COVID-19 has taken a lot from us. It has taken our routines, our illusion of control, our sense of safety and for some of us it has taken very precious things such as family members and finances. Nothing is harder right now and those difficulties do not go unseen.
But (hear me out) there is also a lot that this virus has given us.
It has forced us to slow down, it has given us a new appreciation for relationships (& time to invest in them) and it has forced us to look at our habits. One thing our family has realized during this time is that we are very busy and often it was with good things. But these many good things left us with little time to encourage others. So during this quarantine, we are rediscovering small ways each week to reach out and touch someone. Figuratively, of course, because…..#socialdistancing.
Would you like to join us? Here are some of the ways that we are turning our extra time into extra encouragement for those in our lives! The Pastor of our church has often talked about focusing on our “circles of influence”, so that is where we have started. Who in our lives needs a card, a text or a DM reminding them that they are doing a great job and are loved? What group of “community helpers” in the QCA could use more cheering on? What local nursing homes, agencies or military groups are looking for letters for the lonely? What group efforts could you join in on to promote peace and love? These are the ones we have found!
- Encourage your neighbors and those walking by–join a viral movement like #hearthunters, the bear hunt or #chalkyourwalk
- Send pictures or letters to shut-ins and those in nursing homes
- Participate in a local dance video like the Quad City COVID-19 Virtual Dance Party that can promote something positive on social media
- Make hospital-approved masks for health care workers so that they have what they need to be safe
- Know someone who needs social contact during this time? Maybe a family member or one of your kid’s friends is craving connection? Set everyone up with the ability to video chat either with the kid-friendly Facebook Kids Messenger App or with Zoom!
- Support a local business by buying gift cards online to use later, maintaining any monthly subscriptions and by getting take-out from local restaurants (extra points if you leave an encouragement note & a VERY generous tip). For a list of local places open for curbside and carryout in our area, go here!
- Utilize your church or organization’s established structures to serve others, such as Bethany Baptist in Moline’s “COVID-19 Good Neighbor” cards
- (*note: the good neighbor card was adapted from an original version free online & is not owned by Bethany)
- Support your favorite charities extra during this time by collecting donations to drop off later or by giving financially
Right now so much is out of our control. But, let’s not give away the things we can still control. We can be good stewards of our time by encouraging others when we are tempted to ruminate on the yuck. That does not mean do all of these things every day (aint no one got time for that). But, could you pick one of these things each week? And do it in a way that speaks to your talents, resources and time? Science has proven again and again that when we give to others, it helps with our own self regulation and boosts our own ability to cope. During an impossible time in our history, this is a way to be a light to those around you, as well as improve your own mental health! If that isn’t #winning right now, I’m not sure what is.
This list is nowhere near exhaustive and our family would love to hear your ideas! What are you doing to reach out and touch someone during COVID-19? Drop your brilliant ideas in the comments! We know you’ve got them!
For a reminder of things that Quarantine can’t cancel, read this post: https://quadcity.citymomsblog.com/2020/03/31/what-quarantine-cant-cancel/
For more information on the science behind helping, visit here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-cultures/201805/in-helping-others-you-help-yourself
Looking for safe ways to serve the Quad Cities during COVID-19? Our local United Way chapter has some ideas for us!: https://unitedwayqc.galaxydigital.com/need/?s=1&need_init_id=3002