Maintaining Health and Wellbeing When Social Distancing

Maintaining health and well-being when social distancing

At Meadow, we understand that a lot of our young people are spending their days at home away from their familiar adults / peers, routines and activities, when social distancing. 

We understand that during this period it’s really important that you all look after your mental and emotional wellbeing as well as your physical health.

With advice from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, the Therapy Team have created a guidance for parents and carers who are socially distancing with their young people. The aim of this guidance is to offer practical suggestions on how to help families to support their young people to manage the next few weeks ahead when socially distancing.


  1. Establish a daily routine. Routines provide a comfortable structure and purpose for young people and families. Include a combination of learning, creative, physical and relaxation time and schedule time for ‘electronics’ if this is meaningful for your young person. Help your young person to make a visual timetable so everyone understands the plan. 

  2. Make time to do ‘Alert Program for Self-Regulation’ Exercises. Encourage your young person to participate in general exercises based on the Alert Program for Self-Regulation – see the link below. Many of these exercises do not need any equipment and may help to keep you and your young person feeling calm and alert throughout the day.

  3. Work on Personal Care Skills. Identify self-care tasks that your young person would like to do more independently, for example tying shoelaces or getting dressed. See programmes listed below.

  4. Develop life skills. Now is a perfect opportunity for your young person to master useful life skills such as preparing their lunch, using a washing machine and changing the sheets on a bed. Involve other family members in teaching skills (perhaps via video link) or use online tutorials which ensure that instructions are given consistently.

  5. Create a suitable place for your young person to study which is different to their relaxation space. Ideally your young person should have an appropriately sized chair and table, but if they must use adult furniture make sure they can sit so that their feet can be firmly planted and their shoulders relaxed when working at the table. 

  6. ​​​​​​​Teach your young person to type. Typing is a valuable skill for education, social communication and for the workplace. There are a variety of free and paid-for online typing tutorials available – choose the one that works best for your young person.​​​​​​​

  7. Rediscover creative activities such as playdough, junk modelling, Lego and origami. ​​​​​​​

  8. Spend social time together as a family. Play board games, watch a film, make a cake, play multiplayer console games together. Schedule mealtimes and commit to these as adults, especially if you are working from home. They are a useful time to connect socially as a family.​​​​​​​


  9. Keep in touch. Arrange for your young person to spend time each day talking to friends or family members on the phone or by social media (with adult supervision where appropriate). Write letters to older family members and maybe your young person will receive one in return.​​​​​​​


  10. Look after yourself. Being a full-time parent/carer whilst managing a household and handling work responsibilities is challenging. Make sure you eat and sleep well, and include time for your own rest and leisure in your daily routine. 


Sourced from, adapted by Bhindu Odedra (Occupational Therapist).