits you and what you enjoy.
- Try to stay away from all of the news stories on social media – it’s hard to stop once you’re scrolling, but it’s best to just keep informed via the daily government’s broadcast, so that you know the facts and aren’t fuelled by others’ anxiety.
- Use social media positively! Lots of celebrities and people are creating hashtags where there are lots of positive stories and things happening. There are also musicians and DJs doing live music on Instagram Stories, so you can have a sing and dance in your living room!
- If you feel particularly anxious, or your mental health is seriously being affected, you could still access counselling or psychotherapy – many therapists can work remotely from home (if they are well), via secure video chat or telephone. Have a look at the Counselling Directory, or speak to your GP if you are able to.
- Keep checking in and communicating with loved ones – use FaceTime or WhatsApp to video message, or apps such as Google Hangout or House Party. It’s so important to keep connected to others during this time, as you are not alone.
This is an excellent ‘school closure toolkit’ visual resources for you to use with your child. It includes ideas for you to do at home which you can cut out and put on a visual timetable. It also has printable choice boards, reward/ token boards, first/then boards and activity schedule https://l.ead.me/bbTE3n?fbclid=IwAR39U6dk5u9cUNvm4xWf9zkAEKm1_J3sx_OQyuLSuqpMSJ3QN-XVzy-R2vY