It is easy to feel helpless and down during such trying times. Focusing our efforts on what we can do for other people will help us to keep productive and help our community. We all need to unite together and not let this virus get the better of us.
Easy things anyone can do to help
Whether you are in isolation or not, there are many things that you can do to be kind and to help our world get through this.
Send someone a postcard
Do you know someone who is stuck in isolation on their own? Why not send them a friendly postcard letting them know you are thinking of them. This is particularly helpful to the older generation who are less frequent social media users as they can get very lonely. If you have a child why not ask your little one to include a drawing in the envelop, this would be sure to bring a smile to the recipient's face.
Stay home, stay clean
Avoiding contact with other people is the kindest thing you can do right now. If we all socially distance ourselves effectively the virus will be much more manageable for our already strained NHS (see 'How can mums prepare for self-isolation'). It is also crucial for EVERYONE to be practicing good hygiene by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue (dispose immediately) or the crease of your arm, and by cleaning door handles and other frequently touched surfaces every day.
It is so easy to make someone's day by leaving a kind comment on their blog, new profile picture, status update, etc. This is something that you can do every day to make the world of social media that bit nicer.
Be a good friend
Check-in, on friends and family, to see how they are holding up. By asking how someone is feeling you are providing that person an opportunity to open up and vent out their thoughts, feelings, and emotions (see 'Coping with coronavirus anxiety'). This can be very beneficial to someone who is struggling to cope and bottling up their feelings. Even if the person you are reaching out to would rather not talk about how they are feeling, by checking in with them you are showing them that you care and that you are a person they can turn to if they decide they do need to talk to a friendly ear. Emotional support is so important right now.
Offer support to your elderly and vulnerable neighbors
Many people over the age of 70 don't use the internet and have little or no friends/family to help them. Write your number on a piece of paper with a note offering any support you can. This could include being a friend for them call when they are feeling lonely, picking up their medications, putting their bins out on pick up day, getting their grocery shop for them, just to name a few.
With all the panic buying going on at the moment a lot of vital charities are desperately running out of essentials. If you can afford to why not donate to a homeless shelter, baby bank or food bank? You could also show your support by sharing social media posts from charities requesting help and offering to help with deliveries. My personal choice of charity is Brum Baby Bank that is in DESPERATE need of donations right now, check out their Go-fund me page or Facebook page.
Coronavirus is putting a huge strain on the economy so it's more important now than ever to support small and independent businesses. Share your favorites on your social media! Favorites A great place to find these businesses is Etsy.com that is full of creative and unique products. You can always try searching Instagram's shop section and Facebook marketplace (best place for bargains and second hand).
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