Supporting Parents and Carers of children with a Visual Impairment
...because we care

LOOK News and Events:

Posts Tagged ‘Disability’

Tips on Coping With Stress

May 15th, 2017 / View in own page?

We want to create a resource of tips on coping with stress.

We know that a lot of you will currently be going through a stressful time with exams, deadlines, transitions, and other things life may throw at you.

The LOOK team, bloggers, mentors and mentees, have put together our best tips for dealing with stress in these situations and hope they’re of use.

  • Try your best to recognise when you are in the middle of an angry outburst or thoughts.
  • Allow emotions to be present. Cry, scream, shout, but not at anyone. Be present in acknowledging the feelings, but don’t let them take over.
  • Don’t use expletives or negativity when expressing these thoughts.
  • Breathe deeply and think only of what your breathing is doing.
  • Read up on mindfulness or meditation, and try putting it into practice.
  • If you feel a head-ache or migraine coming on then STOP and relax.
  • Learn to recognise the signs of a head-ache or migraine and stop before one comes on.
  • Distract yourself by yourself focussing on something small.
  • Exercise, it releases endorphins.
  • Eat well and drink lots of water.
  • Listen to music. Blast out one of your happy songs or cry to a sad song! Check out our LOOK relaxed playlist.
  • Text/call someone such as a close friend or family member. Just talking things through can make you feel better.
  • Find a task that needs a lot of focus and thoughtfulness, maybe such as writing.
  • Write down or record your thoughts and feelings, this can be a release and help process mixed up emotions. Look back over it and you may notice any patterns or triggers you may have been unaware of.
  • Make lists – a to-do list of things that you feel stressed or anxious about. In terms of to-do lists, prioritise what’s most important and what needs doing first. It’s also good to focus on positivity – make a list of the things that make you feel good, and your favourite things. It’s a good way of balancing and prioritizing everything that you need to do.
  • Do one of your favourite hobbies.
  • Watch your favourite TV programme.
  • Have a nice cup of tea, hot chocolate or your favourite drink, and enjoy the 10 minutes to sit and drink it.
  • Think of something positive. What are you proud of? What have you achieved so far?
  • What are your passions? Find them and immerse yourself within them.
  • Have a long bath or shower.
  • Lose yourself within a good book.
  • Take some time out for yourself – self-care is so important.
  • Take time away from the things that are making you stressed.
  • Smile! Yes, forcing yourself to actively smile makes you feel better!
  • Dog meditating
  • These are our tips for coping with stress. If you have any to add then let us know. Email youth@look-uk.org or contact us on Facebook or Twitter we’d love to hear from you.

TOP


Sight Loss, Stress and Depression

May 4th, 2017 / View in own page?

Today’s post is from disability blogger, Sass. We are very excited that Sass is part of our look blogging team.

In this post she talks openly about her battle with depression, and how sight loss can cause stress.

 

Sass blog logo

 

Did you know that 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental illness?

Were you aware that there is a positive correlation between sight loss and depression?

I’ve been diagnosed as clinically depressed since 2015

Through the support of my partner Gary and my GP, I sat and talked candidly about my erratic mood swings, lack of energy, motivation and my constant exhaustion. We talked at length about my symptoms and the options available to me.

I opted to go on antidepressants as I have previously had counseling.

Antidepressants aren’t for everyone, and that’s ok. However, for me they have been invaluable; they have improved all the symptoms I mentioned above, and, most importantly, it’s helped me focus on the bigger picture.

My deterioration in vision since the age of 14 has been a source of vexation and frustration for me.

I hated relinquishing control, having to ask friends and family for help, needing things like worksheets adapted and continuous hospital appointments.

I just wanted to be normal.

But I wasn’t.

I walked into people and inanimate objects, I would knock things over, not be able to read anything without a magnifying glass and so many other things.

I’ve always been a perfectionist so asking for help or embarrassing myself publicly, always sent me into a spiral of stress.

Over the years this stress manifested into rage and, because of this, I pushed people away or pushed them to breaking point.

At the time I genuinely believed my outbursts were justified and acceptable. I believed I had to fight: fight for support, fight to be heard and fight to prove myself.

There was always a reason, an excuse, a situation. I couldn’t see that my behavior, thought processes and even actions, were out of control.

It wasn’t until I was at University studying psychology and having a truly fantastic network of friends around me that I recognised all of my grievances and anger were due to me losing my sight.

I still had my moments but they were fewer and far between. I would get riled up by the little things; dropping something on the floor and spending 5 minutes looking for it, tripping up kerbs or spilling my drink everywhere.

I learned to laugh it off, reminding myself that in the grand scheme of things they really weren’t such a big deal.

Yet as my sight deteriorated further and these menial things seemed to happen more frequently, I realised I needed some support.

And that’s when I rang the RNIB counseling support line, and registered myself on the waiting list.

I wanted to talk through my problems, how to acknowledge my frustrations but not let it control me.

I wanted to know how I would manage with my impending sight loss and what techniques I could use to make my life and mental state healthier.

The waiting list was so long that by the time my first counseling session happened, I had already lost my remaining vision.

My counselor was fantastic. Although I had lost my sight, and the worst had happened to me, she listened, empathized and talked through my anxieties and frustrations with me.

The counseling was invaluable to me and it wasn’t until the beginning of 2015 that depression decided to rear its ugly head again.

It took me a long time to acknowledge that I was changing and becoming angry all over again. It was always the small things: walking into doorways, pouring the kettle and missing my cup, dirty dishes and not noticing I wasn’t holding my cup straight so hot tea spilled over me and my furniture.

