Our Working Age and Young Peoples' Manager shares his self isolation tips

Posted: Friday 27 March 2020
Staff member Colin portrait - Working Age and Young People

Our working age and young peoples' manager Colin Daniels has shared his top tips for surviving self isolation when you are living with sight loss.

Colin says: "The important thing to do, and this doesn’t matter if you have sight loss or not, is to try and be as active as you can. Don’t just sit, you have to be active." 

Here is his advice: 

Plan your day

You’ve got 24 hours to fill. Roughly 16 of them you’re going to be awake, so what’s the point of getting up in the morning and doing everything straight away. You should spread your activities out throughout the day. Almost get yourself into a routine.

Find new hobbies

  • I listen to PopMaster on BBC Two most days, because I’m sad, but the fact that you know it’s 10.30am and you’re sitting down and listening to it with a cup of coffee is just something else to do.
  • We can all go out for a walk, so go out for a walk when you can, because it’s important. If you live in the middle of nowhere or you live in the city just go and walk round the garden or just change your environment.
  • Don’t always just sit in one place. I love my recliner but as much as I love it, at the moment I’m switching between the recliner and my sofa quite a lot. Because it’s just somewhere else to sit and it’s different view on life. I know it sounds daft, but it helps.
  • I remember when I was in hospital a few years ago and I started reading audiobooks for the first time ever because I’d never done it before, I'd had no interest in doing it. Again it’s just trying to find new hobbies and other things you can do in your home; whether that is watching a box set with audio description on Netflix of Amazon Prime, or reading a trilogy on an audiobook.
  • Set aside time to do something different, rather than just sit and watch eight hours of TV, because all you’re going to do is drive yourself bananas and get unhealthy. As well as it being unhealthy for your body, it is also bad for your mental health to just sit around.

Keep busy

If you sit around too, you start to think about things and overthink things. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad you just start to overthink and you can start dwelling on something.

Spend time with your friends (online or on the phone)

We’ve obviously all been told to stay as far away from people as much as we possibly can so we should be using social media channels and phones to maintain that social interaction.

It sounds a bit blasé but when you have sight loss, you can’t see people’s faces anyway. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting with them or not, as long as you can know they’re there.

Facetime is really difficult for me and I can only speak for myself, but I find it hard because I can’t see my own face. But, it shouldn’t matter. I tend to out my ipad on the coffee table and I sit further back. So, I might be further away but I know I’m pretty much looking at the person rather than at the keyboard. But it shouldn’t stop you from doing it, especially if you’ve got grandkids and things like that. Grandkids want to see their grandparents, most of the time. So, it’s good for everyone to see you and especially in this situation to see that you’re fit and well. It should be for the other person to see you rather than the other way round.

If you are struggling to cope the Macular Society has a number of online and telephone services that can help. To access any of these services call our Advice and Information Service on 0300 3030 111.