Over the next few months, we will see the very best of humanity. We will see community, kindness and selfless acts. This is what I choose to focus on, not to block out the bad, just to try and balance it a little.
We've never experienced anything like Covid-19 before, nor have our parents. It's bound to cause confusion and anxiety. This affects everyone and we must stay informed to make the best choices for ourselves and our families.
Best advice right now is to practice social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus. Total self-isolation is advised if you're experiencing any cold or flu symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who is.
So what can we do? We can be the people who show the very best of humanity.
We can reach out (not in person) to our communities, be generous, kind and selfless in whatever ways we can manage. When things are scary or uncomfortable it's easier to focus on yourself and your immediate family, that was, I'll admit, my first thought. But we need to push through our fear and tap into a different instinctual urge - the urge to help.
In the spirit of Itty Bitty, I've been thinking of little things we can do that can make a big impact. My hope is not only that we get through this but that we come out the other side proud of ourselves. That's the story I want to tell in 20 years, don't you?
Call or facetime at least one person every day.
This doesn't have to be an older person or someone self-isolating (although that'd be fab) just phone someone you care about and check in with them. Make sure you ask them how they are, and that you really listen to their answer. Texting isn't the same.
Sign up to Nextdoor and engage.
Most areas in the UK are now on Nextdoor and loads globally. This app is brilliant, especially if you aren't on local Facebook groups. Nextdoor is an app where you can engage with just your close neighbours. People are using this app to share if they can offer help, and also to ask for help. Someone might be out of milk, need their dog walked or something more serious.
Look on Facebook for your local resident's association.
These groups can help you to know what is going on locally and can be used in a similar way to Nextdoor. If your area doesn't have many people signed up to Nextdoor this may be a better option.
Send some Happy Mail.
I'm getting my son involved in this one. Every day he's going to write a postcard to a friend, family member or neighbour. Double win, make someone happy & it counts as 'school work' right?
Use handwashing as a mindful moment.
It's easier to keep up a habit when it has a strong positive feeling associated with it so try and get into the habit of making (the near-constant) handwashing a series of mindful moments. Eg. Whenever I put soap on my hands I take a deep breath, relax my shoulders and focus on something I'm grateful for. Or you could just focus completely on your breathing. Or do big, ridiculous cheesy smiles and silly faces at yourself in the mirror - it's proven to lower your stress hormones!
Be aware of your words.
People are scared, don't add unnecessary drama because it has very real negative effects. We are all talking about it, yes, but some interactions will leave you feeling more anxious and some will leave you feeling supported. Try and have the latter impact when you engage with others. Why not also ask about something normal when talking to your friends, like a recent birthday or the beautiful spring weather?
Don't feel guilty.
You're not tracking down that lonely pensioner to befriend, or donating to a food bank? That's okay. What do you feel capable of? Just do that and give yourself a break. If you are doing even one small thing to help, you are helping (and that could be just looking after YOU!). If you're struggling with guilt or low self-esteem, write a daily win-list. A win-list is a list of small or large things you did well that day or week. It's helpful to think of people you were patient with, who you took care of and tasks you made progress on. Be kind to yourself first, then everyone else.
I hope this wee post was helpful in some way. Stay safe and connected 💞
With lots of love, from our little self-isolated family to wherever you are,