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Children's well being and mental health

There are times when we all feel the strain. As parents and carers, there are ways we can support children and young people to give them the best chance to stay mentally healthy.

Some children and young people have enjoyed being off school, while others will have really struggled – with the coronavirus outbreak keeping them at home and away from friends. Others may be coming to terms with family problems, loss or changes to their living situation.

With nationwide and local restrictions being regularly reviewed, they may also have to deal with self-isolating because of an outbreak in school or another period of school closure, or have worries about getting or passing on the virus. It's still uncertain what further changes we all may face.

Feelings like these will gradually ease for most, but there are always steps you can take to support them emotionally and help them cope with problems they face.

There's support available if you feel you or they need it.

 

 Here are some more great ideas of things to do outdoors

 

 Take a walk in green space, such as a local park

 

 Get creative. Draw or paint animals or nature scenes, or let them inspire a poem

or song lyrics. If you enjoy writing in a journal, try doing this outside.

 

 Eat meals outdoors. Have a picnic in a local park, or simply sit in a garden. This

might be something you could enjoy doing with other people.

 

 Watch the stars. Use a stargazing website, app or book to help you recognise

different stars, or simply enjoy looking at the night sky. Give your eyes time to

adjust, as it can take about 20 minutes before you can fully see stars in the dark.

 

 Try exercising outside. Run or jog through a local park, or do yoga outdoors. You

could try it by yourself, or look for classes in your local area.

 

 Join a local walking or rambling group. (See the Walking For Health, Let's Walk

Cymru and Ramblers websites for more information.)

 

 Follow a woodland trail. (See the Forestry Commission England and Natural

Resources Wales (Cyfoeth Naturiol) websites to look for woodland near you.)

 

 Go beachcombing. Visit the seaside and search the shoreline for interesting things.

 

 Try geocaching. Geocaching involves looking for items in hidden outdoor locations,

using a device such as a mobile phone or tablet. (The National Trust website has

more information on geocaching.)

 

 Be mindful in nature. Find things to see, hear, taste, smell and touch, like grass

under your feet or the feeling of wind and sunlight. You could also listen to

recordings of mindfulness exercises.

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