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How to Help Children Cope with Covid-19 and Isolation

The Covid-19 pandemic has left many battling with anxiety, stress and depression. Children especially have faced a hard time because they don’t understand why they have to stay at home and not play out with their peers. With a second intense lockdown looming, it is important to help children to cope during these uncertain times.

10 ways to help children cope with Covid-19 and isolation

1) Give them love and attention

Continue reassuring them and answering all questions that they may have. They will ask many questions about the pandemic and it’s your duty to answer them all accurately and in a way that they can understand.

2) Make opportunities for them to play and relax

Provide numerous playful and relaxing activities indoors in cases of isolation and take them out to play and get some fresh air as long as they can keep the distancing rules.

3) Keep regular routines and schedules

Keeping a regular familiar routine pattern even in lockdown will help calm children and reduce anxiety levels. They won’t feel like a lot of changes are happening too quickly.

4) Keep them close to their parents/care givers

It’s the time that parents and care givers should get even more close to their children. Constantly reassuring them now is very important. In cases where hospitalisation takes place, keep in close contact through the phone. It’s important for your child to continue hearing your reassuring voice.

5) Learn to fully explain what’s going on

Explaining about the pandemic to them especially in a way that they can fully understand is called for now. This will help them know what the world is dealing with and will give them a sense of responsibility in staying safe and keeping others safe.

6) Be a role model

Actions speak louder than words. Your children are constantly copying what you do with or without your knowledge. Take breaks, sleep well, eat well and exercise.

7) Spend time with your children

Spending time with your children and doing meaningful activities with them will help them to stay calm.

8) Teach them how to stay safe

Constantly teaching your children how to stay safe during this pandemic is vital. Show them how to wash their hands properly, how to cover their mouths when sneezing, social distancing and if they are old enough, how wear masks to protect themselves and others.

9) Remind them about the rules and regulations

All these rules must be overwhelming for little minds. Constantly remind them that the rules are only there to keep them safe and they won’t last forever.

10) Keep them in close contact with family and friends via telephone

It’s tough enough that they can not see their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends etc for unprecedented periods of time. Hearing their voices through the phone or seeing them on FaceTime or Zoom can make them feel much better.

Last but not least, stay safe and don’t suffer with depression or anxiety alone. There are many numbers and emails that you can call or write to for help of whatsoever kind. I will list them below.

A to Z

Anxiety UK

Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)

Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

Bipolar UK

A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.

Website: www.bipolaruk.org.uk

CALM

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Men’s Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.

Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Mental Health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Website: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Mind

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Website: www.mind.org.uk

No Panic

Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.

Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge

Website: www.nopanic.org.uk

OCD Action

Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.

Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge

Website: www.ocdaction.org.uk

OCD UK

A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.

Phone: 0333 212 7890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.ocduk.org

PAPYRUS

Young suicide prevention society.

Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm, and 2pm to 5pm on weekends)

Website: www.papyrus-uk.org

Rethink Mental Illness

Support and advice for people living with mental illness.

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.rethink.org

Samaritans

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers. 

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

Website: www.sane.org.uk/support

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)

NSPCC

Children’s charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.

Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)

0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.nspcc.org.uk

Refuge

Advice on dealing with domestic violence.

Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.refuge.org.uk

Alcohol misuse

Alcoholics Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves getting sober with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0800 917 7650 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

Al-Anon

Al-Anon is a free self-help “12 step” group for anyone whose life is or has been affected by someone else’s drinking

Phone: 0800 0086 811 (daily, 10am to 10pm)

Website: https://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/

Drinkline

A free confidential helpline for people worried about their own or someone else’s drinking.

Phone: 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm)

National Association for Children of Alcoholics

National Association for Children of Alcoholics offers free confidential advice and information to everyone affected by a parent’s drinking including children, adults and professionals.

Phone: 0800 358 3456 (Friday, Saturday and Monday 12pm to 7pm and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12pm to 9pm)

Website: https://www.nacoa.org.uk/

SMART Recovery UK

SMART Recovery UK face-to-face and online groups help people decide whether they have a problem with alcohol and drugs, build up their motivation to change, and offer a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery.

Phone: 0330 053 6022 for general enquiries about SMART Recovery UK (9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday)

Website: https://smartrecovery.org.uk/

Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Society

Provides information on dementia, including factsheets and helplines.

Phone: 0300 222 1122 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and 10am to 4pm on weekends)

Website: www.alzheimers.org.uk

Bereavement

Cruse Bereavement Care

Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.cruse.org.uk

Crime victims

Rape Crisis

To find your local services phone: 0808 802 9999(daily, 12pm to 2.30pm and 7pm to 9.30pm)

Website: www.rapecrisis.org.uk

Victim Support

Phone: 0808 168 9111 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.victimsupport.org

Drug misuse

Cocaine Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves stopping using cocaine and all other mind-altering substances with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0800 612 0225 (daily, 10am to 10pm)

Website: https://cocaineanonymous.org.uk/

FRANK

Free, confidential information and advice about drugs, their effects and the law. FRANK’s live chat service runs daily from 2pm to 6pm.

Phone: 0300 1236600 (24-hour helpline)

Text a question to: 82111

Website: https://www.talktofrank.com/

Marijuana Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves stopping using marijuana with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0300 124 0373 (callback service)

Website: http://www.marijuana-anonymous.org.uk/

Narcotics Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves stopping using drugs with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily, 10am to midnight)

Website: www.ukna.org

SMART Recovery UK

SMART Recovery UK face-to-face and online groups help people decide whether they have a problem with alcohol and drugs, build up their motivation to change, and offer a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery.

Phone: 0330 053 6022 for general enquiries about SMART Recovery UK (9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday)

Website: https://smartrecovery.org.uk/

Eating disorders

Beat

Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)

Website: www.b-eat.co.uk

Gambling

Gamblers Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves stopping gambling with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0330 094 0322 (24-hour)

Website: https://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/

Gam-Anon

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme is for those affected by someone else’s gambling with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 08700 50 88 80

Website: www.gamanon.org.uk

National Gambling Helpline

Phone: 0808 8020 133 (daily, 8am to midnight)

Website: www.begambleaware.org

National Problem Gambling Clinic

A specialist NHS clinic for problem gamblers aged 13 and over.

Phone: 020 7381 7722 (callback)

Website: https://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/services/mental-health-services/addictions-and-substance-misuse/national-problem-gambling-clinic

Learning disabilities

Mencap

Charity working with people with a learning disability, their families and carers.

Phone: 0808 808 1111 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.mencap.org.uk

Parenting

Family Lives

Advice on all aspects of parenting, including dealing with bullying.

Phone: 0808 800 2222 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm)

Website: www.familylives.org.uk

Relationships

Relate

The UK’s largest provider of relationship support.

Website: www.relate.org.uk

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