As we all know, it's been a very odd year. Our home life and education have changed as a result of Coronavirus; work, school and college have been done from home, lockdown has kept us from many of our usual activities, and we've been unable to see our loved ones. But now the summer holidays have arrived, shops and attractions are reopening and we're starting to see family and friends again. It's time for you to enjoy yourself and have a break, but it's still important to stay alert. This means:
- stay at home as much as possible
- wear a mask or face covering any time you will be indoors or in contact with other people
- work or study from home if you can
- limit contact with other people
- keep your distance from people not in your household (2 metres apart where possible)
- wash your hands regularly
- Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
Fun activity ideas to try out this summer
Your summer plans may have had to change as a result of Coronavirus. But there are still lots of ways that you can make the most of your summer. you could:
- Go fruit picking at a local farm - there are lots of these around Oxfordshire
- Have a socially distanced picnic with friends
- Hold a festival in your garden for your household
- Take a trip to an outdoor attraction where it is easy to maintain social distance like Oxford Botanic Gardens or Uffington White Horse.
- Sign up for the National Citizen Service - taking place everywhere this year with weekly challenges and more
Our top tip for summer plans this year? It's easier if you focus on what you can do rather than what you can't - and have back-up plans in place in case things change again!
Take action: Keep up to date with social distancing guidelines.
Staying Safe - whatever the weather
Spending time outdoors is a good way to boost your mental wellbeing and enjoy the nice weather, but spending too much time exposed to the sun can have health risks.
- Make sure that you use sunscreen, and that you choose an SPF which is right for you and reapply often
- Try and avoid the sun from 11am-3pm and seek shade to help protect yourself
- Wear sunglasses
- If you sunburn, find out how to treat the burn.
Getting wet and cold can also be a risk, especially if you have been swimming or are out in the evening. Find out more about outdoor safety.
There are lots of waterways in Oxfordshire that become popular places for people to enjoy during the summer, but there are some dangers to this. If you are having fun in or around water ways;
- Staying out of the water is safest, but if you do go in, stick to established bathing spaces.
- Make sure you can get help and have access to safety equipment.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs as these make accidents much more likely!
Important: If you, or someone else falls into the water - shout for help, stay calm and swim to the nearest bank, working with the current. Find more information on water safety from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Water Safety.
Staying safe when you're out having fun
When you are out enjoying your summer holiday, following social distancing guidelines is important. But it's also important to think about personal safety. Every year, some young people suffer attacks or accidents when they are out and about. Things can happen very quickly, but the consequences can last a lifetime. These simple tips can help you stay safe when you're having fun with friends:
- Be aware of your surroundings and move away from any situation that concerns you
- Always carry a mobile, and know who to call if there is an emergency.
- Plan your what you are doing and tell somebody where you're going and when you'll be back - and remember to call if plans change!
Lots of schools and youth groups offer tips and training around personal safety. Teenage boys are most at risk from confrontations, but anyone can be targeted. Thinking about what you might do if there is a problem, or if you have an argument with a friend, is one of the best ways to be prepared.
Crucial: If you feel nervous about a situation, head to somewhere where there are more people like a main road or shopping centre – and remember to wear your mask if you need to go into a shop to ask for help. If you or anyone else is in immediate danger always call 999.
Taking care of your mental wellbeing during the holidays
The summer holidays are a time to take a break, relax and have fun. But the pressure to enjoy yourself, worries about plans or frustration about the things you can't do right now might get you down. If you or somebody you know are struggling with mental wellbeing during the summer holidays, there are some simple steps that you can take to help yourself:
- Speak with somebody you trust, this could be a family member, trusted adult or a close friend.
- Make sure you get some fresh air and daily exercise.
- Stay in touch with loved ones - Young Minds have some great ways that you can stay connected from home.
- Get the right amount of sleep.
Remember: if things become too much for you, support is always available.