Support for adults (school staff and parents)

Last updated: 3rd May

Scroll down for more ideas and tips, including App of the week and Podcast of the week

The British Psychological Society has produced a briefing paper ‘Teacher resilience during Coronavirus school closures. You can download the paper here. This paper is offered as a ‘conversation starter’ designed to promote teacher resilience, taking elements of practice known to foster resilience. We hope you will find this helpful at this time of significant challenge.

App of the week

27th April: Green Care

Seek (iNaturalist)

This is the child and young person’s version of the iNaturaist app aimed at adults. iNaturalist is a citizen scientist initiative jointly supported by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society that enables anyone to contribute to a collaborative set of observations of any given neighbourhood. This child’s version (“Seek”) doesn’t require any details such as email addresses and the child can choose whether or not to share their photos of observations. Children under the age of 13 require parental permissions, and this app might be best used with adult support.

Children using the app can search for common species of plants, insects and so on in their local area. They can also take and upload photos that will then be identified for them by the app. Experimenting with the app this weekend led me to spot a lot of plants previously unnoticed alongside the road on my daily walk.

British Trees is an app developed by the Woodland Trust. All children should be able to use this to identify trees in their local neighbourhood. The app allows the child to observe any part of the tree, e.g. leaf, bark, twigs and then to follow a series of questions in order to identify the tree. Another opportunity to be a ‘nature detective’.

Other recommended Apps

19th April: Positive Psychology

Lucy Thompson (lucy@catalystpsych.co.uk)

The Gratitude Garden

The Gratitude Garden is an app intended to help you maintain the gratitude practice of noting down three good things that have happened over the past 24 hours. Research indicates that gratitude journaling is one of the most effective ways to increase happiness. Gratitude is also strongly correlated with pro-social behaviour and self-worth, and reducing stress, materialism and negative self-comparisons. It encourages you to think about what has gone right in your day. Every time you note down what good things have happened, you receive points you can use to build up a garden and also a Gratitude Card with suggestions for further things you could do to increase your gratitude and happiness. The app is available to download now for free at Play and Apple stores.

5th April: The importance of play

Lucy Thompson (lucy@catalystpsych.co.uk)

Trying to find activities that allow our young people to communicate with each in a fun and safe way can be difficult when practicing social distancing. Below we have suggested two apps that allow children to interact whilst playing games and enjoying some free time together.

Mario Kart Tour

 

You can now play Mario Kart, the classic racing car video game, and invite up to seven players other players to race you in adventurous courses on mobile. The game is available to download for free on the App Store and Google Play Store.

 

Challenge people to a game of ‘Words With Friends’.

 

Each ‘Words With Friends’ game has two players, but users can have multiple games in progress at the same time, making the free app a fun way to stay connected with family and friends. The classic version of Words With Friends is free and available to be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store.

27th March: Teenagers and the Coronavirus Pandemic

Smiling Mind

Ruby Noble (ruby@catalystpsych.co.uk)

This is a completely free app that has been developed by psychologists and educators to help people look after their mental health using guided mindfulness meditation. It has a range of activities available, including guided breathing scripts, stress management sessions, growth mindset exercises and guides for gratitude and joy. There are a number of programmes available for children, young people and adults. Within the youth programme, sessions are ordered by age group; 122 are available for children between the ages of 3 and 12, and 139 are designed for teenagers ages 13 to 18. If you particularly enjoyed a session, click the heart symbol next to the title and add it to your favourites!

23rd March

 Rootd: Panic attack and anxiety relief

Ruby Noble (ruby@catalystpsych.co.uk)

In times of uncertainty, it is natural to experience feelings of anxiety and worry. Rootd is an app that has been developed to support people to overcome anxiety and panic attacks. It has a number of different features that are free to access and helpful in regulating your breathing and restoring feelings of calm.

Podcast of the week

Podcasts are audio recordings, usually organised in series. They include fictional dramas as well as a whole host of factual and documentary style series. I’m not an expert in podcasts by any means, but often listen to them whilst relaxing or doing jobs around the house, and find them to be a calming influence in my day. You can easily download podcasts onto most devices with internet access, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

27th April: Green Care

Teresa Regan (teresa@catalystpsych.co.uk)

My podcast of the week is the BBC Earth Podcast, available on BBC Sounds or on other podcast platforms. You can listen here.

The episode I have chosen is ‘This corridor of trees unites 20 countries” first broadcast in November 2019. The episode tells a number of stories about the ways in which different elements of our planet work together in harmony. This is a gentle listen with scientists who are great story tellers. I particularly enjoyed listening to the story of the life cycle of eels “a migration miracle” as told by Michael Malay, who teaches contemporary literature and environmental poetry at the University of Bristol.

