It is a time full of unknowns and disappointments.
Schools are closed, events are canceled, the news is scary, and the what-ifs are troubling. This is an unprecedented time, and we need unprecedented kindness.
How can you be kind and still protect yourself and your family? Here are some ideas:
5 Ways to Be Kind to Your Community During Coronavirus / COVID-19
Be a good neighbor. Check in with your neighbors to make sure they have what they need and to let them know they have people that care. Be especially aware of elderly neighbors and people that live alone. You know all that technology we have - let’s use it like never before to truly connect.
Support local businesses. Order takeout or buy gift cards for later use. Send a Facebook message to remind them that very soon, we will all be back out and about again to visit their business. Keep your memberships going. Continue to give to your church and area nonprofits and give more if you can.
Remember the caretakers. Find a way to say thank you to health professionals and first responders. Post word of encouragement on their social media channels. If you have to go to the doctor’s office or hospital, practice grace and understanding if they are short on time, resources, or answers.
Be generous. Don’t take more than you need when it comes to groceries and supplies. Or if you do buy extra, drop them off at police stations, fire stations, and emergency rooms. If you eat out, leave a bigger tip than usual.
Help people. From hungry kids that are missing school lunch to people in demand-shifted jobs like restaurant workers and event custodians, there will be people all over our communities that will be struggling. If you know them, think of what help could look like and reach out. If no one comes to mind, give to your local United Way or food bank; the needs these organizations will be addressing will be fierce.
5 Ways to Be Kind to Your Friends and Family During Coronavirus
Be goofy. Listen to music - loud. Sing along - in funny voices. Have a dance party - in costumes. Laugh and then laugh some more. Then FaceTime some best friends and get them to join in virtually.
Eat and drink well. Open the old cookbooks that just sit on your shelf. Cook a creative meal with the entire family. Open that bottle of wine you have been saving. Let the kids drink an extra soda.
Have family time. Play the board games that your kids always want to play, but you never really play. Have a basketball goal? Play a family game of HORSE. Actually use the fire pit you put in years ago.
Reconnect. Write emails to childhood or college friends that you haven’t heard from in a long time. Detail what has been happening in your life and ask questions about what is going on with them. Tag them in an old photo.
Pick up the phone. Call grandma, your favorite aunt, your best friend. Use FaceTime to see the face of someone you love or at least just call them to hear their voice. We are going to need to do better than merely texting right now.
5 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself During Coronavirus
Organize. View this extra time at home as an opportunity to finally declutter. Clean out the closets and reorganize the drawers. How about all the photos trapped on your devices? Get them on a computer and sorted into folders. Use this time to clear your house and mind - and smile, laugh, and cry at the memories that come up as you go through your home.
Get outside. Take a hike, go fishing, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy our world. The grandness of our world, combined with its attention to detail, has a way of making everything else seem like it will all be ok.
Stay calm. Meditate and take deep breaths, anything to practice some mindfulness, and reduce anxiety. Take this time to rest and restore your mind, body, and soul. Oh yeah, Netflix and chill, and don’t feel guilty about it.
Read. Go through your bookshelf and open up a book that you keep meaning to start but haven’t gotten around to it. Gather a pile of books that you need to pass on to others because if you are honest with yourself, you’ll never actually read them.
Feel your emotions. If the trip you have been saving for is canceled, it’s ok to be disappointed. If social distancing gets you down, it’s ok to be lonely. Feel the sadness. Cry and yell for a minute. Then intentionally find joy and be grateful for all that you have. Have faith that we will get through this. And then pass it on, because faith and joy are just as contagious as fear and panic.
Stay well, and be kind, friends. We need it now more than ever.
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