Dealing with the challenges that blindness and low vision can present is different for every individual, and for some it may mean impact their mental health and overall wellbeing.
With this in mind, our podcast series Don’t Eat the Whole Elephant uses the lived experiences of people who are blind or have low vision to explore the challenges vision loss can have on wellbeing and the strategies that can be used to overcome them.
In episode three, hosts Courtney and Cameron chat about the importance of developing strategies to get around day-to-day challenges.
Courtney and Cameron start off with a challenge that may be familiar to many people who are blind or have low vision, having to come up with a new way to get from A to B if you can no longer drive.
“The problem’s got many parts to it. So, we take that back to the first instance, the shock of not being able to drive. And it’s coupled with frustration. The emotions are all there. All these emotions running with the problem and we’re not then ready or prepared to take or look at the next step,” Cameron says.
After defining the problem and setting a goal, Courtney shares the next steps involved in problem solving.
“In the third step you brainstorm possible solutions. So what are your options? You’re looking at the pros and cons of each of those,” Courtney says.
“When you’ve weighed the pros and cons of your different solutions you make a choice. The choice is based on what you think you can do right now.”
According to Courtney, there are many factors to consider before selecting the best solution.
“What is the benefit of taking that particular action? What are some of the challenges associated with it? How much effort is it going to cost you? Do you have the emotional wherewithal to expend that effort right now,” Courtney asks.
Courtney believes selecting the most appropriate solution can significantly improve wellbeing.
“You want to choose to do something that you know you’ll succeed at because that gives you a little boost,” explains Courtney.
“Succeeding or accomplishing something in the midst of difficult circumstances gives you a little boost. And the more you can do that for yourself in your problem solving the more you’ll see this upward trajectory around how you’re feeling.”
You can listen to episode three of Don’t Eat the Whole Elephant here or on the player below: