Supporting your team to cope through coronavirus

Children 1st, Scotland’s national children’s charity, are experts in helping people recover from trauma. We understand how difficult the current situation is for everyone and have a few ideas and suggestions you might like to try at home to help you and your team cope through coronavirus.

Some of these will be taken from the International Futures Forum’s Kitbag, a fantastic tool Children 1st use to help people become calm, resilient, understand one another better and build positive relationships within families, workplaces and communities. It helps people to slow down and to acknowledge the stresses they are under. Since lockdown, and thanks to our emergency appeal, we have been able to supply 129 mini-Kitbags to families.

Today’s tips will look at:

  1. Staying focused – using Kitbag’s mindful minute
  2. Keeping connected – ideas for checking in with your team
  3. Ways to have fun – setting a non-work task (with dragons!)

Whether you and your team are parents or not, we hope these will be helpful during this challenging time. Please let us know if there’s something you’d like us to cover in future.

And don’t forget that Parentline is here to support your family by call, text or webchat. The team are regularly updating our Parentline webpages with information and support throughout the coronavirus crisis.

1. Staying focused

Kitbags our children and families use contain a number of ‘presence cards’, to help quieten people’s minds at the start of a session. At Children 1st we often begin our business meetings with a mindful minute too - bringing everyone to a quiet place before getting started.

To use:

  • Set yourself a minute timer
  • Read the phrase
  • Use the time to breath slowly in and out, to calm and clear your mind.

Here’s a few phrases to try, or you can write your own:

  • Take a journey in your mind into pure nature. Stay there a while.
  • Sit here and learn it’s perfectly OK to do nothing.
  • Breathe in and out gently. Become aware of the rhythm of your breath. Feel it as your rhythm.

With your team, or on your own, you’ll be surprised how just one minute out of your day can help calm your mind and keep you focused.

2. Keeping connected

It’s not always easy to speak up when you’re finding things difficult, and yet it’s so helpful to acknowledge your feelings and be able to share these in a safe space.

Another useful Kitbag tool that helps people explore and explain to others how they’re feeling is the colour card. A very simple and flexible tool: each person chooses a colour from the chart that most resonates how they’re feeling that day. They can then explain why if they so wish.

There are no right or wrong answers!

3. Ways to have fun

Getting your team together for a non-work activity gives people the chance to let their personality shine and have a bit of fun at the same time. While lots of people love a quiz over Zoom or Teams, it’s not for everyone – and someone has to set the questions!

An alternative idea is to set your team (or family!) a task to create an object with items found in their homes. So, who can make the scariest dragon, like Susie, who received one of our Activity Packs? Or the most creative house, like Shelagh, who’s been fundraising for Children 1st? You could set the task on a Friday with a deadline the following week and ask people to send in pictures, or share their creations on a video call. That way, people can take a break throughout the week when they need it, to let their creative juices flow, and you can end the week on something fun.

We hope you found these tips useful and enjoy sharing them with your teams.

We look forward to sharing next week’s ‘Wellbeing at Work’ edition with you all soon.

Take care and stay safe,

Team Children 1st