This guide is to give support, inspiration and tips on how to navigate the self-isolation period, finding motivation and things to do to keep entertained.
Through these difficult times, it’s always best to keep positive. It can be challenging when all we see on the news, social media and emails is negative, worrying stats and stories, even though it’s all there for good reason, to make us stay at home, stay safe and protect our valuable NHS. If it was all happy-go-lucky news, people wouldn’t follow the rules, so we must trust it’s all for the best in the long run.
It can be difficult navigating through tons of posts, news articles and videos and working out what information is relevant.
Always follow the Government Guidelines at first instance. Where this information may not be accessible, head over to the deaf organisations’ pages and they should have accessible formats including British Sign Language (BSL) versions and to-the-point posts (cutting out waffle). If you’re ever unsure, please ask someone or get in touch with a deaf organisation and they will be able to help you.
Don’t forget media changes all the time, so don’t believe everything you read. Always triple check sources, go to original posts, and question if it’s accurate.
Limit our exposure
Although it’s important to follow the news, it’s equally important to remember your own health and wellbeing.
By reducing the time we take scrolling through social media feeds, going online or switching on the news can do wonders for our mental health. Simply switch your phone off for an hour and do something else, or only watch the news in the morning or the evening.
Perhaps unfollow or mute pages or people which make you feel sad and follow inspiring, motivating, funny pages that are more upbeat. These all certainly help rather than spending endless hours reading negative content.
If you’re in need of support, why not reach out to a deaf charity? They may be able to help with any concerns or things you need in this difficult time. If you need supplies, perhaps your local community can be of assistance? Put a sign up by your window asking for help.
One of the loveliest things to come out of this difficult time is the amazing online community. We should be grateful to have electricity, internet and social media, where some countries don’t have these luxuries.
If you’re feeling lonely, reach out to people where you can. Check out Facebook groups for your local area, for the deaf community, get involved in virtual challenges and games, learn some British Sign Language online with YouTubers and sign language providers.
Can you video call friends and family? This is a fantastic way of staying in touch with loved ones. There are lots of apps out there, why not play around to find the best one?
Changing our way of thinking
Rather than waking up with a feeling of dread, if we all wake up every day thinking it’s another day closer to when things are back to normal, that it’s a new day, being positive, this will help to start your day better.
Think of it as a time to get lots of tasks done that you may have been putting off, to do more activities that you enjoy and to get outside in the garden or in your area for your daily exercise and take in the wonders of nature!
Motivation… where can I find it?
It can be little things such as researching motivational quotes and writing them on post-its around the house, to finding pictures that make you smile.
Write a manageable to-do list with things you can get done. Set yourself mini deadlines, small tasks are more achievable than big tasks. At the end of it, look at what you’ve achieved and reward yourself.
Motivation has to come from you. You have to find that spurt of energy inside you, make the most of this time you have which is quite rare!
Love it or hate it, it’s beneficial for everyone! Exercise doesn’t mean rigorous drills and training, it can simply be going for a walk, yoga, easy workouts in your home.
Especially as we can’t stray far from home, we should make the most of getting out when we can. It’s wonderful for clearing your mind and getting over the cabin fever.
Who needs the gym? Make use of things in your home – the sofa, steps, household items for weights/lifting… be sensible of course!
There are some incredible fitness videos online that you can follow!
Check out these daily videos from;
James Stavros, a Personal Trainer (BSL) on Royal Association for Deaf people’s page: www.facebook.com/RADRoyalAssociationforDeafpeople/
Joe Wicks, The Body Coach on his page:
Get things done!
Now is the perfect time to get those little jobs done that you may have been putting off or haven’t had the time to do!
- Spring clean/tidying/decluttering – do one area at a time – small but manageable!
- Decorating/touch ups around the house
- Admin tasks – bills/paperwork/filing
- Sort out your email inbox
- Delete irrelevant photos/screenshots from your camera roll
- Sort out apps out on your phone
- Go through your friends list on social media and remove anyone you don’t really talk to
- Unfollow pages or groups that aren’t of interest to you, and follow new ones!
Now, here’s an Entertainment Guide with lots of fun things to do!
From starting a new hobby, or digging up an old favourite, or a 5 minute fun activity – here’s some ideas for you!
- Baking/cooking – explore, try new things, bake a favourite snack, make a pizza!
- Photography – even if it’s on your phone – experiment different angles – learn photography rules, have a go at editing photos and videos
- Read a book or download e-books online – read blogs, like BDN: britishdeafnews.co.uk/author/deafieblogger/
- Keep a journal – write feelings/thoughts/doodle/list what you’re grateful for
- Write stories/blogs/poems – find your inner creativity
- Start a scrapbook or a photo album
- Self-care: take a bath/paint your nails/try new hairstyles/do something you enjoy!
- Gardening – planting seeds/weeding/general tidying/create a new area!
- Teach yourself something new – a new skill or learn about another country or time period in history, watch documentaries.
- Browse for new apps to download: britishdeafnews.co.uk/best-apps-for-deaf-people/
- Learn British Sign Language: follow Deaf BSL YouTubers or content creators or get in touch with Sign Language providers. Start with the BSL fingerspelling alphabet
- Do a Ready Steady Cook challenge – use ingredients to make something!
- Find a Quiz online and create your own Quiz Night
- Create themed activities – find a theme from animals/history/geography and find or create things to do relating to that activity
- Go online and check out museums and places of interest and see if they have virtual experiences or videos
- Get the Jigsaw puzzles and board games out – make your own board game!
- Do some drawing/colouring/painting/collages/artwork
- Have a film night/ a movie marathon
- Build a den/make a tent/camp in the garden/have a picnic
- Explore the senses – indoors and out! Look in the garden for things you can see/smell/feel, talk about it, what does it mean, how does it make you feel?
- Find an empty jar and every time someone says “I wish I could do this…/go to this place…” write it on a piece of paper and place in the jar. When this is over, do all those fun things!
Still stuck? Take a look on Pinterest, Instagram, Google or online for inspiration for things to do, crafts, games and so on!
Most importantly, keep safe. Stay at home where possible and keep positive!