Look after yourself
Kindness and compassion
At times when many people are feeling anxious and uncertain, it is important to try to increase our levels of kindness and compassion, towards ourselves and other people. While everyone is at home for a long period, relationships can become strained and taking the pressure off yourself and others can be supportive. If things are not going to plan, take a break and do something relaxing. Allow children to do the same and be kind to yourself if everything falls apart for a bit. It will happen to us all.
Why is it important to be kind to ourselves?
- If we are kind to ourselves it is easier to be kind to others
- We are more able to cope with stress and anxiety
- We are modelling to our children how to be self-compassionate
- We are more likely to experience emotional warmth for our children
Why is it important to be kind to others?
- This is linked to feeling happier and improving wellbeing
- It helps social connection among adults and children
- It promotes positive parenting by improving parent/carer-child relationships
- It buffers against the negative impact of stress
How can we be more compassionate to ourselves
- Do kind deeds for your family, friends and community
- Avoid judging others
- Practice gratitude – reflect on things in your life you appreciate and notice things that are going well
- Cut yourself some slack, forgive yourself if you think you have made mistakes and give yourself little treats and rewards
- Have realistic expectations about what you, your family or other people are able to do at this time. It is OK to feel overwhelmed and be unproductive
We always say, ‘if only I had more time’. We do now. This is the time to try and do things a bit differently. We can slow down a bit, have family meals, take up mindfulness, read more. It is important for adults to try and find the positives in what is a very difficult situation and try to ‘grow’ these. If we can get something positive out of the situation, we feel like we have achieved, and we feel better. This will translate to our children as they will pick up on our emotional states. Our mindsets will also influence the way that we support our children, while modelling how to approach difficult situations and subsequently develop their own resilience.
How do we try to adopt a positive mindset?
- Start the day with a positive statement or plan
- Focus on the good things, however small
- Change negative self-talk into positive selftalk
- Listen to positive friends, family or coworkers when seeking advice
- Accept the changes to your life and recognise what you can and are doing to manage
Further advice to help you to look after yourself
Asking for help
When things are feeling very difficult it can make a big difference to speak to someone about the problem. This could be trusted friends or family. Other contacts for help include:
- Psychological Services 0131 469 2800
- Edinburgh Together Parentline for support and advice 08000 282 233
- If you or someone in your family is unwell, further information on what to do can be found on NHS Inform