What the heck? How can we have a war on the corona virus by flattening the curve & stay happy? It is actually easier to flatten the curve when we do things to keep ourselves and others happy. Kindness, happiness, giving, being compassionate, helping others is a large part of our war against the COVID-19 and keeping ourselves happy and healthy. Governments are giving us critical information on how we can protect ourselves physically against the virus but communities are getting together to share ways to maintain our emotional and psychological health and keep happy alive!
Working on both flattening the curve and keeping ourselves happy is the greatest defense against COVID-19. The changes we have experienced in the last few weeks all over the globe is enough to drive us into the ground. Change is hard, radical change that disrupts our lives even harder, but not impossible.
So how can we stay happy as we flatten the curve through social distancing and isolation. How can we help our most vulnerable populations be less vulnerable during COVID-19?
Jamil Zaki, the author of The War On Kindness, Building Empathy In A Fractured World, has some good suggests on how we can stay socially connected during this time of social distancing. His research shows that during a crisis we do help each other, there is a Carnival of Compassion when disaster strikes. For temporary crisis this is true, for long term crisis it is up to us to keep our compassion, social connection alive to maintain our happiness.
So how do we do this? What are the best ways to give to ourselves and others for the long term as we shelter in place?
We have been saying that technology has been destroying our social fabric. Technology when used intentionally can be the catalyst to build our social fabric as we find ourselves isolated. Intentionally engaging through video chats as we go about our day to day activities at home will help us connect, check in on how people are doing and share the inbetween moments we normally share in person. Parents are starting to set up virtual play dates for their kids, people are chatting while they prepare meals in their kitchen. Families who are distanced from each other are having virtual dinner parties. Technology was used pre-COVID-19 to conduct formal interaction. Now we can give to each other by using technology to give through informal interaction.
Students are creating virtual dining halls, virtual dorm hang outs, online spaces that mimic their social interaction in person before they were sent home to shelter in place. As a happiness strategy these online meeting places are working, students feel connected, less isolated and can share their experiences like they did at school. Set up an informal online space and invite others to join in. This give will help people share their experiences, find a new balance in their lives and retain social connection while we socially distance ourselves.
Kindness is contagious (pardon the pun) and if we all share kindness, conduct small acts of giving in safe and responsible ways through virtual gives, as a country, as a community, we can get through this. We have supported the need and positive effects of giving for over a decade. We continue to support the need for global giving every day even during this crisis. If we all do one small give every day, online with our community, or offline with the people we are sharing our home with during lock down, we will come out the other side as better humans and a better society, proving that giving every day does change the world.
Need some more virtual giving ideas? We have some and hope you will share these ideas with others. Join our virtual daily giving ideas so you can remain socially distanced, but maintain your happiness. Heck we all need a daily DOSE of Happiness at the best of times, having more ways to find that happiness is what each of us needs right now.