Author: Julie Wales, Cheltenham, 20 March 2020 
I help people with a variety of issues from coping with child disability, a caring role, stress, anxiety, low confidence, relationship issues and more. 
In light of the current Coronavirus situation, I am offering Zoom and WhatsApp Video calls for people needing counselling support for anxiety, depression, stress and anything that is affecting your daily life. 
Here are some tips on developing some positive steps to improve your wellbeing whilst being at home in the event of self-isolation... 
Be Kind to Yourself. Encourage rather than criticise yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend in the same situation. 
Exercise at home by using your stairs, yoga stretches, chair yoga. 
Get out in your garden or outside space (if the weather allows!) for some fresh air. 
Eat regular meals especially breakfast and drink plenty, which will fuel you for the day. Try cooking new recipes with the food you have available. 
Take up a new hobby or interest such as painting, drawing, colouring in book, knitting, sewing, arts and crafts. 
Self- care activities such as reading, word/number puzzles or mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety, Mindful Breathing or use a Mobile Phone Apps such as Mindshift, Calm, Headspace. 
We are creatures of habit. Get into a regular and healthy sleep routine including going to bed and up at the same time each day, as if you were in a work routine. 
Connect with friends and family using Facetime/ WhatsApp video calls. Can you ring an elderly relative or neighbour to check on their wellbeing? 
See the bigger picture: This will not last forever, life will return to normal. What can you do right now that will help most? Can you set up a bucket list of future things to look forward to when life returns to normal? 
Accepting: “It is as it is”. We tend to fight against distressing thoughts and feelings, but we can learn to just notice them and let them go. Some situations we just can’t change. We can surf those waves rather than try to stop them. 
Some ideas to try to help your child with special needs manage their anxiety and changes in their routine: 
Use a Visual Schedule to display day or week ahead. 
Talk about what is happening and explain in basic language using your families means of communication, e.g. Pictures, look at specialist communication pecs symbols and info leaflets online to explain coronavirus. Explain about washing hands 
Try Special Yoga stretches at home together with your child to aid relaxation for you both. 
Watch TV/Movies wearing your pyjamas together. Dance around the house to your favourite Music. 
Camp out in your garden or build an indoor den using blankets, etc. 
Lay down using a weighted blanket. 
Use a special clock or Mobile Phone Timer to countdown end of computer time or task. 
Self-Care really boosts our own mental health and self-esteem. When we take time to care for ourselves, we can: 
1. Lower stress levels. 
2. Teach our children to value their health and wellbeing. 
3. Be better, healthier, calmer parents. Parenting can be tough. It’s okay to ask for help. 
If you'd like to learn more, phone Julie Wales on 07412 651 894 for a chat anytime. 
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