Your Wellbeing is Our Top Priority
Being physically isolated from family, friends, and colleagues during this time is difficult for everyone. If you are Deaf or have a hearing loss, you may be feeling especially isolated during this time.
It’s important to look after yourself and be proactive about caring for your wellbeing. That’s why we’ve created this support pack to help you to make your ‘stay-cation’ plan, to help you to learn new skills, and to get a new routine going in the home.
#BeConnected: While we are isolated physically, we don’t need to be isolated emotionally. Reach out to your friends and family by phone, video chat, text or email.
#BeKind: Everyone is on edge at the moment, so, give your neighbour a smile when you walk by and think of ways to spread joy and goodwill.
#BeCurious: Learn a new skill, read a book you’ve been wanting to read, start a new type of exercise. Learning new things will help you to enjoy yourself more and in the present moment.
#BeWell: Get outside for fresh air, at least once a day. Choose a type of exercise that feels good for you and try to commit to it for least 10 minutes per day.
#BeSupported: Asking for help is a courageous act. If you need someone to talk to, request a call from our team or reach out to your friends and family.
Shall We Take a Stay-cation Together?
Being home all day can really make you feel like your life is on hold. Many of us are missing our friends and families.
This time can be tough, but there is a lot of interesting things you can do at home with a little bit of ingenuity and imagination.
To help inspire you, we’ve put together a Stay-cation Activity Calendar. It’s filled with neat ideas and activities you can do at home. It’s a chance to learn new skills and have a bit of fun.
Learn NZSL & Lip Reading
As part of the Stay-cation Activity schedule, we will be hosting classes for those of you that would like to learn about New Zealand Sign Language and other useful hearing loss aware communication skills.
What’s on offer?
NZSL Classes on our community Facebook Page (Classes will be provided in collaboration with Merge)
Learn to fingerspell in NZSL
Learn all the days of the week in NZSL
Learn to introduce yourself in NZSL
Videos and games for improving Lip Reading skills.
Stay-cation Activity Ideas
We also have lots of fun activities for you to do, such as:
Become a street artist: If you have chalk at home, try drawing some art on your driveway or on the footpath to brighten people’s day!
Get experimental in the kitchen: Find a recipe you’ve never made and serve it up for dinner!
Try mediation: Meditation for 10 minutes a day can make a big difference to your wellbeing. Why not give it a go!
Start a journal: Now is a great time to reflect. Start a stream of consciousness to help you keep track of your feelings during the quarantine.
Have a Dance Party: Have a solo or bubble-wide dance party!
Watch the sunrise: How often do we miss the sunrise? Now’s your chance. Why not get up early and watch the sky change colour.
Find your inner artist: Try taking an online drawing class. There are a lot of great classes available on YouTube. Here’s a good one if you’d like to learn how to draw faces:
Up your fitness level: Start and end your day with 5 squats.
Have a shared movie night: Watch a movie on YouTube/Netflix with those in your bubble or organise with a friend to watch a film at the same time and then talk about it afterward.
Get reading: Start reading a book you’ve been wanting to read!
Have a picnic in your yard: Just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the outdoors.
Can’t go to the café? Try making homemade chai or hot chocolate!
Watch the sunset! Watch as the day turns to night and the sky lights up red, pink and orange.
Download & print the Weekly Stay-cation Activity template
Use our comprehensive list of activities (above) for inspiration.
And make your own personalised weekly calendar using our weekly template (below).
Do you have some ideas for activities that you want to share with our community?
Email them to
Looking for more ideas?
Check out Oh No Nina’s Video for 10 tips for making the most of your time indoors.
Time for a new routine?
Many of us have now found ourselves in a pyjama-tinged blur. While we know this isn’t really good for us, the absence of a routine has left us a little unsure of how to prioritise our day.
Creating a daily routine that works for you can really help to get us all through the COVID 19 Lockdown.
Here’s a few ideas to help you make the most out of being at home.
It can be tempting to start your day by heading straight to the couch, maybe turning on the television to catch up on the news or to start browsing the internet. But why not be intentional about this important time of day.
Try deciding 5 steps you want to take each morning, like going for a walk around the block (before you start work if you’re working). This has the added benefit of requiring you to change out of those pyjamas too.
You could also challenge yourself to drink a cup of tea outside, without any distractions, for some additional quiet time and mindfulness.
Schedule in Movement
It can feel a bit like Groundhog Day during the quarantine. Exercise can really help to break up your day and make you feel more alive.
If you want to exercise, you will need to decide when you want to do it. Easy times for this are at lunch, or before dinner.
To help you stay committed, challenge someone else in your bubble to join you, or do it with a friend over the phone or via video chat.
How did you live before the quarantine? Try to keep a normal schedule during the lockdown – and set a bedtime and a wake-up time.
For many of us, our sleeping patterns may be out of whack due to the change of routine and it’s important to prioritise sleep. If our sleep goes haywire, it can drastically affect our mood.
Try to have some quiet time without screens (perhaps with a book) for the last hour before you go to sleep.
Let's Stay Connected
There are now so many ways to stay in touch thanks to the internet, however, this isn’t always so straight forward if you are Deaf or hard of hearing. Here are three services that can help to keep you connected during the lockdown.
Zoom is a video conferencing app you can use to call friends or family and have a group catch up. As part of their free services, they offer up to 40 mins of talking time for free.
To aid communication, here are a few tips for using Zoom when you’re Deaf or hard of hearing:
Allocate someone to type captions.
Ask that people speak one person at a time.
Keep participants inside the meeting to a minimum.
Use the chatbox for clarification if you’re having trouble.
Let people know that using an external mic, closer to your mouth, helps with clarity.
Ask everyone to put themselves on mute when not speaking to remove background noise.
Remind people to check-in, and make sure you’re following the conversation.
With the increased reliance on video conferencing and phone calls in this era of social distancing, it is important to become aware of accessibility services.
NZ Relay provides relay services for Deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders, so they can communicate on the phone and video conferencing. Options include text relay, internet relay, and phone relay.
They can also set you up with Cap-Tel, a service, which provides captioning for your phone calls.
Working from home? You may want to consider captioning for video conferences with your team.
Automatic captioning services are getting better and better, and they are more essential than ever during this time of quarantine when we are all connecting online.
AI Media provides captioning to those who need it. Their service enables video conferences and other media to be captioned in real-time, which provides essential access to the Deaf and hard of hearing community.
It's an important time to be connected.
Connecting with your community is an incredibly powerful way to beat isolation at this time.
Our online community page is where we share information, wisdom, humour, and kindness to help keep our spirits up. We may be physically distanced but that's all the more reason to stay emotionally connected.
This virus will be a marathon, not a sprint, and we're going to need each other.
Do you need to talk to someone?
We’re here to help. Our team are available to talk with you throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.
Sometimes, having someone to talk to can make a huge difference during this time of isolation.
We would love to know how you’re going and if there is anything we can support you.
Useful Wellbeing Resources to Get You Through Quarantine
The Ministry of Health’s website includes Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Mental Health Foundation also has some practical tips on how to look after your mental health during this time: www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/
The Health Promotion Agency has also created this useful resource to help New Zealanders recognise and understand depression and anxiety during this period: www.depression.org.nz/covid-19/