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Helping Young People during Lockdown

Posted on 11th May 2020 by

We are entering week 8 of lockdown, meaning week 8 of home schooling, kids not getting out with their friends, no formal social or sporting activities or hobbies.

How are you coping? Are the kids running you ragged? Has healthy eating and exercise gone out the window completely?

Fear not, we have a few handy ideas to kick start motivations once again!

It can be hard for our bodies and routines to adjust to such a change like the current global pandemic. It’s important, especially for younger members of the family, to introduce a new routine into daily life to keep stress levels low and energy levels high. You may be facing an increased number of stressors and tensions may be riding particularly high. In spite of this, it’s helpful for family units to come together to work through their problems. Try to be mindful of how others are feeling and to be more forgiving if they need to explode, cry or simply hide away.

When we’re feeling down, we often turn to sugary foods to help give us an energy boost. However, this can have a negative effect as the sugar rush may not last long and could potentially crash lower than we were before. Its good to look for energy in carbohydrates, especially complex carbs, such as sweet potato, wholegrain breads, lentils, parsnips or butternut squash. They have a slower release to help keep energy levels higher for longer.

One way to get younger family members eating the right foods is to include them in meal planning and preparation. They’ll have a sense of achievement and is a nice break from any home schooling also. Or, you could class it as a Food Tech class… two birds with one stone.

London Sport has an exhaustive list of ways to get kids up and active at home. Current Government advice is daily exercise to help the public get fresh air during lockdown, but we don’t always want to exercise. Their list gives you extensive areas of other ways to keep fit and healthy from the comfort of your own home; whether its alongside The Nations PE teacher, Joe Wicks, or Sport Englands campaign with Disney to create fun dance routines. 

We’re often bombarded by negative messages or thoughts from tabloids and social media, so its important to look for ways to keep spirits high from all the technology we have at our disposal. Zoom quizzes have been very popular in recent weeks, and are a great way to catch up with friends of family. You can also find a whole host of online games and entertainment which loved ones can participate in with you across the internet. They’ll introduce enjoyment and pleasure back to this ‘new normal’ and give younger people another element to a daily routine.

Here’s some great ideas:

Weird & wonderful ways to get through lockdown

Free online, boredom-busting resources!

Don’t forget yourself too!

But, lockdown isn’t always about looking after others before yourself. You still need to make time for you. Listen to a podcast, read a book, enjoy the sun; make time for yourself to relax and reflect on the current situation. Self care is so important in order to look after others. Some of the our favourite podcasts are:

Happy Place – Fearne Cotton

Food for Thought – Rhiannon Lambert

Run Pod – Jenni Falconer

That Peter Crouch Podcast – BBC Sounds

Give me Strength – Alice Living

Castaway – Laura Whitmore

When thinking about your current situation it’s helpful to:

  1. Acknowledge and accept that this is how things are at the moment (this is your new ‘normal’ and you can’t push it away or make it disappear). Think about what’s in your control and what is outside of your control.
  2. Find a way to allow yourself to feel all the things that this new normal brings up (it’s OK to feel cross, frustrated, sad, angry and any other associated emotion).
  3. Find ways to do your best within the situation (are there any positives for example, are you getting to do anything which you wouldn’t normally be able to do?).
  4. Stay in the moment rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future. We will be thinking more about this process in the next Step.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a sense of normality soon be connect with loved ones properly. There are of course, further online guides on how to cope during lockdown. Support wesbites such as Mind, Family Lives and Young Minds are charities that offer support, knowledge and advice so if you are struggling, please speak to someone. 



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