Other recommended podcasts

19th April: Positive Psychology

Rebecca Wright (rebecca@catalystpsych.co.uk)

From the series called Personal Best, episode entitled Happiness (28 minutes) from BBC Sounds App

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09bcg3g

This podcast explores happiness by discussing what constitutes happiness, why is it so important to us and in what ways can we seek a fulfilling life. During this time, it can be helpful to reflect on what brings us content and fulfilment in our lives. The podcast discusses thinking about happiness as a way of considering what creates contentment and joy. I particularly liked the distinction between external joy from pets and/or family members (people and things) and internal joy through exercise and things we do for ourselves such as ‘noticing’ which adds meaning to our lives.

There is an interview with workers at the Museum of Happiness in London and they draw on aspects of Positive Psychology to promote wellbeing and daily living.  Something I am taking from this period of lockdown is to think about something that has gone well in my day. Looking for the positives in a time of much uncertainty is bringing much gratitude to my days and a much-needed distraction. I realise that contentment and seeking meaning is an ongoing journey and is our ability to adapt to the circumstances we face.

5th April: The importance of play

Teresa Regan (teresa@catalystpsych.co.uk)

Series Title: Reasons to be Cheerful
Episode: LOOKING OUT FOR OUR KIDS: steering children through difficult times

In recommending this week’s podcast I have to declare an interest as my son, Joel, is their researcher. The website and podcasts aim to offer “a space for optimism and progressive ideas”, with the weekly podcast Reasons To Be Cheerful bringing together “smart thinkers and inspiring campaigners from around the world”. This week Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd are talking about supporting children and young people through the current crisis. The episode features interviews with Dan O'Hare (@edpsydan), educational psychologist and vice-chair of the Division of Educational and Child Psychologists and with Jayne Kennedy, Headteacher at Barlow Hall Primary School. This child psychology and education focused episode is well worth a listen: 

https://podfollow.com/1287081706/episode/57ccdfebfc29ff5077cdbcf0a09bd9188fcc7672/view

27th March

Beverley Tyrrell (beverley@catalystpsych.co.uk)

Series Title: The Happiness Lab
Episode: Coronavirus Bonus – Beat Your Isolation Loneliness

This week’s podcast recommendation is part of The Happiness Lab series. It is hosted by Dr Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology at Yale University. Each episode looks into what scientific research says about how we can all live happier lives. I enjoyed its easy to access format and conversational tone. The episode I’m recommending gives tips for how we can combat loneliness and feel connected to others whilst social distancing. You can find the podcast at 

https://www.happinesslab.fm/coronavirus-bonus-episodes/beat-your-isolation-loneliness or most podcast apps. I particularly liked the idea it suggests of doing an activity whilst on a video call, like Pilates, or even just watching TV, so you feel like your friends and family are visiting! In our house, we have also been helped to feel that sense of connectedness this week through watching music artists live streaming gigs through Facebook from their living rooms. It might be worth checking out if artists you like are doing something similar. Today we found out that The National Theatre are broadcasting plays through YouTube, so are planning on looking into those as well.    

23rd March

Beverley Tyrrell (beverley@catalystpsych.co.uk)

Series title: Personal Best
Episode: A Good Night’s Sleep
Where I found it: BBC Sounds App

For my first podcast recommendation, I thought about what might be most important for people at this time of uncertainty. I arrived at the idea of a podcast about sleep. 40% of adults and 25% of children suffer with regular sleep issues. Now could be a good time for us to do our best to prioritise sleep so we set ourselves on the right track to being happy, healthy, and more able to cope with whatever life throws at us! For more information on this topic, I would recommend The Sleep Council’s website https://sleepcouncil.org.uk and, for supporting children and young people, their ‘Goodnight Guide for Children’. Sleep well! 


27th March: Adult mental health and well-being

If you are working from home for the first time, or more than usual, or if you are self isolating but otherwise well, you might like to look at this resource from Mental Health First Aid:

Supporting your mental health while working from home

5th April: Re-discover your inner child…

If adults played more maybe they wouldn’t be as stressed all the time

Rebecca Wright (rebecca@catalystpsych.co.uk)

Rebecca has put together an information and ideas sheet for parents that considers the different types of play (free play, guided play, directed play, work disguised as play and work) with some examples for each aspect. Why not give your older children ‘permission’ to re-experience ideas they may have left behind? Download Rebecca's resource sheet here.

Den making – make a den using what you can find around the house. Chairs, blankets, rugs, blankets, cushions. Be prepared for the mess! Why not shine torches inside the dark den.

BBC Indoor activities for children - From making papier mache to playdough recipes.

The Dad Lab - If scientific experiments are your thing, follow The Dad Lab on Facebook: make your very own bubble wand using 3 items – a sock, washing up liquid and a plastic bottle. Let us know how you get on!

 

Follow the Play Wales Twitter feed  @PlayWales (and #CoronaPlay) for ideas for indoor play:

 



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