22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110

Healthy, active and happy -while practicing social distancing.

Living through a pandemic can be a stressful and anxiety filled time. It is critical that you look after yourself and your loved ones physically, and most importantly, mentally.

  • Get solid sleep – switch off all devices and maximise your quality sleep
  • Go for a walk, run or ride – you can still exercise each day, with a maximum of one other human not from your household. Make sure you get your endorphines going!
  • Routine – keep a form of routine. It could be participating in an online yoga class in the morning, or reading a chapter of your favourite book before a few daily chores and then kicking off your work and study.
  • Music is a great mood maker, so have it playing all day. Play music in your kitchen in the morning to set the tone of your day, and mix things up through the day with some great playlists you may not have enjoyed before. We love Always Perfect or Morning Motivation on Spotify.
  • Eat well – make sure you eat healthy, get as many vitamins into your meal as possible each day. The extra time at home could reignite or fuel a passion for cooking. Check out some great online recipes or consider a food subscription service such as Hello Fresh or Marley Spoon to give you inspiration.
  • Once you’ve feed your body, fuel your creativity.

Our HR Manager Rosanna has shared some great tips with our team who are juggling the end of school term home schooling and working from home.

1. Create a schedule

· Sit down with your child / children each morning and make a schedule of what the day is going to look like. If your child is young – use pictures and drawings so that they can visualise the plans for the day. Try to incorporate their usual day care routine with the working day. You may wish to collaborate with your kids to make a schedule. For example, first have breakfast, followed by LEGOs or drawing time.

· During the school term, older children will have work scheduled for them by their schools and classes are normally scheduled into 30 or 45 minute block periods. Check in with them each morning so you are aware of their daily schedule and allocated tasks.

· For younger children, make sure your child’s schedule matches what they need to do in the day. If you have a Zoom meeting or phone call scheduled at 10.00am maybe that’s a good time to put on their favourite TV show and fruit break for example.

2. Get up and move

· It’s helpful to mix in gross motor movement and quiet time. Follow physical activities such as dance practice with enrichment activities.

· Take breaks and use this time to walk around the house or garden with your children.

3. Schedule time to be with your kids

· Even if the family is in the same house together all day, that doesn’t mean kids are getting the level of interaction they crave from adults.

· Schedule time for the child/children with you. Maybe that’s preparing lunch together.

· Why not let them join in on Tai Chi Thursday for some fun downtime.

4. Embrace technology

· Children are social and there are many technological tools that will allow them to keep in touch such as facetime with their friends or grandparents.

· Call family such as grandparents and ask them to read a book to your child if younger.

· Most parents like to limit screen time but cut yourself some slack. In these extenuating circumstances allow them to use technology to stay connected or play games in short intervals.

5. If your child has special needs, reach out to their school

· Children with special needs, particularly a disability such as autism, will especially benefit from predictability at home.

· Special education in schools provide a level of structure that help kids on the spectrum thrive so it could be beneficial to consult with special education specialists to ask for strategies that could be adapted at home.

6. Be mindful of how you talk to children about COVID-19

· How you say things is just as important as the actual words you use. Children respond to nonverbal language just as much.

· Before you start talking, take a deep breath and calm down. Talk in a way that is factual and not panicky.

· Also remember that children are listening even when you are not talking to them. Be care not to tell them everything is fine but then have conversations with friends or family that they may hear in which you discuss worrying new developments.

· Provide them with age-appropriate information. Start with asking your child what they understand about what is happening. Their answers may help guide you in the terms they use. Maybe they are aware of misleading information you can correct.

· Monitor what they are being exposed to on TV and the internet. Point them to more reliable information and be honest about what you do and don’t know where appropriate.

4. Look out for signs of anxiety

· Check in with them and ask them if they are ok. Sometimes children can show signs of anxiety by changes of normal behaviour.

· Be patient if they are irritable or have more temper tantrums. Instead of getting angry, upset or annoyed with them, take a breath and ask what is on their mind.

· Seek support by contacting Beyond Blue if signs persist.

4. Look out for silver linings

· Although it may seem difficult to see the benefits of social distancing and such disruption to everyday lives – at least right now there are some.

· Appreciate the benefits of spending more time with the family in a safe place. You will look back at this time and know that you got through something difficult together.

· The experience can also teach children how to deal with disappointment and be more flexible, which is a vital life skill and one that, as parents, you can model as you work to get through this too.

· Don’t forget about the resources below, which I shared with you yesterday:

KID ACTIVITIES – MAKING A TIME CAPSULE

These Printable Worksheets Help Your Kids Make a Quarantine Time Capsule

ABC TV SHOW

https://www.abc.net.au/abckids/shows/play-school/covid-19/12114308

Do you have any tips or ideas you can share? Please contact me and we could include these in our regular staff updates.

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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400