4 Simple Ways You Can Make a Difference From Home

For me, this Wednesday will mark one month of being in quarantine. It’s been quite the ride so far, believe it or not. Each week brings on a new version of myself. Week one was the neurotic-hypochondriac Leah. Week two was the “I think I could get used to isolation! This isn’t so bad,” Leah. Week three was Leah in metamorphosis. This week is Leah talking in the third person. We’re doing great over here.

In all seriousness, this time in quarantine has been transformative, to say the least. I’m experiencing first hand the evil of this virus; an entire side of my family had it and thankfully almost all have fully recovered. Knowing that people you love and care about are suffering is painful. Add the fact that there is nothing you can do to help them but staying away is terrifying. When I found out they were sick, all I wanted to do was to help. I wanted to help them and anyone I can to get through this. It got me thinking… how can I actually help?

Believe it or not, we are not entirely helpless right now. For those of us who are lucky enough to be healthy, we can make the choice every day to make even a small difference. This doesn’t mean you’re going to find the vaccine for COVID-19; this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your well-being or others’ to help those in need. But you can make a small effort every day that can make a big difference in other people’s lives.

Here are just a few ways we can make more of our time in isolation.

1. Be of service.

Being of service to the world and others will never be irrelevant. There is no greater feeling and there is no greater outcome. Choose to donate. That doesn’t mean it has to be financial; many, many people are struggling financially right now. But, even if I am struggling, I can donate my time, my art, my attention, my services, and so on. I can teach a free dance class. I can offer to get groceries for someone I know is at higher-risk than I am. If we choose to live in service to others we are choosing to live in service to ourselves.

You can also be of service by supporting your local small businesses. If they’re doing delivery, take-out, or coffee shop pick-ups and you’re able to afford it, yes. Safely support that small business. These businesses need our support more than ever. As long as you’re able to abide by social-distancing, then support the businesses you wish to see around when this crisis simmers.

2. Use your voice.

Since we can’t use our physical bodies to make a difference right now, we have to use our voices. Share on social media how others can help non-profits that you care about. Reach out to someone you think might be struggling right now. If you see someone online hanging out with a group of people when we’re supposed to be quarantined, say something. (No need to shame, ever.) Be optimistic for the people who can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Not only share your voice, but offer a listening ear. We need each other now more than ever.

3. Stay up-to-date on news.

I have had many days where I can’t look at the news. I knew what I needed to avoid for my own sanity. I knew that me hearing the news and going on a neurotic rampage wouldn’t help anyone. But, when I know I can handle it, I read the news every morning. It’s important we stay up to date on the new information that’s being released. For example, at first, it was recommended we don’t wear a mask in public and now it is required that we do. The length of time we are being quarantined has been extended again. Don’t keep yourself so in the dark that you are ignorant. We have to choose what we know for our own sake, yes. And it’s still important that we choose to know how to help stop this virus.

I recommend signing up for The New York Times morning briefing emails. The updates are short and you can choose to read more on certain topics if you wish. I know most people prefer a specific news platform, so choose as you wish. I prefer getting my news as unbiased as possible and I’ve found these updates to be easy to follow and not incredibly one-sided.

4. Simply stay inside.

Saying that “staying inside” will make a difference feels dumb-obvious. But, I think it’s easy for us to forget what an encouraging impact it’s making. What we’re doing is not easy and we are doing it. By staying inside, we are taking care of others and ourselves. By staying inside, we are being of service. By staying inside, we are using our voice. By staying inside, we are making a difference.

Choose to make a difference today. Thinking of you all. <3

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