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Psychotherapist Shelley Smith offers support for parents and teachers in lockdown

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Psychologist Shelley Smith, founder of Sunrise Wellbeing

As part of our Fly with Tiny Owl series, we were lucky enough to speak to Shelley Smith, psychotherapist and founder of Sunrise Wellbeing in Leicester, about coping at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. With school, library, and bookshop closures, and the inevitable challenges facing the whole community over the next few months, we want to make it as easy as possible for families stuck at home. Shelley has kindly sent us some free resources for you to download. Watch her interview with publishing assistant, Sorca Davis below too!

Shelley’s suggestions for coping with lockdown

  • Be open and honest with children, in an age appropriate way
  • All feelings are valid – it’s not about removing the negative, but recognising how your body feels when you’re anxious, angry, or upset
  • Books such as Felix After the Rain, Dare and When I Coloured in the World, which encourage you to open up about your feelings, are especially important at the moment
  • Although this time is difficult, it’s important not to isolate yourself – speak to friends, family, and other parents
  • Keeping school, work, and home life separate can be helpful. This could be as simple as putting a blanket over your work books once you’ve finished for the day!
  • Something like a ‘bored box’ – full of supplies such as colouring, journals, jigsaws, and books – is great for children who want more independence, and can relieve pressure on parents
  • Add safe spaces to your home to promote relaxation, such as giving a child their own movable cushion which they can sit on to feel calm and relax

Activities free to download

More general resources

  • Government guidelines for children’s mental health during the pandemic
  • Emotional literacy support with lots of free resources from ELSA support
  • Yoga and mindfulness with Cosmic Kids 

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