Following on from our previous news post – Links and tips for the PDA community during the Coronavirus pandemic – some of the PDA Society’s adult PDAer panel members have kindly shared their tips for coping with the coronavirus outbreak …

Physical well-being

Fresh air can help (staying 2 metres away from other people and avoiding surfaces that lots of people touch (e.g. in parks/playgrounds))

If exercise is your thing, your home can be your gym (use large bottles of water as dumbbells, set up circuits in your living room, play tennis with a frying pan and ping pong ball …) and lots of exercise classes are now being offered online free of charge

Emotional well-being

Quiet space is often essential for PDAers of all ages in order to self-regulate. Self-isolation may remove customary sources of quiet space, so it might be helpful to factor in new ways of finding it. These could be:

  • Having a time in the day when you can retreat to your room with a ‘do not enter’ notice on the door
  • Making a nice comfy spot just for you somewhere in the garage or shed …

It may also help to acknowledge the things you miss, spend time thinking about or listing some of the benefits of the present situation (e.g. recharging batteries, spending time as a family, having a chance to do things we might not normally have time for, exploring alternative and creative ways of working/interacting …) and then focus on what you’ll do in future when the restrictions are lifted.

If you find yourself becoming quite ‘fixated’ about hand washing or researching the virus, the World Health Organisation has produced a document in relation to mental health considerations at this time

Parenting

There are many recommendations circulating for either making a daily schedule if that works for you, or …

… taking the pressure off and focussing on connecting with your children if that works for you.

Small steps with respect to the coronavirus restrictions can work well – spreading out of demands so they don’t all come at once for instance.

Keeping informed

Fact check news articles or social media posts

Read up on the reasons for self-isolation and hygiene guidelines so as to understand their purpose

Socialising

Keep in touch with friends and family if you want to via phone/email/video chats.

Create social groups on WhatsApp (or similar social media) that you can dip in an out of when it works personally, so there’s no pressure or perceived demand.

Hold virtual get-togethers – watching programmes and films on something like Netflix at the same time, as a virtual group, can be fun, particularly if you can message or chat with each other at the same time.

Maybe find and share positive news stories relating to coronavirus – e.g. community initiatives, acts of kindness, recovery rates, environmental benefits etc. (for instance, this BBC News article has 5 positive points).

Passing time

There are many free resources and virtual tours that are being circulated online …

Take the opportunity to do things you might not normally – dye your hair a fun colour, dress differently …

… or that you might not have time for – take up a new hobby, clear out a cupboard …

Feeling in control

Reframe things if you’re struggling with the demand of government-imposed measures so that you can find things that are specific motivators for you – like avoiding the selfish behaviour of those who are flouting advice or being motivated to stay in out of human decency/empathy/doing what is moral, or …

… maybe focus on the things you can control – e.g. following government advice and finding things to keep you distracted/occupied whilst socially distancing/self-isolating – and not on things you can’t.

We’ll continue to update the Links and tips for the PDA community during the Coronavirus pandemic page with additional information, ideas and resources – and please do let us know if you have other tips or links to share …