Activities during lockdown for those with disabilities
By: Philippa Harrington, On: 28 January 2021
The government has once again told everyone to stay indoors. These recurring COVID-19 lockdowns have been difficult for just about everyone, but even more so for those with disabilities.
Lockdown has restricted our ability to go out and about, causing many to find themselves struggling mentally, but this is even harder on those with mobility issues who still want structure and routine. So, how can you stay active and busy during lockdown when you also have a disability?
The Include Choir
Every Wednesday, the Include Choir meets on Facebook Live to share signs, songs and to have a good laugh together. You can find out more on their website. It is a great way to meet new people safely, make a valued contribution and learn new communication skills.
There are thousands of podcasts on just about every topic available on the internet, depending on your interests. The BBC has also created lots of podcasts, and these can also be found from many other large news outlets.
Mencap have produced dozens of resources for those with disabilities to use during lockdown to keep themselves busy and entertained. This includes chair yoga, a daily thoughts and feelings planner, a daily recipe planner, activities to complete during a daily walk, a ’round the world’ challenge, a garden activity pack, and various games to play. There are also mental wellbeing exercises, which can really help with mindfulness and staying positive. Learn more here.
Looking after your mental health
Youngminds.org have plenty of resources and advice available for those struggling with their mental health during lockdown. If you are in need of any support, they’re definitely worth checking out.
Canddid has created a huge resource pack full of ideas to do while inside. There are lots of great sensory activity ideas for carers, including making texture books, using shaving foam to explore textures, creating scented play dough, and creating a bubble maker. You can also use jelly to play hide and seek. Click here to see their resource pack. There’s also lots of ideas for those with visual impairments, plus discussion topics for communication groups.
If there is one thing that has defined all the lockdowns, it has been the huge surge in baking. So popular has baking been that it has often led to shortages in baking ingredients such as flour. With so many people learning to bake, there has been an increased interest in shows on television and YouTube relating to baking. There are many you can watch, as well as apps you can download to get easy access to new recipes.
There are dozens of apps available that enable you to get hundreds of free photos printed with just the postage to pay. You can use this time indoors to print your photos off and start scrapbooking. There are lots of websites that sell scrapbook resources to make your pages look pretty, from gel pens to stickers. The Hobbycraft website and Amazon are both great places to turn to. You can even keep a lockdown scrapbook to document everything you get up to so you can look back and remember.
Whether you listen to Audible by Amazon or use websites such as https://listening-books.overdrive.com/, there are thousands of audiobooks available online to listen to for affordable prices. If you also like to read physical books, then there are many bookshops still delivering during the lockdowns, even if you can’t get out and about.
Through the Maze
For those with autism, there is a great resource website called Through The Maze, which has lots of activities to try out. This includes drop-in zoom sessions, joining health groups, viewing online art exhibitions, home training sessions, print out activities, gardening activities, audio walks and groups for carers to join.
Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and loved ones. Apps such as Houseparty, Zoom or Whatsapp allow you to remain in touch, play games and retain some face time – even if it is virtual.
Having a bad day?
For those who are struggling to understand their emotions surrounding having a good day or a bad day, there’s really helpful advice available online. The following picture book will help to explain what these days may feel like during lockdown, check it out here.
No matter what activity you choose to engage in, the most important thing is to be keeping yourself busy. Lockdown may feel like a negative period, especially after having so many in such a short time. However, it’s a unique time to pick up a new hobby, meet new friends or try a new activity – so try to make the most of it where possible. Look for the positives wherever you can find them.