Sadly COVID-19 is bringing difficult times for us all.
Here at Deaf Umbrella, as with many other organisations, we moved to online working. We are lucky enough to have our brains busy and occupied during these tough times, but self-isolation can be hard, especially for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, as they are twice as likely to experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety compared to hearing people.
Hence, it is necessary to develop some good practices to support and manage our mental and physical wellbeing during such times.
Clean off your desk:
The second Monday in January, so, TODAY, is "Clean off your desk Day" in the USA, a day to prepare your workspace for the new year and beginning things on the right note.
When your desk is clean and tidy, you are focused and work is going to get done. You also feel energized and sometimes inspired!
Start right now tidying your work space, it will help you focus and work productively, and remember to set a separate work area away from your sleeping and or relaxation area. This 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.
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.
Take some breaks:
Don't forget to take regular screen breaks and stretch your legs throughout the day. Your 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!
At the beginning of the first lockdown, we talked about "Grounding", or earthing. This practice might help you cope with distressing thoughts in the moment (start practising Grounding with these simple techniques).
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, and also have into accoun to these tips to fully include a deaf person in a group video-call.
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, 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.
These are difficult times for all of us, but they are temporary and will not last, we can be sure of that.
Be safe. #StayAtHome ❤