Updated: May 18, 2020
Sadly the COVID-19 is bringing hard times. Despite the Government advice to avoid all but essential social contact, people keep socialising in the park and having "one last beer before the pubs shut down".
Stringent security measures will be implemented very soon as Italy and Spain have done already. Actually, this is my home city right now. A ghost city:
I don't want to see the same here... but people still can't see the danger of Coronavirus and they don't believe that we will all end up locked up at our homes unless they change their selfish behaviour (Read "Coronavirus - We need to stick together (but maybe a few feet apart?)!!" blog post HERE)
Here at Deaf Umbrella, as many other organisations, we have fortunately moved to online working. We will be lucky enough to have our brains busy during the upcoming tough times, but there will be many other people who will be at home completely isolated and with nothing to do.
Deaf people are twice as likely to experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety compared to hearing people.
Human connections are important, and we will need ways to support our mental health, reduce feelings of isolation and feel connected with colleagues, family and friends.
We suggest you develop some good practices to support and manage your mental and physical wellbeing during such times:
Get set up:
Wake up at the same time every day, even if you have plenty of time to stay in bed...
It will help to stabilise your internal clock and improve your sleep overall.
Keep your morning routine - have your breakfast and get washed. If you are teleworking, you don't need to dress as if you are going to the office, but take off your pyjamas and wear nice and comfy clothes for your daytime routine.
Prepare your workspace:
If you are going to work from home remember to set a separate work area away from your sleeping area. I will help you to switch off at the end of the working day. A small space should be enough, and it will make all the difference.
Take some breaks:
Don't forget to take regular screen breaks and stretch your legs throughout the day. You lunch break is also important and you will need to move away from your workspace (Read "Banish Eye Fatigue - Try Yoga for the eyes!" blog post HERE).
Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated:
A poor diet is linked to poorer mental health. Try the Mediterranean-style diet to feel well; a diet high in vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.
Drinking enough water is also important for your mental and physical health. Read more on what you should eat on the "Eatwell guide" from the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/
Eating whole foods instead of processed foods can save you money too! Cooking at home is another activity to help you fill your time.
If you are self-isolated, try to keep active and find an online activity that suits you, such as a home yoga video or a fitness class. Many gyms are now live streaming their classes, so apply for these!
Make sure that you keep good lines of communication with your family, friends and/or work colleagues as often as possible by telephone, email or social media. Zoom, Skype, Houseparty or Google Hangouts are great platforms to stay in touch.
Find ways to spend your time:
There are lots of different ways to stay relaxed and be creative: Arts and crafts, DIY, colouring, mindfulness, yoga, meditation, reading books, watching a good TV show (BSL Zone programmes), etc... Stay positive and give yourself things to look forward to – plan that holiday, think of activities you can do when life returns to normal! Every little helps…
Communicate with your friends, colleagues or family if you are feeling anxious or isolated. Talk to someone will help you to cope with this situation (Mental Health support for Deaf people: https://www.signhealth.org.uk/about-deafness/mental-health/)
Also, if you are Deaf and you are working from home, I would suggest to read a great blog post on The Limping Chicken that mentions some "Tips for working remotely when you're deaf (with BSL videos)".
There are plenty of things you can do and places to get more help and support if you are
struggling with your mental health. The NHS website has lots of tips and advice pages where you will find the support you might need while staying at home during Coronavirus.
Read more HERE.
Be safe. #StayAtHome ❤