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Look for the Helpers, Be a Helper

by Beth on March 21st, 2020

Two ways to boost your mood during these difficult weeks are to notice all of the wonderful things people are doing to help others and to find ways that you, too, can help.

It’s inspiring to see how hard times can bring out the best in people. Acts of kindness are everywhere! NBA players, including Kevin Love and Zion Williams, are paying arena workers while games are cancelled and Steph Curry and his wife are providing 1 million meals to Oakland students who can’t attend school. Singers like Chris Martin, John Legend, and others, are using social media to play music for us from their homes.

Companies are also doing good. Some are shifting production to make needed medical supplies. TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy are donating supplies. Other companies are offering services for free, like operas from the Met or homeschooling assistance from Khan Academy. Stores are designating certain hours for at-risk shoppers. Lyft is donating thousands of rides for low-income individuals needing medical transportation and to deliver meals to kids receiving free lunches and home-bound seniors.

Noticing and feeling gratitude for these kind acts, like the people in Madrid who applauded healthcare workers from their balconies, makes us feel good. The last time I went to the grocery store there were more people stocking the shelves than shopping. I did go very early in the morning! And I felt immensely grateful that they were putting themselves at risk so that I could get the food I needed.

Finding ways that we can do good makes us feel even better. First, know that you are already doing good by staying home. Social distancing is the most important thing any of us can do to minimize the spread of the virus and save lives. Now consider what else you could do. Loneliness is one of the biggest problems we will all face while staying home. Contacting friends and family members as often as possible is another way to do good. If you live near elderly family members, stop by to wave through the window like Max did for his father Mel Brooks.

Some people are picking up medication for at-risk individuals, others are offering to foster animals, and these siblings played the cello for an elderly neighbor. You could share one of your favorite recipes on social media or leave the magazines you have finished reading at a neighbor’s door.

Consider how you could help the small businesses that are being so hard hit. The company I use to compost has lost much of its business due to restaurant and school closings. I am going to pay them for the next 12 months instead of month to month. I’m also buying gift certificates from our favorite restaurants.

Let’s all try to come up with creative ways that we can do good from home. Please share your ideas!

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