During these tough times, the urge to help others is stronger than ever for a lot of us. The great news is that giving to others is great for our own wellbeing too! It helps us feel a sense of connection with our communities and boosts feel-good chemicals in the brain. There are lots of ways we can help and give to others in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, from following the government guidance to joining in with co-ordinated community efforts. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
In some scenarios, doing nothing will be the best way to help others at present. It’s really important that we follow the government guidance on social distancing and staying at home if we have symptoms of COVID-19. This advice is there to help us protect ourselves and others. More importantly, it is there to protect the whole population. All it takes is one person to pass it to another person, and they could pass it to someone it would really harm. So, keeping your distance is the number one rule for giving to others at this time.
Simply keeping people in the loop with the latest news and advice about COVID-19 could be a great way to help. Keep an eye and sign up for updates on the UK Government website. Share the latest with everyone you know and encourage people to stick to the guidelines as best they can. Some people will take them less seriously than others, but you can play your part by encouraging everyone to do their bit.
There are plenty of community and voluntary organisations working locally to combat the coronavirus crisis. There are co-ordinated responses happening across Dorset, and you can register your interest here if you live in the Dorset Council area or here for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
It’s gone viral on social media: the postcard offering help to neighbours who are self-isolating. Although this isn’t really an option whilst the strict stay-at-home guidelines are in place, this could be one to try once the rules are relaxed again. Pop something through people’s doors offering help with food shopping, other supplies, errands, dog walking, whatever they might need that you can offer. If you don’t know which homes to contact, try finding out whether there is a sheltered accommodation scheme close to you where people are likely to be older and/or have health problems.
Giving to others doesn’t have to be a big deal! Something as small as smiling at someone on the street can help bring comfort to others in these troubling times. Friends will appreciate simply knowing you’re thinking of them, so check in regularly. Any small actions or words will help: sometimes knowing you’re there can be as powerful as physically doing something!
This strange and difficult time is going to be all about pulling together and doing what we can. Be safe and follow the government guidelines, be sure to look after yourself first, then see what you can do for the greater good.