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Don't be Restricted

Posted 18 January 2021

Is it safe to ask how your New Year’s resolutions are going? We hope you’re still going strong, but if those goals seem long gone, don’t worry. The good news is that any day can be a day you start something, especially in lockdown.

Last year, March and April showed us that lockdown can be an excellent time to take up a challenge. Figures show language learning app Babbel’s UK user registrations increased by an incredible 80% in 2020, plus who can forget the empty flour shelves when we became a nation of bakers? The empty loo roll shelves however remain a mystery.

The current restrictions are tough, there’s no denying it, but lockdown can present opportunities too. Lots of foster carers have found that they have been able to get to know the children in their care much better under stay-at-home conditions, but we honestly don’t know of anyone who has found it a (socially distanced) walk in the park.

If you’re a foster carer up for a challenge in the latest lockdown, we’ve put together a few ideas to try that could help you and anyone in your family. And if you aren’t a foster carer, they are still pretty good principles to embrace!

  1. Say “Yes”. Currently there are many things we can’t do and many times when children need to be told no, so try saying yes whenever you can. Not for your children to walk all over you or be put in danger, but so you as a person are open to more opportunities, big and small.
  2. Worry Less. We know this one won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. With health, work, finance and home-schooling all likely playing on our minds, it can be easy to find ourselves worrying way too much. Guaranteed these issues are important, but they can easily get us down. Focussing on what you can control is a much less stressful solution. Try turning off the news or not checking Twitter so often, your brain will thank you for it.
  3. Connect More. Again, not simple right now. However, maintaining close friendships and relationships can stave off feelings of isolation and help your body to produce serotonin, the happy hormone. So, schedule that Zoom coffee and don’t worry about whether you’ve hoovered. Try to allow plenty of opportunity for children in your care to connect safely with their friends as well, online classrooms can only go so far. Connecting with nature is another great idea. Getting the whole family out for a walk can be a real mood-booster.
  4. Be An Encourager. Challenge yourself to compliment everyone in your family or friendship circle about one thing every day. Looking for positives puts negatives in perspective, plus it can be a powerful way to bond.
  5. Keep Going. One day your motto may be ‘dream, believe, achieve’ and another it may be ‘everybody fed, nobody dead’. It doesn’t matter!

We absolutely recommend doing what Professor Chris Whitty says, but don’t restrict yourself more amid all the official restrictions. If you’re up for a challenge in lockdown, give these ideas a go and open-up your lockdown.