All those little things added up to one big thing: dealing with my sight loss.

That is why I started antidepressants. I was chemically imbalanced, so why not try chemicals to restore my balance?

I still have my down days, and that’s ok. It’s about acknowledging my stress levels and doing something about it.

Constant stress can lead to depression so make sure self-care is at the top of your priority list.

Depression is an illness, a brutal thought process that truly can take over your body and mind. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Establish your stress points and find a way to combat them. Only you know your triggers and only you can save yourself from stress.

Think positive, stay positive!

 

Useful link:

RNIB Counselling Service

 

Sass has written a post on her personal blog about sight loss and depression, some of you may find it of use:

Let’s Talk About Depression

TOP


Stress Stress Stress!

April 27th, 2017 / View in own page?

Harriet is one of our fabulous LOOK members. Through our mentoring project she has been matched with a mentor who is supporting her to achieve her goals.

She is currently preparing for her GCSE’s and deals with the added pressure of having both a visual and hearing impairment.

in this video she talks about the different types of stress and gives tips on how to cope with it.

Make sure you check out our other posts on stress! If you would like to know more about the mentoring project please email mentor@look-uk.org

 

 

We’d love for you to get involved in our theme of the month. Why not answer our questions:
What stresses you out?
Does your sight loss stress you out?
If so, how and how do you deal with it?
How do you deal with stress?
What do you do to de-stress and relax?
Let us know in the comments on the above YouTube video or contact us on Facebook or Twitter

TOP


Blog of the Month: Stress

April 27th, 2017 / View in own page?

Don’t Miss Our Blog of the Month….

Each month, on our blog, we will have posts relating to a specific theme. This month’s theme is stress. For many of you it’s a very stressful time, whether you’re preparing for exams and spending most of your time revising or writing dissertations or assignments. There’s no doubt that May and June are two of the most stressful months for students.

That’s why this month our blog will be focusing on stress. From personal experiences, tips on coping with stress and maybe even a playlist for you to make things that bit more bearable!

Here at LOOK we know how stressful these next few months can be, so we want to help in any way we can. Keep an eye on our blog page and social media where we will be sharing our posts for this month’s stress theme. There’s also a chance for you to get involved as well!

TOP


Am I Inspirational?

April 13th, 2017 / View in own page?

In her first blog post for LOOK, our Project Worker, Holly Tuke, discusses whether she sees herself as being inspirational. Holly is blind due to a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), and knows first hand what life is like as a young person with sight loss.

I’ve often been called an “inspiration”, and when that happens I feel humbled. But to be completely honest, I don’t think I am inspirational at all, I’m just an average blind girl who is trying to get to where she wants to be in life, and, along the way, achieve her goals. I stuck to these goals when I went through mainstream school. It was tough at times, and I didn’t give up without a fight when things went wrong, which they often did. But that’s just the person I am. I’m now in my final few months of university. I believe having a degree will present me with better life opportunities and help me find a good job. I want to do well in life and make my family proud. I am currently balancing my university work with my part-time job with LOOK, and other commitments too, but I don’t think any of these makes me particularly, ’inspirational’. I do these things because I enjoy them, but also to achieve the best I can in the future and to improve my life chances.

Picture of Holly

If anyone wants to call me inspirational then I am honoured. Personally, I think there are far more inspirational people than me, individuals who have, for example, saved people’s lives and have a positive attitude about everything.
The word ‘inspirational’ can be a funny one. I know a lot of disabled people absolutely hate being labelled with it. They don’t understand why they’re perceived to be inspirational when they are just trying to live normal lives. But the truth is, non-disabled people will never fully understand what it’s like to have a disability and, in all likelihood, never will.

I’m at a point in my life where I am happy with the person I am, I know what I want to achieve and where I want to get to, I know my strengths and weaknesses and I like to think I am a good, positive and caring person.
I’ve done a lot of charity work and volunteering over the last few years and recently started my first job as a Project Worker for LOOK. It’s just the sort of position I’ve always wanted. I believe that I am not only gaining experience for my future career but I am also helping others. I am keen to help others in the same situation as me and facing similar struggles to me, because I know how hard it can be to live with a disability every single day. I know how hard it can be when all you want is to see the beauty in this world but you can’t. I know how isolated it can make you feel. I know what it’s like to constantly fight for equality. But I also know the beauty having a disability can have. I believe that having a visual impairment has made me a stronger person, it’s most certainly made me who I am today. Would I be doing what I am doing now if I didn’t have a disability? I don’t know, but if you look beyond society’s perceptions, having a disability isn’t all bad. If you think about it hard enough, the positives can actually outweigh the negatives.

I’ve been blogging for over two years now and my blog, ‘Life of a Blind Girl’ is going places I never thought it would. I started blogging in the hope to raise awareness of disability and to help others that might need a bit of support. That has been the aim of my blog and blogging for LOOK has helped me reach that goal even more. Whether I help one person or 200, I don’t mind. Helping others, passing on my advice and providing people with some support or motivation is so important.
Blogging has also given me the chance to make new friends, some of whom are blind and visually impaired like myself.
If anyone is interested in starting a blog or writing a guest blog post for LOOK then I would encourage you to do so, it’s so important to get your voice heard. Blogging is one of the best decisions that I have made.

When I graduate from university I want to continue blogging and working for LOOK or within the sight loss sector to support as many young vision impaired people as I can. I want them to know that having a disability doesn’t have to be a barrier. Does this make me inspirational? I’ll let you decide.
If you enjoyed Holly’s post then head over to our useful links page where you can check out her blog!

TOP