By Zoe Bradbury
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact. Social distancing has become the norm, leaving many to crave the personal interactions that we once took for granted.
Additionally, as a result of these changes, anxiety and depression are on the rise. According to the American Psychiatric Association, nearly half of Americans have reported increased anxiety surrounding the virus.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also a significant consideration, with experts suggesting more people will become vulnerable following the strong emotional reactions that covid-19 is set to bring.
It means during times like these, we need to focus on what makes us feel good, no matter how big or small. It also means we need to check our gratitude, and think about others who may be feeling it worse than ourselves.
It’s proven that doing good does you good, with helping others proven to benefit your own mental health.
It’s called altruism; the moral principle and selfless concern for the well-being of others. Altruism is contagious. By helping others, it makes the world a better place, and more people are likely to pay it forward.
Optimism, happiness and confidence are all likely to increase when helping an individual – and it’ll reduce stress and anxiety not only in your life, but in the person’s you’re helping.
Now more than ever is the time to act with kindness. It’s time to help. From donating blood to “adopting” a health care worker, it’s time to pay it forward. We’re all in this together.
Healthcare workers are at the frontline of fighting covid-19, working tirelessly around the clock to provide medical care to those in need.
Giving back to medical workers doesn’t mean you need to leave the house. The Facebook page Adopt a Healthcare Worker was started by a Perth resident to connect people with health care workers.
While there’s no legal paperwork regarding “adopting” the worker, the premise is simply about lending a helping hand. Whether it’s offering to do their laundry, prepare meals for when they’re too busy on shift work, offering to pick up their kids, the list is endless as to how you can help someone in need.
The Western Australian page now has over 55,000 members, leading to other pages for each state and territory. The movement has even spread to Canada, the US, New Zealand and the UK.
In a separate venture, there’s also the option to buy a healthcare worker a cup of coffee. The GoFund Me campaign established in NSW has already raised more than $52,000 since 15th March.
The Sydney based group is focussed on supporting health workers across all of the hospitals in Sydney during this tough time with sweet treats and coffees.
Over 150,000 people in Australia are homeless. Homeless shelters and centres are struggling throughout the time of Covid-19, as many of their usual donations have stopped. Rough Edges Community Centre in Darlinghurst feed and help the homeless on a daily basis, and need $250,000 worth of food by the end of the year to continue running.
They aim to bring everyone who walks through their doors a greater sense of self.
Simply fill a Coles, Woolies or Audi shopping bag with non-perishable food (like sweet and savoury biscuits, canned tuna, long-life milk and juice etc) and drop it at St Mark’s Church Hall in Darling Point by Saturday May 09 or make a $40 donation.
If you can’t make it to Sydney to donate physical groceries, St. Mark’s Darling Point have also set up a Go-Fund Me page for monetary donations.
(Thanks to Raiz Invest for contributing to this drive Bondi Beauty is also supporting. )
As one of the most at-risk groups of contracting covid-19, many senior citizens have been forced into quarantine. It can be a lonely and isolating time, leaving many feeling cut off from the outside world.
Put pen to paper and make a positive difference by becoming a pen-pal to a senior citizen.
Home Instead Senior Care has launched an Australia-wide initiative to encourage people to write to the elderly and “show our seniors you are thinking of them… a simple gesture of kindness that will make a senior’s day”.
Messages can be handwritten or emailed, or they can involve pencils, crayons or paint, where the final letter can be scanned and then emailed to a senior citizen.
Australia needs 29,000 blood donations each week, but as a result of the pandemic, far less Australians are donating than normal.
Coronavirus cannot be transmitted by blood, says the Australian Red Cross, so it’s important now more than ever to consider donating.
The Red Cross has also implemented greater health and hygiene measures to protect their staff and donors.
Social distancing measures are in place, as well as increased disinfecting and hand sanitiser available to donors. Donating blood is also consider a “vital” service, so you’re allowed to travel to donation centres without fear of restrictions.
Use this as an opportunity to catch up with a friend you’ve been missing.
Book your donations at the same time, and the mandatory social distancing practices will place you 1.5 metres apart – but you’ll still be in the same room together, which is more interaction than many are used to as of late.
If you have any cold and flu-like symptoms, the Red Cross won’t accept your donation – so instead, stay home and consider donating when you are better.
Schools have also been forced to adapt to the #stayhome lifestyle, with remote learning and online classrooms now the reality of thousands of children around the world.
For most of us, Wifi is a necessity – but it’s actually a luxury that many can’t afford. And with families now forced to home school their kids, not having wifi and the latest technology can result in increased anxiety and stress – which is not ideal during these already stressful times.
Optus has teamed up with the Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) to launch the Donate Your Data Scheme, providing disadvantaged secondary school students with access to a free Optus Prepaid mobile plan.
The initial roll out will focus on schools in low socioeconomic communities and that demonstrated a high need for support, with Optus aiming to provide sim cards to 6,000 disadvantaged students.
These sim cards provide unlimited calls and texts within Australia and 10GB of data, which is increased when Optus costumers donate their unused data.
Currently, Optus is the only provider offering this for their customers. You must be a customer of Optus to participate.
Finally, the easiest way to help others is to help stop the spread of the virus. Wash your hands, maintain good hygiene, and stay indoors. While it may be tempting to visit friends during this time, staying isolated is the easiest way to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
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