Daily gives that help communities stop the spread of COVID-19 are critical gives in 2020. But what is a give that would help stop the spread in our communities? And why should I be the one to give when others need to give as well.
First lets look at why giving is important and why each of us would benefit from a daily giving habit, during COVID, or in our life when COVID was not part of our normal. Giving changes who we are, and changes our communities. We are not talking about large rallies or overt actions that bring attention to ourselves. We are talking about small kind giving actions that change people when they are either the giver or the receiver. Our Happiness Research explains the neurological change we experience when we give. what we call your Daily D.O.S.E of happiness. The concept is simple. If you give to another, you will feel happier. Oxytocin, Serotonin, Dopamine increases in our body (our happy hormones) and Cortisol decreases (our stress hormone). This reaction has been called the Helpers High and is part of why we continue to give once we have experienced this sensation once.
The positive societal impact of giving is even healthier than what we experience as the giver. When a person is on the receiving end of a give, they too will experience a Daily D.O.S.E of happiness, with the same neurological experience activated as the giver. Both people walk away from the giving experience feeling happier! How cool is that.
Our governments have been asking us to do particular acts to stop the spread of COVID-19 but they have failed to let us know that these actions will actually make all of us feel happier when we do them. Sure the actions will stop the spread, but know when you commit to these actions you are actually completing your daily give. Yes, you are going to experience the Helper’s High when you know you are giving to others with these simple gives.
Save the N95 mask for essential workers. Wearing a mask outside and in public places shows others that you care about them. It shows others that you care about what they are going home to. Many people are going home to elderly parents, People going through chemotherapy, family members who have comprised health and need to have extra protection against COVID-19. These people wear a mask to decrease the chance of them bringing the virus into their home, and need you to support them – by wearing a mask. Making masks for others is a great give to spread the spread. Whether you do a few masks or decide to turn your living room into a sewing factory to make a hundred masks, wearing a mask, and making a mask are wonderful gives to stop the spread.
With unemployment at its all time high around the globe, supporting local businesses is one of the greatest gives you can do. Local businesses need our support as many have been closed for 3 months. Many have not qualified for federal benefits, and even more internationally did not have an option for federal benefits. If we want to have the variety of businesses in our neighbourhood that we were fortunate to have before COVID, we are the ones that need to support them with our purchases. Choose drive by pick up over app delivery purchases, and curbside pick up in your neighbourhood. We are also big supporters of Farmers baskets that can be delivered to your door from local farms. These in season and local veggies help farmers distribute their goods as they have lost so many contracts with restaurants and markets.
If you have a senior that lives on your street, or in apartment building, drop a note by, with your telephone number, to see if they need anything. Shopping for seniors is a great give to help a senior stay socially distanced from others. When they know someone is checking in they also feel supported. If you have extra food at lunch or dinner, drop a dish by their house. Are you participating in the baking frenzy? Drop by a loaf of bread, a batch of cookies, or a cool appetizer. Let y our senior know that you are happy to run an errand for them, pay a bill (many seniors do not do online payments) or pick up necessities. If you have a neighbour who you know is at risk, lend them a hand with any errands they need.
We love video chats with family and do it all the time. I think we might be more connected now than we have been in previous months. One sister read daily with my youngest son to help out with reading class at home. Another sister held a Monday afternoon art class with my kids and their cousins. I check in on my dad and mom through video as often as I can. My sisters call our parents once a week to see how they are doing, and give them a good laugh. I love these video calls and have to say, we all feel more connected and aware of each other as we navigate the different isolation measures in the cities where we live. Calling a friend or family member is a great give, and we will continue to put this on our list, COVID or no COVID.
Yes, social distancing’ seems unnatural. I am with you on this one, but by social distancing we are protecting each other. Like masks, keeping our distance means we care about each other. We have fun with our social distancing and make it a game. You too can make social distancing a game, and keep 6 feet apart. None of us are doctors, and none of us really know how the virus is spread. Keeping 6 feet apart for a few more months will help all of us stop the spread.
As drastic as these measures seem, these simple solutions to stopping the spread is the greatest gift we can give to each other. When we wear a mask it shows we care. When we help a senior or at risk neighbour it shows we care. When we social distance, it shows we care. Lets show how much we care by stopping the spread and working towards a happier and healthier community in your neighbourhood.
Check out our COVID giving resources as we all work toward stopping the spread. We can continue giving every day in creative ways that support our communities and make ourselves happier. Are you in?