A-Z of surviving the Lock-down

As the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic continues, many of you will have been advised by the government to isolate at home for a longer period than others, namely those with some underlying health conditions as well as those who are over the age of 70. 

Lockdown is not a punishment, so here are a few ideas of what to do with all that time on your hands. 

A Ask for help if you need it.

If you have been identified as extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 by the NHS and need to self-isolate call Warwickshire County Council on: 0800 408 1447 for support. 

Everyone else can call 01926 410410 for advice or visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk

And of course you can also contact Warwickshire Vision Support on 01926 411 331

B Beat your personal best - every day is an opportunity for self-improvement.

Be upbeat have a positive attitude & outlook, it will help you maintain good mental health.

Book club: why not join or create a book club either sharing a recommendation and why, or why not have a regular video calls to discuss the same book you are all reading. Don’t forget you can post a recommendation on Warwickshire Vision Facebook page. Visit link https://www.facebook.com/WarksVisSupport/

Bedtime stories, grandparents are unable to see their grandchildren at the moment so why not FaceTime and read a bedtime story to them!!

C Cooking up a storm, why not try that recipe you have been putting off.  Alternately, there are lots of cooking shows on television to give you an idea or try a new recipe from www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes

The BBC have over 10,000 recipes to choose from, and they have dedicated sections on all types of dietary requirements, cooking’s on a budget tutorials programmes to watch, follow and eat healthy suggestions as well.

Clean your oven, you’ll thank yourself later!!!

Choir, why not join a virtual choir suitable for people of all abilities they use zoom technology and do 2 sessions a week go online for details. Visit link www.vchoir.co.uk/

D Detox, why not cut out, or if you are unable to, why not cut down on alcohol, or food stuffs that are high in sugars or fats. 

Declutter: this is especially helpful to someone with sight loss and can reduce the number of potential accidents in the home 

DIY & Decorating, with plenty of time to do those odd jobs that you keep putting off.

E Exercise, maintaining a regular routine will help with your mobility & mental wellbeing.

Eat well is an NHS guide you can download for free, by eating healthier diet you not only improve your own health but put less pressure on the NHS. Visit link www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/.

F FaceTime with friends and family. For those of you with an Apple product who do not have FaceTime installed, simply enter ‘FaceTime app’ into your internet search engine.

G Get out into your garden, listen to the birds; see if you can identify them from their birdsong! Go to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk and search ‘bird song’ and listen to the distinctive calls. See if you can identify what you can hear in your garden.

H Home improvements: maybe just as simple as improving the flow through your home so you are less likely to trip, fall or walk into your furniture and belongings. More accidents happen in the home so improving areas that you often walk into or trip over not only keeps you safe but protects the NHS

Hobbies, either enjoy more time on a hobby you already do or why not start a new hobby 

www.hobbyhelp.com/ have created a list of hobbies that can be done indoors while you are isolating.

I Ironing: catch up on the ironing – you will thank yourself later!!!

Interactive technology, struggling with IT devices? Why not visit www.simplyinformed.uk/ to see if this site provides you with some useful information.  

J Jigsaws: for free online at www.jigsawplanet.com from 12 to 300 pieces hundreds of free jigsaws to choose from. Why not make it fun and complete a jigsaw against the clock or see who is fastest against friends & family. Top tip, why not try a small jigsaw of 12 pieces until you get the hang of moving the pieces online screen.

K Keep in touch, phone friends and family or those you’ve lost contact with. 

Keep active, don’t fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour such as being too sedentary. 

Why not take a peek at https://www.sportengland.org/stayinworkout

L  Learn a new skill: why not learn a new skill such as a new language for just 30 minutes a day in bite- size chunks. Download a free app: www.duolingo.com or even learn  sign language.

M Money makeover: worried about your finances? Here are some useful websites that might help.

Money Saving Expert has a free tax code calculator so you can see if you are owed a tax rebate.  There is also a benefits calculator which  takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and is free to use.

Money Savings Expert: www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/chat-tips-gold/

Citizens Advice Bureau: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Mental health & wellbeing. See the following links that might be of help.

www.recovery.anxiousminds.co.uk

www.changegrowlive.org

www.cwmind.org.uk

www.mind.org.uk

www.samaritans.org

N New habits: always wash your hands straight away when you return home from time outside, even if it’s just to put out the bin. This is really important because of the Covid-19 pandemic 

Newspapers: why not subscribe to  talking newspapers or magazines? There are more than 200 publications to choose from. Call 0303 123 9999 or visit: www.talkingnewspapers.org/ to subscribe free of charge

O Offering help even if you are self-isolating. Perhaps you could volunteer to phone someone who is visually impaired or someone you know who is living on their own. Contact Warwickshire Vision Support if you think you can help on 01926 411331

P Plan ahead: create  a list of things you would like to do when lockdown restrictions are no longer in place so you have something to look forward to.  

Q Quality time with those who are close to you, even when they are far away. Pick up the phone or video call but please do stay in touch.

R Relax:  this is a stressful and worrying time for many so why not take some time for yourself.

Reread your favourite book or download a new book from Warwickshire libraries. If you are not already a member of the free talking book service, why not join RNIB free talking books they have more than 60,000 books to download. Call  0303 123 9999 or go to www.rnib.org.uk

S Signposting: Andrew, our technology volunteer at Warwickshire Vision Support, has set up a useful website specifically aimed for VIPs which provides a wealth of IT and other useful links. Visit www.simplyinformed.uk/

Shakespeare: The Show Must Go Online. Until recent times, we’ve been blessed in this county to have the bard’s famous works staged at Stratford’s RSC theatres. If you miss the theatre experience, visit YouTube  and search ‘The Show Must Go Online’ for a host of at-home performances by professional actors.

T The Accessibility Friends Network (TAFN) enables visually-impaired people to connect, join quizzes, listen to music, share hobbies and much more. You need Teamtalk software loaded onto your device to use the TAFN service. The Teamtalk software is free and you can join TAFN for one month to try it out, completely free. If you like it, pay the annual charge which currently stands at £15.50. For more information visit www.tafn.org.uk

U Useful guide. Everything you need to know about sight loss can be downloaded free of charge from www.warwickshire.vision/

Useful tips for VIPs: if you have a useful tip or idea how to do something, why not share it on Warwickshire Vision’s Facebook page? Go to www.facebook.com/WarksVisSupport/

V Video chats: why not ask your family to set up a video call with you, using Skype, FaceTime or Zoom. 

W Warwickshire Vision Support (01926 411331 or enquires@warwickshire.vision) is here to support you through this difficult time, so don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Why not write an article for Warwickshire Vision Magazine or website? 

X Xylophone is a percussion instrument, If you haven’t got an instrument at home you could always learn to play the spoons. 

There is a very good YouTube video by David Holt on playing the spoons  Visit www.youtube.com and search ‘David Holt spoons’. 

Xbox: ask your family if there are any Xbox games that you can all join in.

Y Yoga: Yoga may be a bit of a stretch, but keeping your muscles flexible and strong will help your balance and prepare you for when you can go outside once again.

Z ZZZs: it’s ok to have a lie in. 

Good quality sleep can make such a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically. Maintain regular sleeping patterns and try to avoid screens and caffeine before bedtime.. Forty winks in the afternoon never hurts either!