Here’s the truth… there’s absolutely nothing you can do about Coronavirus except follow the guidelines you’ve been given. Sure, you can be smart about how often you shop, who you bring to the store with you (preferably no one), how you handle your groceries and whether you wear gloves. You can do all the things to try to protect yourself and your loved ones, but you can’t rid the world of the virus. And you can’t completely ignore it either. For goodness sake, most of us can’t even leave our house except for essentials right now! So why not try out one of the Coronavirus: 10 acts of kindness!
It’s normal to feel anxious, overwhelmed and helpless right now! And the best way to combat those feelings is to take back some of your power! Feeling like you’re doing something to positively impact the world around you has a profound impact on your well-being. Don’t wait, get started now!
1. Phone a Friend
Let’s start simple! We’re all getting a little stir crazy being cooped up at home with no social contact! And to be honest I hate the term “social distancing” because, what we’re really supposed to be doing is “physical distancing”.
So, don’t stop being social! Call or video chat your family and friends. Check in with them and see how they’re doing. Let them talk, vent or even cry and don’t try to make it better. Some of us are struggling more than others. Holding space for one you love is often the kindest thing you can do! So, no judgement, just hear them out! And don’t forget to share a few laughs as well, there’s no better medicine!
Spend some time connecting with the people you love. You’ll feel better and so will they! This is especially important is someone close to you is elderly or at risk. People need to be checked on. They need to be reminded that they matter and that someone cares! A simple phone call could do a world of wonder!
2. Send Cards
Don’t have cards in your house… don’t run out to the store to get them! Hand-made cards and letters are such a kind gesture!
Create “thank you” or “thinking of you” cards for essential workers in your community! Hand them out to store employees or send them to shipping companies and local health care facilities.
Not sure where to find addresses… check google! You can simply address your card to “all medical staff”, “all truck drivers”, or even just “staff”.
While we’re all getting stir crazy being at home there are MANY people on the front lines of this who would trade places with us in a second! They are working to provide for our essential needs and EVERY one of them deserves our gratitude!
Often, we forget how moving a written reminder can be! Take the time to encourage and support those who are working hard every day to take care of you and your family!
3. Feed the Workers
This one is awesome because it’s a double whammy!
Many essential workers are putting in long hours with few breaks! Then they’re going home to families and messy houses and they still need to head to the grocery store! At the same time, restaurants are struggling to keep their doors open due to the lack of business!
Why not take up a collection in your neighborhood and send some catered meals to a nearby hospital or factory! You could also send gift packages with munchies or other treats to take home!
Don’t be limited by the idea of sending food! You could send small packages of Epsom salts, hand sanitizer or hand cream as well! Anyone who’s working right now must be exhausted and could use a hot bath and some cream to soothe those chapped hands!
4. Make Masks
If you have the skill and ability, consider making masks.
JoAnn Fabrics is still distributing mask making kits and there are plenty of online tutorials. Simply find your nearest store (you may want to call to ensure they’re open). Pick up your mask making kit while you’re heading to the grocery store and take them back while out for another shopping trip!
While these masks aren’t medical grade, they are much appreciated by the medical community! In some regions there are tremendous shortages of personal protective equipment so these are very helpful for staff that may be using the same disposable mask repeatedly.
You might not feel like the number of masks you can personally churn out will make much of a difference. I get it, I’m a pretty slow seamstress too! But the quantities add up quick when many chip in! So far JoAnn is reporting that their volunteers have made 11 million masks!
Now, that’s something to be proud of!!!
5. Contribute to Those in Need
You can place a box on your porch or take this time to purge from your own home and collect things for those in need.
Many people are out of work without pay right now so getting essentials like groceries is a tough order. If you have an overflowing pantry, I know many of us do, why not go through it and donate items you aren’t likely to use? Kick it up a notch by posting your intention on Facebook and asking your friends to help fill your box!
You can easily find a shelter or food bank that’s happy to take your donations!
In addition, if you or someone you’re close to knows someone who’s struggling to pay their bills you might want to take up a collection for them. I don’t recommend that you do this with strangers online because of the possibility of getting scammed. But we all know someone who could use a hand up at this difficult time!
