Author Bio: Faith Altheide is deaf-blind and lives semi-independently through Corvilla’s Supported Living program. She communicates by tactile sign and just recently retired from her job at JC Penney’s. Despite some major struggles in her life, staff members know her as amazingly positive and inspiring.
Everyone deals with depression, especially here in the Midwest in the wintertime. COVID made it even harder because no one was visiting friends or distant families. Staying positive is a challenge but having hobbies and staying busy helps beat the blues. Here are some things that I like to do that bring me joy. Create Beautiful Things I have several hobbies that help me stay busy and positive. I like making bracelets, necklaces, and earrings with beautiful beads. My staff at Corvilla help me pick out the right colors and shapes and I put them on, using my skills. When I was at college, my friend who is also deaf-blind taught me how to knit with a special loom. I really enjoy making hats with super soft yarn and beautiful colors for my friends and their kids to wear in the wintertime here in Indiana. My hats and jewelry are for sale and the earnings allow me to buy more materials and stay busy. Garden Another way to occupy your time, especially when springtime is close, is to get your seeds planted and ready for your garden. Recently, I went to Menard’s and purchased bio-degradable egg carton-shaped starter boxes that you put your seeds in and cover with dirt. Be careful not to pack the dirt too hard or the seeds won’t sprout. My seeds took two weeks to sprout and soon will be big enough to transplant to the garden box. Putting them in the egg carton starters allows me to bring them inside if the weather gets too cold overnight. Keep Active Exercise is also a wonderful way to stay healthy and it makes me feel good inside. I recently bought a floor pedal bike because sometimes when the weather is bad, I cannot make it to
the physical therapist’s office for exercise. The floor peddler can be moved to my table to work out my arms as well. A simple band can provide resistance to work your arms and leg muscles as well. When we have surprise warm days, it’s important to remember and take advantage of the opportunity to get outside and get moving! The warm sunshine feels so good on your face and the vitamin D helps boost your mood as well. Write Letters Sometimes it helps to write things down. I like to send mail to my friends who live far away. Sometimes writing helps me feel better. I tell my staff what to write and they write it down. My friends send me beautiful cards with stickers and flower cutouts that I can feel. It is always fun to go to the mailbox and find a surprise. Enjoy Time with Others I enjoy visits with my daughter, she lives out of town but when she comes and surprises me, it always makes me the happiest. My staff and my behaviorist bring their dogs over to visit and my neighbors also have dogs. Dogs are great company and petting them always makes you feel good. If you know someone with a dog, just ask them if you can pet it first. Most dogs are happy and like people, but some dogs do not. My neighbor across the hall has a chihuahua who likes to be petted once and then left alone. My staff has a golden retriever, and he likes to be petted all the time. So, if you are feeling down, just remember to stay positive, because tomorrow is full of possibilities. You never know what new experiences are out there waiting for you.