How to be a Positive Force During the Coronavirus Crisis

How to be a Positive Force During the Coronavirus Crisis

A lot of things (too many things) are out of our control during this crisis. Not everything though. Let’s talk about the things we can control. Focusing on that will help us get through this.

Most of the things we can control fall into two big (highly sanitized) buckets; how we take care of ourselves and how we treat others.

Taking care of yourself looks different for everyone – maybe you feel the urge to be productive and take on projects and challenges, or maybe you feel the need to rest, read, and binge series. In such unprecedented times, there’s really no one right way to go about it. If you’re feeling unsure about something, ask yourself “will this help me or harm me?” If the answer is “help me” and you do it, you’re making the right choice for you. (If the answer is “harm me”, try to listen to that and refrain.)

But what about other people? What can you do to make a positive impact?

Here are 7 ways to be a positive force during the coronavirus crisis:

  1. Give thanks.
    • Most of us are staying home but there are many people who are out there working harder than ever to keep things safe and functional for us. Give thanks to anyone and everyone you see working – whether it’s the UPS guy, a nurse, the grocery store clerk, a farmer, policewoman, doctor, or mailman. If your social isolation is keeping you at home all day everyday and you’re really not seeing anyone (good job!), you can put a sign in your window or write with chalk on the driveway. Someone will see it and appreciate it. Plus, according to Dr. Joe Dispenza, gratitude can boost your immune system.
  2. Don’t hoard and look for alternatives.
    • From toilet paper, to menstrual hygiene products, hand sanitizers, and face masks, hoarding is disrupting the supply of goods we all need. To help make sure everyone is able to access the things they need to stay safe, healthy, and clean – buy only what you need and, where possible, look for reusable swaps. Aside from being planet-friendly, it’ll help free up products for other people who need them. You could, for example, use reusable pads, period underwear and/or a menstrual cup, to avoid needing to buy disposable pads and tampons (which are scarce in stores and shelters). Or, cut down on your toilet paper needs by investing in a bidet.
  3. Donate or amplify.
    • There are a lot of wonderful organizations doing a wide range of work to get us through this crisis. A few we recommend giving to are the Coronavirus Relief Fund, World Central Kitchen, RAICES, and I Support The Girls. The last one may sound random but periods don’t stop for pandemics and they are providing menstrual products for lots of people who need them.
    • Whether you choose one from the list above or find another one you’d rather support, we’re sure there’s an organization out there working on something close to your heart. (Recommendations are welcomed, please post them in the comments!) Remember, you don’t need to be rolling in money to help. Even a $5 donation will make a difference. If you’re not in a position to do that though, you can still help organizations by spreading the word about the work they’re doing. You can amplify their reach by reposting their posts, sharing why you think they’re amazing, and inviting friends and family to support them.
  4. Offer to help someone.
    • If you have an elderly neighbor or know someone with a compromised immune system, let them know you’re available to help. If you’re going out into the world to stock up on groceries and supplies for yourself, ask them if there’s anything they need. You can leave it on their doorstep to avoid putting them at risk. You might even be able to help without leaving your home at all. Is there someone in your life who would benefit from having groceries delivered but might not be tech-savvy enough to do it? Offer to walk them through it on the phone or order for them.
  5. Support small, independent, and local businesses and creators.
    • Local businesses are being hit hard. If there’s a restaurant near you doing takeout or delivery, your order could help them avoid going out of business. Or maybe you can buy a gift card for your favorite coffee shop, which you can use when the Stay At Home days are behind us? Likewise for the bodegas, markets and shops. Is there an independent or local store near you that you can choose to buy from instead of the corporate giants like Target and Walmart? If not, is there a farm delivery service that reaches your area? (Google it, you might be surprised.) If your only options are big box stores, try to choose more of the local and/or independent brands that they stock. The orders from those big stores could be what keeps their lights on.
    • If you’re working on a project or run your own company and have a budget to bring on freelancers to help you, many are seeking work now. If you’ve still got disposable income during this time, consider buying some art, jewelry, or home goods directly from the people that make them.
    • (If you need some inspiration, sign up for our newsletter. We’ll be highlighting small and medium women-led businesses we love. If you’ve got recommendations, please share in the comments section.)
    Support small, independent, and local businesses and creators
  6. Foster or adopt an animal.
    • With adoption rates down due to looming uncertainty and the cancelation of adoption events, animal shelters are overwhelmed and looking for people to foster pets until they can find their forever homes. By fostering (or adopting!) you’ll not only help save the life of the animal but also add some companionship and cuteness to your isolation period. If you’re looking for some company, oxytocin and stress relief, consider fostering. 
    • (The beautiful pup in the photo above is being fostered by our founder, Kirsten. Thanks, Austin Pets Alive!) 
  7. Call the people in your life.
    • Not only is connecting with others good for you, it’ll really help the person on the other end of the phone too. Take some time to call your friends, family members and neighbors – especially the people without partners or roommates for whom the isolation period is extra isolating. We were wired to connect and thankfully we have the technology to do so while social distancing. Let’s use it.