January 09 2021 at 05:04 PM by Sonali Panda
Simple ways to care for each other during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic
COVID-19, has many of us glued to the news, concerned for loved ones, and adapting our lives to deal with the changes the pandemic is having on our homes, schools, and workplaces. It’s pretty tough.
We need systemic solutions to these kinds of protection gaps and problems. In the meantime, we can keep our community connections strong and model the behaviour we want our leaders to adopt, and show them that love and compassion are stronger than fear.
Here are ways people are talking about caring for one another while staying safe as our family, friends, and colleagues.
1. Look after yourself, to look after us all
Use simple social distancing tactics like replacing hugs and handshakes with alternatives.
Handshake and hug alternatives in the coronavirus world.
Simple hygiene and social distancing can save lives and flatten the coronavirus pandemic curve.
2. Check-in on elderly neighbours
Although necessary, social isolation can be lonely.
Text, phone call, email, or, if needed, in person (taking the proper safety measures), especially if they live alone.
3. Reach out to people in self-isolation
Send them funny memes or GIFs to cheer them up. Call them. Video chat them. Don’t forget about them. Make sure they feel less alone and have social support. Offer them help. Some communities have started to use these cards to help neighbours who are in self-isolation.
4. Volunteer your time.
Know someone in self-isolation or who needs to limit their public interactions? Offer to pick up and deliver their shopping, treats, or other things they might need, while taking precautions to keep yourself safe. Your time and labour could be a big help to someone needing support.
5. Counter racist fears and xenophobia
Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their origin or ethnicity. Yet because the virus originated in China, people of Chinese descent have faced a wave of racism. Help stop the fear and abuse by educating people and correcting racist comments or behaviour when you hear or see them.
6. Combat misinformation online
Unfortunately, if not unexpected, misinformation on COVID-19 is floating around online. If you see it, report it to your platform, and let anyone posting/sharing it know (e.g., via private message or comment on the post).
7. A radical idea: rent payment relief for self-isolated people without paid sick leave?
If you’re a landlord and have the extra income, you could consider (as some landlords reportedly have) freezing rent payments and ensuring no evictions occur for any tenants struggling financially due to the pandemic.
8. Fundraise for people financially impacted by quarantine measures
Fundraising platforms of government can help you organize, but word of mouth, email, and text are also tried and true ways to do some grassroots fundraising in support of someone affected by things like missing work, paying for childcare because of school closures, or extra medical costs.
9. Make social distancing fun with video chat
Social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t feel close to our loved ones. Get creative. Have a video chat to get together and celebrate birthdays or other occasions using everyday tools like Skype, Hangouts, Google teams, Zoom etc. Or, synchronize watching your favourite TV show or movie together while chatting via text or video.
10. Share positive news and acts of kindness with your community
There are so many examples out there of people helping one another. Share those. Talk about those. Together we can prevent getting caught in a bad news hopelessness spiral. Spread the word about how you’re making a difference.
11. And for cripes sake stop buying up all the toilet paper!
Prepare for what your household will need if quarantined, but curb the panic-greed reflex. If we want a better world, we have to learn to keep our community’s needs top of mind and share the simple things (seriously, toilet paper?! Soap is shareable and, erm, Indispensable in a time like this!).
And remember, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. It protects you and everyone around you. It only takes 20 seconds.
The world is pretty topsy-turvy right now, because of the global panic around coronavirus (COVID-19). If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed by it all, be reassured that this is a very normal response. However, it’s important to go easy on yourself and to take time for self-care.
12. Stay active
It’s pretty well known that exercise is really good for both our physical and mental health. There are heaps of different types of exercise you can do from home, thanks to YouTube and apps. We’ve listed a few free ones (share your tips for others on the ReachOut Forums), or continue doing whatever works for you.
1. Yoga with Adrienne: It is a well-loved yoga channel, with over six million subscribers. She’s quirky and down-to-earth and offers yoga classes lasting from five minutes through to an hour.
2. Nike Training Club: It can help you stay active during this time by offering heaps of free workouts you can do from home. It also features wellness and nutrition guidance from experts.
13. Take 10 minutes
When we’re stressed about something (such as coronavirus), our thoughts tend to speed up. Taking 10 minutes or so to practise mindfulness can help produce a sense of calmness. If you don’t get what mindfulness is all about, check out our WTF is mindfulness meditation.
Here are some suggestions for free mindfulness apps to try:
1. Insight Timer has over 25,000 free guided meditations, from 1 to 90+ minutes. Try searching for a topic that interests you (e.g. stress, learning to meditate, sleep).
2. Smiling Mind: Might be a good option if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by choice. The meditations are organized by structured programs, such as Mindful Foundations, Sleep, Relationships, etc.
If meditation isn’t for you, try doing an everyday activity in a mindful way -In other words, put aside distractions and focus fully on one small task. For example, while you’re having a cup of tea, pay attention to your senses (the smell of the tea, the warmth of the cup in your hand, the taste…).
14. Chat with your mates
Even if an in-person meet-up is off the table, try to stay in touch with your mates via text, Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime, or (gasp!) a good ol’ fashioned phone call. Ask them how they’re feeling and share your own experience if you feel safe to do so.
15. Check out forums
If you’re feeling (or literally are) isolated, jump on to our online forums. ReachOut Forums are a safe, supportive, and anonymous space where you can chat with other young people. If you’re struggling, check out the thread Today I am having a tough time because… Or share what you’re doing for self-care in the thread Today I practised self-care by...
16. Make a homemade meal
Good nutrition is always important but during stressful times there’s nothing better than a tasty, healthy homemade meal – especially if you made it yourself. You could ask a friend or family member for their fave recipe, or check out.
For many people, it may be challenging to get some ingredients at the moment. If you’re running low or not able to get certain things, it’s totally fine to keep it really simple. You could also get creative with substitutions or Google's [ingredient] substitute’ for ideas.
17. Take a break from the news
Between the news and social media, we’re all feeling saturated by coronavirus updates right now. It’s important to stay informed, but try to limit your media intake to a couple of times a day and use trusted news sources. If you catch yourself turning to social media because you’re feeling isolated, take a break and spend time on another activity, such as those we’ve suggested here.
18. Make a music playlist
Music can make us feel so much better. Hop on Spotify and make a playlist with your fave songs. You could make a group playlist and ask your friends to add five of their favourite songs as well. If you want to get fancy, you could make several playlists for different moods/vibes (e.g. rainy day, feeling happy, etc.).
19. Declutter for five minutes
If you’re suddenly spending a lot more time at home, it can help to have an environment that feels good to you. Instead of getting all and trying to overhaul your whole space in a day, try decluttering for five mins a day. Pick a shelf to start with, or pick up five things and find a home for them.
20. Watch or read something uplifting
Distraction can be a good thing. Watch something that you find uplifting and allow yourself to zone out from what’s going on in the world. Some suggestions include The Good Place and Brooklyn 99 on Netflix, or The Bold Type and Family Guy on Stan.
YouTube is a great option too, plus we’ve put together this collection of different relaxing videos that are sure to help you chill out. If reading is more your thing, go to your bookshelf and choose an old favourite or something you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, or if you don’t have physical books then e-books are a great option.
21. Learn something new
Have you wanted to get into drawing or learning a musical instrument? Now’s a great time to make a start. If you want to learn a new language, Duolingo is an awesome free language learning program you can access from your computer or phone. YouTube has great free online tutorials for pretty much everything.