For the second time this year parents are dealing with the “Back to School” phenomena for their children as well as their own “back to work/ back to work at full force” sensation. This return to school or work period does not follow a holiday or idyllic leisure time as is usually the case, but is rather preceded by stress, uncertainty and even cabin fever from the long lockdown period .
Both of these scenarios have the ability to elicit a wave of emotions ranging from relief and excitement about returning back to ‘normal life’, to a lack of certainty about what lies ahead, anxiety about the possible exposure to the corona virus and a host of uncontrollable factors.
Regardless of the above, we are entering another phase of the lockdown from the 1 June 2020 and this means that, once again we need to adjust to the inevitable changes ahead of us while also supporting our children with their own adjustment. How can we do this?
Knowledge is power
Empower yourself with accurate knowledge about the pandemic, safety measures, what is expected of you, your children, the school and your employer with the return to school and/or return to work. Knowing what to do, the assistance and recourse available to you goes a long way towards countering uncertainty and even calming any anxieties.
Mental and emotional health are key factors for any adjustment
It is undeniable that the lockdown has resulted in a lot of stress, uncertainty, pressure and anxiety for both parents and children alike. The only way for both parties to adjust to the inevitable changes is by taking care of their emotional and mental well-being. This may mean different things for different people. Others cope through talking to others, consulting professionals, exercising, cultivating a positive outlook, immersing themselves into work or other enjoyable activities, etc. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach, therefore find a coping mechanism that works effectively for you. Parents may also have to assist their children with appropriate and effective coping mechanisms.
Communication is invaluable
The thought of exchanging your home for the office or school may give rise to conflicting thoughts and emotions. This is not the time to bury your head in the sand and hope for things to be resolved. Rather communicate with the school and your employer about your doubts and/or fears, get answers to your questions, discuss available alternatives and be in a better space to decide on the right course.
If you decide not to allow your child to return to school, its best to inform the school of the decision and the reasoning behind it and enquire about available alternatives.
Discuss any doubts about your workplace health and safety with your manager. Avoid taking unilateral decisions which may have a negative impact on your working relationship.
Structure a new routine
The sooner you get used to the new routine, the better. Although this may prove to be a complex activity in a big family or where some may still be working and schooling from home while others have to attend to these activities outside of the home, it is important.
Health and safety is key
Remember that the relaxing of the lockdown regulations doesn’t mean that the threat of the corona virus has subsided or that you can slack on the hygiene, health and safety requirements and activities. With the increase in the movement of people, it is of greater importance now, more than ever for everyone, to be vigilant when it comes to their own health and safety as well as that of others around them.
It is unavoidable that while the corona virus is a part of our lives, we will go through various phases of changes. With change comes the need to adapt in order for us to succeed. MISA is by your side every step of the way.
“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” -Walt Disney
How to contact MISA during the lockdown:
Kindly utilise the following e-mail addresses and links for assistance during this time:
UIF/TERS Support UIFClaim@ms.org.za
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MISA Benefit claim-related enquiries Claims@misa.org.za
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On e-mail: providing your ID number as well as your contact details.
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