Crisis Worker Debbie shares her tips for looking after her own and her family’s wellbeing during the third national lockdown…
I found the most recent lockdown the most impactful upon myself and my family as I felt like we had been given a small taste of normality previously and then it was very much stripped away. To look after my family’s and my own mental health and wellbeing, we:
Have a routine, which is totally flexible depending on how we feel, but we have structure to the day as I find that’s important for us all.
We are accessing the support in the local community such as, for the children, Carlisle Youth Zone who are providing wonderful Zoom sessions on cooking, baking, games and loads to suit all ages and preferences. We’ve also been accessing BBC Bite Size and all the additional resources available to us for free online, including the museum tours, and learning to draw sessions…there are so many options available to try something new for everybody.
I am encouraging my family to be open and honest about the situation and to admit when they are having days where they feel ‘bleurgh…’ and, in turn, I am modelling this behaviour by being honest about what I am thinking. For example, I will say to them, ‘this situation really does suck at times doesn’t it?’ or ‘today I don’t feel as motivated as yesterday’….but then I ALWAYS follow this up with, ‘so what can we do to make the best out of it?’ From practising this way of thinking, even the children (aged eight and ten) will now find a positive in everything and it’s a useful mindset to minimise intrusive negative thoughts.
I praise my children every day for their positive attitudes and thank them for being wonderful.
I love reading, it’s my hidden passion. I have lost count of the amount of books I have read. I find reading peaceful and it takes me into a different world.
I have spent more time reaching out to family and friends and found that, as we are all experiencing similar feelings, we bounce off each other for mutual support.
We have one night a week where we join an online national quiz. Family and friends join via Zoom and we compete. This night we treat ourselves to a take-away and it’s a fun night that we look forward to.
I have started exercising, which is something I have never done. I love making myself get out of the house and genuinely feel energised after a jog. The girls even join me now.
I remind myself that we are on the final hurdle, and if my mood dips, it will make this last stretch very long. I therefore try to stay positive, hopefully the time will go quicker.
I do not hide my feelings.
I am fortunate to have my husband and I ask for help if I need it.
I have given the children more tasks to do around the house and this in turn has increased their confidence and abilities and brought on their independence. They feel proud of their achievements.
I am very fortunate that my children are happy to engage with home learning. However, on the days their motivation is questionable, we go for a walk to the river, throw stones in and even if we are only out the house for 30 minutes, the benefits mentally are extensive.
If I want to cry, I run a bath and have a good cry. I always feel better after.