The social isolation associated with being quarantined or a lockdown interferes with many aspects of life. Many of our normal activities and routines come to a screeching halt. And millions suddenly face harsh realities concerning their jobs and income. Without question, lockdowns are critically important as a means to protect our health in the midst of coronavirus. But it is also important that we continue to pursue a bold life by giving back to others in the process. Just because we’re under mandatory stay-at-home restrictions doesn’t mean we cannot still find ways to help our communities!
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, many people are struggling. Healthcare workers and public servants are under extreme stress. Similarly, millions in the service and hospitality industries are unemployed and lack current income. And communities at large face uncertainty about the future not knowing how long current pandemic restrictions will last. Realizing these tremendous needs, there are ways we all can come together and help one another. And by finding innovative and creative ways of giving back, we will all be stronger together. With this in mind, the following offers some ideas in pursuing this bold life mission, even during a lockdown.
- Order Takeout from Local Restaurants – No matter what, we all have to eat. Many of us will be faced with tight budgets and will look to cook meals at home for financial reasons. But if you choose to order takeout, ordering from local restaurants is a great way of giving back to the community. Many communities are allowing restaurants to continue these services during lockdowns as long as social distancing measures are in place. And if you prefer staying home, many delivery services exist so you can avoid picking up your order.
- Share Food with Local Shelters – Though under-appreciated, lockdowns create tremendous challenges for homeless and impoverished populations. With fewer people outside their homes, opportunities for charitable supports are significantly reduced. And with most restaurants closed, free meals are much harder to find. As a result, donations of non-perishable foods to homeless shelters and community pantries is another great way of giving back. Adding a few items to your grocery cart for this purpose can help others struggling to survive.
- Offer Online Services to Others – With the current lockdown, millions are realizing how they can provide their services in virtual forums. As a result, many predict that working from home will be a new norm once the pandemic subsides. But as a way of giving back, virtual offerings are also a great consideration. By creating a local online group, you can offer your own skills and talents to others for free. This might involve some type of tutorial or some specific form of assistance. In any case, donating your time and knowledge in this manner is a powerful way of giving back to others in need.
- Organize Virtual Playdates for Children – Under current lockdown policies, many individuals struggle to manage their work duties with their parenting responsibilities. Naturally, children have a great deal of energy, thus keeping them engaged requires constant effort. While not as effective as an actual playdate, virtual playdates allow kids to connect with their peers. And for their parents, this can offer a much-needed respite so other tasks can be managed. By leading the way and organizing virtual playdates in your community, you show your passion for giving back to others. This will not only help others in the process but similarly bring your community closer together as well.
- Donate Unwanted Items – As you find yourself in lockdown mode, you will soon be looking for activities to do. Let’s face it, you can only binge-watch televisions series for so long! For many, this will prompt some Spring cleaning and reorganization. And as a result, you will likely find many items that you no longer need that can be donated. And given economic pressures, you can be assured many people will need clothing, furniture and other items. Therefore, using this time to find those items that can be donated is another great way of giving back.
- Choose Supportive Ways of Gift-Giving – Despite being in lockdown, birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions that involve gift-giving will continue to occur. Understanding this, the gifts you choose represent another opportunity for giving back to others in your community. For example, many retailers and restaurants are offering gift cards in an effort to maintain revenues. Also, memberships might also be available locally for various museums and venues that are currently closed. By purchasing these items, you support local businesses through consumerism while also providing someone with a great gift. This is a great win-win situation for everyone.
- Be a Beacon of Hope and Positivity – During this time of fear and tremendous unknown, people need hope and encouragement. Likewise, the social isolation of being in lockdown can result in depression and anxiety. Therefore, one way of giving back to your community is to provide support to others through messages of positivity. This could be in the form of a blog, an email chain, social media posts, or others. Though this may not seem like much, positive messages of hope and encouragement can be powerful. And for some, it could make a major difference in their perspective on a daily basis.
Be Creative, Innovative, and In-Touch
Given the current circumstances, many of the traditional ways of giving back are difficult if not impossible. Social distancing and mandatory lockdowns prevent us from interacting with others on a regular basis in-person. Therefore, it requires us to come up with new, creative ways to achieve the same goals. Likewise, it requires us to stay in-touch with our communities to know what needs exist. Being in lockdown shouldn’t mean our efforts at giving back should be lessened. If anything, this should imply that we become even bolder in our endeavors. The opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives has never been so great. And therefore, we should embrace this opportunity and rise to the challenge as part of our bold life pursuits.