Contributed by the Mental Health Center of Denver’s Health & Wellness Initiatives Committee
During these uncertain times, many of us may be feeling scared, powerless, and isolated from others. Luckily, there are still many opportunities to spread kindness and feel a sense of community with others. Check out our list of 10 ways that you can remain connected to your family, friends, and community during times of physical distancing.
1. Participate in a Community Heart Hunt:
Several communities across Colorado have embraced a Community Heart Hunt. Community members create hearts, write an encouraging message, and leave them outside their home or throughout the community for others to find. Join the movement by learning how to make the hearts and checking out the community Facebook page.
2. Make a Donation to a Local Non-Profit:
Call your local non-profit or visit their website to find out how you can help during this time. Many are offering virtual volunteer opportunities and/or are in need of donations for needed resources. If you want to donate to the Mental Health Center of Denver, visit our online giving page.
3. Donate Blood:
The American Red Cross has stated: “Right now, the American Red Cross encourages healthy, eligible individuals to schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and avoid any potential shortages. Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions.”
4. Download Apps to Connect with Others Face-To-Face:
There are many apps out there that allow face-to-face interactions from Zoom to Google Hangouts. There are even apps such as House Party that gives you a platform to play games with family and friends!
5. Offer to Run Errands or Buy Groceries for Those in Need:
Following a Stay-At-Home order for weeks can make it difficult to take care of everyday tasks, errands, and appointments. Offer to bring things to people’s homes—groceries, Sudoku puzzles, inspirational books or reading material, drop off or pick up packages at the post office, or anything else they might need—and leave it outside their door.
6. Write a Message of Encouragement in Chalk:
You may have already seen news stories of chalk messages of encouragement being left outside hospitals, in parks, and outside doors (for delivery drivers). Join in on the positivity by writing positive messages of encouragement in your own neighborhood! This is also a great way to celebrate kids’ birthdays in a safe way — do a “drive around” to all your child’s friends and family homes in the area to see the birthday messages.
7. Share Good News with Others:
With news available all day, every day, it can feel as though there’s nothing but bad news. With a little digging, though, you’ll find that there’s still plenty of good news worth sharing. Websites like Tank’s Good News and video channels such as Some Good News (SGN) with John Krasinski have a sole mission of providing reminders that good news is still happening. Check out some positive news stories and share them with others to brighten their day!
8. Join a Virtual Challenge/Activity:
From fitness challenges and book clubs to recipe sharing and crochet parties, there is no shortage of ways to connect with others simply by doing the things you love.
9. Make Face Masks for those in Need:
The CDC is now asking all Americans to wear face masks or coverings when going out in public. However, with widespread shortages of medical-grade face masks, and leaders and experts agree those should be reserved for healthcare providers. So, individuals are largely making masks at home! If you’re crafty, you can make your own and share your creations with others. Here are a couple of videos where you can learn how to make one:
10. Join or Organize a Community Cheer, Dance Party, etc:
You may have heard about cheers ringing out for healthcare workers across the world, Colorado’s “Howl at the Moon at 8pm,” or an entire Los Angeles apartment complex singing happy birthday to a resident. Spread the love by organizing or joining in on opportunities like this in your own community. Remember, we are in this together!