Due to the coronavirus pandemic, life has changed drastically for many Canadians over the last months. Our new normal is physical distancing, which can be extremely tough and can bring down your spirit. However, even though we’re all stuck at home, there are quite a few things that you can do to inspire some joy in others. These things won’t just help out other. They’ll also bring some extra happiness and joy into your own life.
Five ways that you can make a positive impact during a pandemic
1. Reach out to loved ones
This is one of the simplest, yet most important ways to make a difference during this pandemic. Every single one of us has to distance ourselves from our friends and families right now. It can be incredibly lonely. Make sure to call your loved ones on the phone, video-conference with them or even write them a “snail mail” letter. Keeping in touch with the people you care about can really make a huge impact, and help us all to feel a little bit less alone.
2. Show your support for essential workers
Front-line and essential workers are doing so much for us, and it’s incredibly important for us to show our thanks and appreciation for them. Without them, our lives and current situation would be very different. There are many ways to show our support for these amazing workers. If you’re lacking on funds or resources, here’s an easy way to support them. If you’re out grocery shopping and see someone stocking shelves, or you happen to see an off-duty nurse, simply say thank you! It can really make someone’s day just to know that they are appreciated.
Here’s another idea to show support for essential workers: if you run a small business or restaurant and want to help out, you can bring our essential workers a meal! Everyone appreciates food, and this is a great way to give back.
3. Volunteer your time
Many of us now have a lot of extra down time. Why not volunteer some of your time? Volunteer Canada now has a virtual volunteer program that allows you to maintain social distancing regulations while still lending a hand. You can also donate some of your time to mental health services, like Kids Help Phone, who are seeing an increase in calls during this isolation period. Or you can simply volunteer to help an elderly neighbour or relative with some grocery shopping. Any type of volunteering will make a positive impact right now.
4. Support small and local businesses
Due to the closure of all non-essential services, many businesses are suffering. Especially those small, neighbourhood businesses in your area. It is so important that we continue to support our local businesses to help keep them afloat. Although their brick-and-mortar locations may be closed, many businesses have shifted their sales online. Do some research and see if local businesses in your area are now selling their products online, and choose to purchase from them instead of larger retail stores.
You can also support your favourite local restaurant or bar buy purchasing a gift card. It will help keep the business afloat in the short term, and you’ll have something to look forward to when social distancing is over.
5. Donate whatever you can!
While monetary donations to hospitals, charities and shelters are always appreciated, especially in these times, these places are also in need of supplies and food. Many shelters and food banks are running dangerously low on food right now, and are in desperate need of donations. If you have anything extra to spare, consider sending it to your local shelter or food bank.
Make a difference
Trying to make a positive impact on others can improve your own mood. Simple gestures like saying hi to a neighbour or friend go a long way. We will all get through this together.