How to Be Kind During Self-Isolation: Spread Kindness!
We’ve been home for about 2,373 days. I think. If you’re like me, the stress is growing. It’s hard to be nice to the people I’ve spent every living minute with for the last 5 years. Or maybe 6 weeks.
To make things even harder and more anxiety-ridden, many places are starting to open up. Are we opening too soon or too late? Will I get sick if I go clothes shopping? What if there’s another spike? Argh!
Being kind doesn’t just help others. It helps you, too. Being kind and/ or doing something for someone else can improve your own mood and even improve your mental and physical health. In a time when we’re all worried about our physical health, this is an easy win to make our minds and body stronger.
Channel some of that stress and anxiety into being kind during self-isolation – to your family, your neighbors, and yourself. It’s one way to make this experience better for all of us.
How to Be Kind To Yourself & Others During Self-Isolation
Assume Positive Intent
Let’s just start here. It’s real easy right now to take out our stress on the others around us. Before you blow your top about the jogger who almost ran you down or a family member watching the Trolls movie for the eleventy billionth time, take a minute to ask why that person did that.
And assume they did it for positive reasons – the jogger got an urgent text from a scared kid at home and had to run. Trolls is the only thing allowing your kid to keep it together today. Then move on.
Be Kind to your Family in Isolation
Lower your expectations. This hard for all of us, no matter our ages. Whatever your expectations for yourself and others, lower them. You will make yourself and everyone else much happier.
Call your mom. As in, on the telephone. Or set up a family Zoom call! Just stay in contact with family and friends as much as possible. Older relatives CAN learn new technology. We’ve managed to get all my mom’s 6 siblings on Zoom in the last month, so it can be done.
Set up family time to do something together. Whatever your family loves – do it! It could be a dance party, game night, movie marathon, or family walk. Just do it.
Be Kind to Yourself in Isolation
You can’t serve from an empty pot. Take care of yourself first. If you need time alone from other people, build it into your schedule. Take the bath or the walk that you need. While the chocolate is tempting, eat some veggies. And then the chocolate. Get outside every day.
Give yourself grace. So, you ate a bunch of chocolate yesterday? Take an extra-long walk today and realize that you are doing the best you can given the situation. It’s a freakin’ global pandemic. There is no manual for how to handle this.
Be Kind to Your Neighbors in Isolation
If you have neighbors who are homebound because they are members of an at-risk group, leave a note with your contact information offering to run errands. And then run the dang errands.
Make kindness rocks and place them in high traffic spots in your neighborhood.
Social media shoutouts! This is the time to speak up and shout about your amazing neighbors, favorite local businesses, and the heroes (essential workers) you know and love. Use FB and Instagram for GOOD!
Grab the sidewalk chalk and get creative! If you can draw, draw something beautiful or fun. If you’re artistically challenged, cover the sidewalk with motivational quotes. My neighbor made a pretty epic obstacle course for kids that was a big hit.
Make cards thanking first responders and medical professionals. They work long hours and are putting their lives on the line for all of us!
Send thank-you notes (in the mail!) to people who have helped you out . . . ever. Just include a few lines about what their actions meant to you – it doesn’t take long but will be greatly appreciated.
Be generous at the grocery store. There are 3 boxes of pasta left on the shelf. You only need 1 box this week, so please leave the other 2 for your neighbors!
Help Out Local Businesses
If you have the money, spend it locally! Get take-out from the Mom & Pop pizza place, order face cream from the lady down the street, or buy flowers from the florist around the corner. Your money helps keeps your neighbors afloat.
If you purchase a product or meal from a local business, tip generously. They are putting their lives at risk to make you that pizza. You can throw a few more bucks in as a thank you!
Even if money is tight right now, there are other ways you can help local businesses. Write positive reviews in Yelp, Google, or neighborhood FB groups for local businesses you love. Those reviews will help drive customers to those businesses and possibly help them stay afloat!
Donate to Charities & Non-Profits
Donate money! So many local charities need your help due to rising demand. Find your local food bank – give money or food from your own pantry. If you can, volunteer and help them in the warehouse.
Make masks and donate to your neighborhood organizations, such as hospitals or nursing homes. I’ve seen requests from our local children’s hospital and doctors’ offices.
Looking for MORE ways to be kind? Check out Kindness Calendars from Actions for Happiness here! They can give you more ideas for ways to be kind!
I hope this will help you spread some kindness during self-isolation. We will get through this, but being kind will make it easier for all of us!