6. Adorn Your House
Do the kids (and parents) in your neighborhood a favor! Adorn your house! With playgrounds and school closed children are struggling. They’re restless, frightened and anxious too! Oftentimes the only entertainment they get is a daily walk with a parent or pet! Why not help provide them with a little fun!
If you haven’t heard yet… many people across America are putting a rainbow of some sort somewhere on their house. Whether it’s a picture on the window or door or crepe paper streamers hanging from trees, doesn’t matter. So, let your creativity guide you! This gives a “where’s waldo” effect to a simple walk as children try to spot and count all the rainbows, hoping to find more each day! Be sure to encourage your neighbors to join in and make your community a fun, safe place for all of the kids who live there!
While you’re at it, break out your sidewalk chalk and have some fun decorating your walkway with hopscotch boards, words of encouragement and fun pictures. Consider leaving your chalk out for kids to play with as they come by. Don’t have chalk? Why not make liquid chalk with items you already have in your pantry! In addition you can leave fun items like bubbles (and even make homemade wands) or leave a bucket of crafting supplies with a “take one for fun” sign!
7. Plant a Garden
This is a great time of year to start seedlings and prepare a garden!
The truth is that this WILL end and when it does there will still be food insecurity! Food banks are often desperate for fresh produce because it’s difficult to come by! Hopefully when the dust settles, we’ll all still be committed to unity and community! Planting and caring for a garden is the perfect way to pay it forward. Not only does this benefit the hungry in your community but it’s beneficial to the environment and your health.
So, spend some time now learning how to create a vegetable garden. Even if you don’t have a green thumb or a lot of space there’s no reason not to try! Already have a garden, consider making it bigger! It’s time well spent that will pay off in so many ways in the long run!
8. Shop for Others
Have you heard of the app NextDoor? It’s 100% free and helps you connect with people in your community! If you need help or are willing to help others this is a great place to start!
Hop on NextDoor, post on social media or reach out to someone you know and offer to help! Even with many retailers earmarking special shopping hours for seniors and those who are at risk some still can’t go or are very afraid. Offer to help by picking their items up while you’re shopping for your family!
On this note… please refrain from shopping during designated hours that don’t apply to you. And avoid using curbside pick up and grocery delivery if you aren’t part of the at-risk community. Let’s work together to ensure that the highest risk groups among us are protected and have the accommodations they need.
9. Share Your Supplies
One of the bright spots in my weekend was seeing the banana bread, romaine lettuce negotiations and trade between Chrissy Teigen and a fan. It brightened my day and that of many others!
Why? Well, it’s a perfect example of people pulling together in these difficult times. So, if you stocked up or find yourself with something you can’t use consider sharing or trading with your neighbors, friends or family! It might not be as entertaining as arranging a trade with the Legend / Teigen clan but you’re sure to feel amazing knowing you’re helping someone out!
10. Crafts for the Elderly
If you or your kids are bored and find yourselves with extra time on your hands why not create something that’ll brighten someone’s day?
Due to restrictions placed on senior centers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes many residents are going without visitors. They have minimal human contact, and many don’t have family. Often their children and grandchildren are grown. Loneliness is detrimental and can be life threatening to the elder community!
Consider making crafts, cards or bookmarks for seniors. Send them to your local senior center or elder care home addressed to “resident in need of a smile”. You can also send word searches and even puzzles your children have outgrown.
Share Good News
People are scared, overwhelmed and anxious. Sometimes the best source of cheer and encouragement is getting good news! Seeing other’s happy, calmly coping with this situation and coming out on top can be the most helpful thing of all. It isn’t just fear and the virus that’re contagious, it’s also joy and hope! Can you be a beacon of hope to those around you? Can you facilitate this opportunity for others by creating a post on your social media inviting them to share their good news? Could you share your acts of kindness in order to inspire others to join in?
Perhaps the best place to start would be to share this post! After all, those who care, share! You could be the one to start a movement in your community! A movement of overwhelming kindness and compassion!