Dear DI Family,
I have made so much banana bread that my family is saying “No más.” My quilting is halted because supplies have been delayed in the mail and everyone I know has a custom-made mask anyway. It’s too cold to start my container garden. I have run out of new dog walking routes. I even tried to brew homemade kombucha, but it was a disaster (to put it mildly). Seven weeks into quarantine and I have hit a wall.
It’s got to be worse for kids. Not only do they have to go to school remotely, but the best part of school—seeing friends—has been sufficiently altered. Facetime and Zooming are just not the same as in-person interactions. Grownups are weary, too. What is there to do while quarantine drags on?
We all know that there are many people suffering during this time. Losses of loved ones and the inability to say goodbye properly is devastating. Our neighbors who work in the medical professions, tending to the sick and ensuring that facilities are sanitized is unimaginably difficult. So many are struggling to cope with the loss of jobs and trying to make ends meet. People are lonely and isolated. The enormity of this crisis can make you feel a little helpless.
It is widely known that volunteering is good for our mental, emotional and physical health. Helping others keeps us from focusing on our own challenges. But it is really hard to do right now and may leave some of us missing that feeling of giving.
My DIHQ colleague, Christie, had what I think is a wonderful idea. “Do what you do best,” she suggested. For example, Christie is a graphic artist, and she created a free digital download that she shared on social media for people to print at home to hang in their windows. You can view one here. (You can also see some of her signs in action here.) I know that it makes me feel better when I see signs that kids made with happy and encouraging messages.
We are creative people, so why not indulge in some creative brainstorming? How about sharing obscure holidays with others? May 12 is Limerick Day, May 15 is Chocolate Chip Day and May 21 is Talk Like Yoda Day. You can make a video celebrating these crazy holidays with kids (or without) and post it on social media to make someone smile.
Call a friend. Paint some rocks and leave them on your neighbors’ porches. Organize a social distancing driveway dance party on your block. Donate to a food bank. Virtually volunteer for a political campaign. Sew some masks. Raise money to support those in need. Pull weeds or cut the grass of an elderly, homebound or disabled neighbor. Start a prayer circle for those in need around the world and for our leaders to have the wisdom to lead as we emerge from this crisis.
In essence, everyone has gifts to share. We just need to look outside of ourselves to find our place to give to others.
Try it. It will make you and others feel better.
Stay healthy. Stay creative.