Dyslexic Do’s and Don’ts During a Pandemic
This pandemic has been extraordinarily difficult for us all and we have all managed to deal with it in our own singular ways. As someone with Dyslexia I feel my experience of quarantine has been especially unique. As the world slowly begins to reopen its doors, I felt it was a suitable time to reflect on my experience over the past 7 months compiling a list of Do’s and Don’ts from my experience.
- Maintain Social Contact
Once all social interactions were transferred to online, staying socially active became challenging for me. I have a huge fear of phone calls and typing drains me of all energy leaving me socially exhausted. Luckily many of my friends reached out to me to organise socially distanced meetings in person meaning that I didn’t have to worry about all the aspects of using social media which I found draining allowing me to connect with others giving a little boost to my mental health.
- Sticking with a structure
Having a set schedule for me is important for both my physical and mental health. Unless I am physically and mentally active, I have huge difficulties reading and staying focused on anything as well as becoming very anxious oftentimes about my body image. Therefore, its key I have set meal and bedtimes as at least 10 hours of sleep is what I need to keep me on track. I also try and plan out activities and workouts for me to do which not only give me a clear focus but keep me motivated and physically fit all of which are positives for my mental health.
I am a very “doing” mindset person which means I thrive when I am being practical and being involved with things. Yet as Covid-19’s grip on the world expanded I felt things were being robbed from my control every day, most notably with my A level results, leaving me feeling constantly anxious and powerless. That’s when I began to try and to fulfil my time by firstly accepting and adapting to the new limits of my situation and then by being as appreciative of a human being as I could valuing nature giving me a little peace and control.
Conflict is almost inevitable in all families but in mine it almost feels constant as my parents grapple with my capabilities. This led to some heated moments caused by frustration which I wish were avoided. If I had spent more time to myself when frustrated and my family has made clearer their expectations of me, as I still find I need instructions repeated for them to be remembered, then perhaps much of the conflict may have been dodged.
- Negative rumination
As lock down began, I found myself becoming more and more negative to the point where many of my thoughts revolved around all of the bad things which could happen. This put me in an unhealthy head space for the majority of quarantine and I wish I’d controlled it when I got the chance. To fight my way through this I tried to track stress levels and remind myself of the bigger picture whenever they got too high ensuring that my mental health was cared for during the pandemic.
For more information and support with the emotional repercussions of living with dyslexia, go to Grooops.