Are you feeling isolated and lonely?
You, me and just about everyone on the planet is feeling the effects of the Covid-19 restrictions. There are many things we can’t do anymore and this can make us feel isolated and lonely. For some, it causes lapses into a mild depression. Without something to pull us out of the doldrums, we risk falling prey to negative thoughts of low self-esteem, and the feeling of being valueless, and without purpose. Not a pretty picture at all.
Finding the fun and the joy in life has almost become a thing of the past, something we used to do. But it doesn’t have to be. We need to take control, especially of our negative thoughts. Our circumstances planted these negative seeds, and we can reverse them with new circumstances. Ones that give us meaning and purpose.
Here are 5 things you can do to take your mind off yourself and give yourself a feel-good boost.
1 – Do something for a friend or family member
There is always something we can do for those we know. Whether it’s running an errand, getting them their favourite sweet or bakery good, or even stopping by for a ‘safe’ short visit. They may also be feeling somewhat down, and your gesture may just make their day. Doesn’t this sound like something worth doing? You can even do this a few times a week for different people. Not only will it make you both feel good, it’ll give you that reminder that you do belong and have value with your friends/family.
2 – Do something for a stranger
Doing something for a stranger during Covid-19 can sound a bit strange and dangerous. But look at it as the opportunity for a small gesture of something safe and without risk. Maybe holding the door for the person behind you carrying bags, pushing a stroller or using a walker. You can move that bike in the roadway to the grass, or toss the newspaper that missed the porch to where it should have landed. Think about slowing down to let that car on your bumper pass you. You can also simply smile when you are standing in line. Yes, even while wearing a mask, smiles show around the eyes, and people will find your smile relaxing. Go on, give it a try. When you look for these small opportunities, you will find them.
3 – Do something for the community
No matter where we live there is always a community we belong to. It may just be the local neighbourhood, a club or interest group. There is always something we can do to contribute. It may be raking leaves in the park, as the gardener only comes once a week. It may be sending reminders to the neighbourhood about a delay or change in something. While most communities do have staff to manage them, they are usually overworked and would welcome some help. Give them a call and find out if you can do something to help out. Even if they say there is nothing, at least you tried, and that is something to feel good about. An excellent example of this is my writing this article and providing it to the Sixty & Me community. Yes, I practice what I preach.
We all have a cause we believe in, and many of us have a charity we support. Give them a call and ask what you can do. It may not be possible to go there and help out, but maybe you can collect something they need, deliver something, or make phone calls for them. You can also post about them on social media, directing your friends to their website. Consider baking cookies, or even a lunchtime stew, for the staff. They may ask if you can pin flyers to bulletin boards in the local grocery stores, or collect used linens, as an example, from your friends and family. There is always something a charity needs and doing something, no matter how small, is an excellent way to give yourself a feel-good lift.
5 – Do something for yourself
Yes, do something for yourself. Make yourself feel good. This can be done weekly or even daily. Mix it up. Go for a walk in your favourite park one day, and window shop ‘uptown’ another day. Try a new recipe on Sundays and watch an old movie while you eat your new creation. And I mean an old movie, something that was old even when you were a kid. On Thursday give yourself a manicure and pick a crazy new nail colour. And on Saturday, start a new series on Netflix. Give yourself something to look forward to throughout the week and every week. Anticipation gives value to our days and to our lives.
Focusing our energy on doing things give us an escape from our thoughts. This break can turn these thoughts into sunshine. Yes, I exaggerate, but when you have a plan of action, you begin to see your value. Your become something bigger than your isolation and loneliness.
Pick one, a few, or all, and give them a try. See how you feel. I’m betting you’ll start feeling good. You’ll be proud of yourself for taking the initiative to make a positive difference in your life.
It’s all good!
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Perley-Ann Friedman’s Volunteer Fundraising Simplified – How to Raise Money for a Cause You Love is available on all major online book stores worldwide. This book breaks fundraising down into simple basic steps so that anyone can be a volunteer fundraiser, make a tremendous difference to a charity, with the added bonus of feeling great about doing it. Topics covered in the book include how to successfully engage potential donors verbally and online, thanking do’s and don’ts, hosting events from going solo to large scale celebrations and many more strategies to effectively raise money.
Click Volunteer Fundraising Simplified for links the book page on many major online shops, and start helping a cause you love.