This blog is part of our 100% Remote Operations: Working From Home series.
In our last blog, Self-Care Part One, we discussed the process of the self-care journey. In mentioning that everyone’s process is different, we touched on various ways to cope with your feelings during these times of such uncertainty and transition. A central point in the blog was the idea that self-care is not selfish. By bettering yourself, you also better those around you and your community. In other words, by first filling your glass, you can then help others fill theirs as well.
This sentiment is reflected in the necessity of community efforts to flatten the curve. Through social distancing and focusing on your well-being, you do your part to mitigate the spread of COVID and keep your community healthy.
Although the title may be a bit of a misnomer, in Self-Care Part Two, we focus on the second half of glass-filling – helping others in need. Even while home-bound, there are plenty of ways to provide support for those in need during this crisis.
Supporting Others In Your Home
The detrimental effects of the coronavirus outbreak have been felt near and far. Over the past several months, everyone has experienced some sort of change or disarray in their lives. Coping with the uncertainty of what the future holds can be anxiety-inducing for many. Although under the same roof as you, with a daily perspective, you may be unaware of the long term impact on others in your household.
To start, check in on others in your home and make it clear that you are there for them. Actively listen to what they have to say and do your best to understand how the situation at hand is impacting them. Keep in mind that despite being in the same home as others, social distancing can still feel very isolating.
After communicating your support, ask those around you how you can help with something they care about. Their response may be as simple as “I want an uninterrupted hour to myself from 4 to 5 PM every day” to “I would like to have a family game night.” By following through with the request, it shows that you care. Additionally, regardless of the response, it is important to be nonjudgmental.
Lastly, it is essential to be patient with others in your household. Everyone must process social distancing day by day, meaning that some days will be better than others. Optimism and support go a long way, and it always helps to have a positive outlook.
Supporting Others You Are Social Distancing From
An unfortunate side effect of sheltering in place is the absence of regular social interaction. Although it is for the best, the necessity of social distancing can be quite isolating and stress-inducing. Now is as good of a time as ever to show compassion for your loved ones, friends, coworkers, neighbors, or anyone else who could use a little support.
Check In, Virtually
Similar to communicating with those in your home, letting others know that you are thinking of them can make a huge difference. A simple text or quick call on a regular basis shows that you are thinking of them. Another way to reach out to those in your circle is through scheduling virtual social events. Happy hours and game nights can be done on video calls and provide much-needed face-to-face contact.
Ask What You Can Do
Many people who are a part of the higher-risk population are placed in a tough spot while sheltering-in-place. Asking “how can I help” or “what is your biggest survival need right now,” and following through, is extremely helpful. Whether grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, or walking the dog — assisting others where you can shows you care and helps them out immensely.
Even while socially distancing, surprising others in your life is still possible! Many businesses are still open and delivering everything from meals to flowers to cards and presents. A simple, kind gesture is always welcome and a way to safely reach out to others.
Supporting Others You Do Not Know
COVID-19 has ultimately changed society as we know it, and many people across the world have felt the effects. If you are wondering how you can support those on the front lines, there are several ways you can contribute. Giving blood, making a charitable donation, or participating in a mutual aid network are all great options that provide relief and better your community.
For a list of charities and organizations working to provide aid and relief on the front lines, visit https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-charities-nonprofits-companies-helping/.
Take Care of Yourself
With mental and physical health closely intertwined, taking care of both lies at the core of self-care. Maintaining your well-being is always necessary, but during these times of uncertainty, it becomes more important than ever. By doing your part to stay healthy and make safe choices, you help promote the well-being of others in your community as well.
Though limited to the confines of one’s own home, the ways to better yourself and others around you are numerous. In the face of this global crisis, people around the world have shown empathy and compassion by simply asking, “how can I help.”
For additional resources and support for mental health, visit https://www.mentalhealth.gov/ (US) or https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/how-to-access-mental-health-services/ (UK).