Worrying comes with being a mom. And now with coronavirus, well, it can be tough not to let anxiety consume you, especially after you’ve put on a brave face for your kids all day. It can even feel impossible wrap your head around what to focus that concern on—elderly parents’ health, the economy, kids’ physical and mental health, people in need who may not have access to basic necessities like food or healthcare…But did you know that studies have shown helping others can make us less depressed, less anxious, and even physically healthy (in the form of lower blood pressure and boosted immunity)? Here are some simple ways to help both strangers and loved ones today. Plus, how some of the moms across our network are giving back to their own communities and inspiring us:
- Start a Food Drive. Give Healthy is a simple-to-use platform that Greenwich Moms used to raise almost $1,000 so far for its local food bank. You can also use social media to promote existing food drives like Stamford Moms.
- Order Takeout from Local Restaurants (if they’ve closed for dine-in). Newtown Moms and other sites have started helpful lists of places doing curbside pickup or delivery.
- Don’t Hoard Toilet Paper and Other Supplies. The CDC recommends having several weeks (not months) of supplies on hand. In short, if everyone takes all the toilet paper, basic groceries, diapers, and more, those who really need them (and can’t afford to stock up ahead of time) won’t have access to any. Even worse, stocking up on masks that have not been proven to be effective except in healthcare settings won’t be available to the healthcare workers helping us recover from illness.
- Support Small Businesses. Some are offering virtual services and activities (Chatham Summit Moms created a list for their community); you can also simply buy gift cards to be used at a later time.
- Call or Facetime Someone. Single friends in quarantine, extroverts, elderly…if there is anyone in your life who you think may be frightened or lonely, now is the time to reach out.
- Donate Money. There is no shortage of local and national causes and charities that need your help during this time. In your community, consider those who may already be vulnerable (for instance for those in poverty or people who may be at risk for domestic violence).
- Sew Medical Masks. Hospitals around the control are experiencing shortages. If you know how to sew, there are many tutorials online.
- Don’t Induce Panic. Panic is what leads people to stockpile supplies (leaving them unavailable for those who need them). Consider the effect of what you post on social media will have on those who read it—and always make sure you’re posting facts that are from reputable sources.
- Connect Your Friends. Be the one to suggest bringing your book club or girls’ night out onto Zoom. Then do the same for your kids’ playdates. And offer your help to any friends who may not be able to help themselves (for instance, someone with a preexisting condition that doesn’t feel comfortable shopping for food).
- PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAY HOME IF REQUIRED. Follow the guidelines set out by the CDC and your local health authorities—and urge family and friends to do the same, for their sake and everyone’s.
This story originally appeared on The Local Moms Network.