On March 13th, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 (more commonly known as the “Coronavirus”) is a worldwide pandemic. As of this publishing (March 15th, 2020) over 150,000 cases have been identified. As more people are tested, that number will continue to rise. While the virus itself presents with flu-like symptoms, it is dangerously more contagious. We recommend checking the WHO website for the most up to date information on symptoms.
Many countries across the world have implemented a quarantine on their populations. People are being asked to avoid populated areas and events, stay in their homes as much as possible, and practice social distancing. This practice, as clarified by WHO, is “…based on the principle that you do not know who is affected, and you are separating, putting social distance between everyone.”
Simply put, this can be a frightening time for many reasons. You may be experiencing much higher stress levels in your day to day life. We at Random Acts are big believers in looking for the helpers. Studies have shown that you can reduce your stress levels by practicing small acts of kindness. What we have done is compiled a list and some tool kits with ideas on how to #getkind virtually or from within your own homes. It is our hope that in this uncertain time, we can boost kindness all that much more within our communities to help all of us pull through.
Random Acts Outreach Department has put together some toolkits with useful information for this pandemic. You can access them via the links below. We highly recommend you take these tool kits and share virtually to your communities and loved ones.
Our Random Acts staff has brainstormed some ideas on how to #getkind while still exercising best practices during the pandemic. This is just a start! We would love to hear your ideas as well. Tag us on social media with your thoughts, plans, and pictures!
- Message and/or call to check in on friends and family. This is especially important for our senior and immunosuppressed communities. Remind them that they are not alone.
- If you know of someone who needs resources (food, goods) but is unable to leave their home, you can send them a virtual gift card or order necessary items to be delivered directly to them (via online stores, grocery delivery, etc).
- Show gratitude for first responders, folks in medical fields, and those organizing food banks. You can do this by message, phone call, e-card, or the like.
- Donate online to local non-profit organizations that are helping people through the crisis (food banks, shelters).
- Have some downtime? Free Rice is a fun way to learn new things and fight food insecurity.
- Gratitude letter writing is a great way to spread some kindness. Order postage online, and send a note to someone who could use a smile.
- Do you miss connecting with people? Try coordinating virtual meet ups and activities to give people some structure and fun. Virtual book clubs or game night, live-tweet movie/show watching, or any other activity that can be shared via social media and/or streaming. You can use online platforms like Zoom, GoogleHangouts, Skype.
- Small businesses will likely take a hit from lack of customers. To help with this, purchase gift cards that you can use at a later time, or gift to family or friends. The extra funds will help them keep their operations open. Check to see if they have opened an online shop with delivery.
- Spend some time with your pet or walking neighborhood dogs. (Check on your senior neighbors; they may need some help here as well!)
Practice Good Mental Health
It is important during any stressful event to check in with yourself and your own mental health. You cannot help take care of others until you have taken care of yourself. Here is a quick list of ideas to practice kindness on yourself.
There are many resources to reach out to if you are dealing with increased stress and anxiety.
- The Lifeline
- Crisis Text Line: Text “HELLO” to 741741
- Set limits on media consumption. It is good to stay informed, but make sure to take breaks.
- Practice self care by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and hydrating as often as needed.
- If you are able, take advantage of your time at home and complete projects like cleaning, planting, and organizing. Studies have shown a more organized environment can promote good mental health.