Panic. Frustration. Helplessness. Is anyone else feeling any of these emotions lately? As our world collectively experiences a pandemic and we focus on social distancing, the range of emotions I go through each day and let’s be honest, it’s more like each hour having me feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Currently in Malaysia, the government has implemented something called Movement Control. Our schools have closed down, the roads have closed down, there is no travel within the country, in or out and we have most recently, been asked to use masks while grocery shopping. But, you know what? I am okay with it. Because it’s for the greater good but that doesn’t mean it has been easy
So, I ask myself the same question again and again. What can I DO? I am a doer. I don’t know about you but when I feel anxious, I want to DO something. It makes me feel better, it makes the person you are helping feel better and really, it’s just the right thing to do. BUT, when you are required for the safety of others and yourself to stay at home and limit contact with others, how exactly and what exactly can or should you DO?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, a suggested copying strategy is to “Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.”
Just remember, whatever you do doesn’t have to change the world. Brightening one person’s day matters. So, here are a few ideas:
Share your Expertise and Passions
- Are you a teacher? Make yourself available to parents that might have questions
- A fitness trainer? Start a class online, offer it out to people. Use Instagram Live. It’s a great format.
- A Therapist? Share tips about how to get through the anxiety
- A Cook? -Share your recipes and dinner ideas
- Do you sew? There are places that are asking for sewing help making masks and gowns for hospitals
Be a motivator
-Get groups together to workout. Zoom is a great platform for big groups
-Get a virtual happy hour going
-Make an eating/nutrition accountability group
Start a movement
- Gather your neighborhood to have an easter egg hunt
- write inspirational messages with sidewalk chalk
- create a chat and reach out to neighbors
Share your Extras
-Bake for your neighbors
-Include your neighbors in your activities. I made playdough for my son yesterday and delivered some to my neighbor who has kids. I knew her kids were going crazy inside too so, I just had to make a little extra. I have used this recipe as a zero waste birthday party treat and for a zero-waste Halloween treat.
-Offer to grocery shop/share extra food
-Do you have extra craft supplies? Leave them at someone’s door that you know has children.
-Making something for your family (an activity, a toy, food) make some extra and share!
-Donate to food banks
- Call your elderly family
- Video chat with your family
- Text your super social friends
- Text your introverted friends
Appreciate people (privately or publicly)
Everyone likes to be appreciated so why not go a bit further and appreciate them publicly? Let’s spread the positivity. Be specific about what you are thankful for other people will chime in if it’s on social media. It will make that person’s day!
Spend your Money Thoughtfully
-Do not panic buying
-Pick up groceries for the elderly or people who are immune-compromised.
-Buy gift cards from small businesses online to use later
-Buy from small business restaurants
-Tip generously people who are giving you a service
We are all in this together. So, let’s do our part for the greater good, for those who need us and for ourselves. Take this time as an opportunity to reach out when maybe before you might not have. Take this opportunity to do. What are the small changes you are making to relieve your anxiety and take care of others? We can, you can, we all can do it!