The ongoing coronavirus crisis has caused millions of people to self-isolate, per CDC social distancing guidelines. Public health officials recommend limiting the time we all spend in public spaces to slow the spread of the virus. Adopting these practices is necessary to contain the infection level to one that our healthcare system can bear. As we all work to “flatten the curve”, though, a lot of previously-normal activities have fallen by the wayside. Socializing in public, interacting in person with friends and strangers alike, even simply leaving the house to run errands; all of these once-banal parts of daily life have been disrupted. However, engaging in self-isolation does not mean doing away with robust environmental and social-improvement standards. As so many of us now find borders at our front doors, staying community-minded becomes more difficult yet more vital. Here are some tricks and tips you can use to maintain social consciousness in the age of social distancing:
Get involved in some of the many organizations that are helping to mitigate the disease’s effects and protect the most vulnerable among us.
As ubiquitous as it is, coronavirus has sparked social betterment responses in nearly every industry or public improvement sphere. The Washington Post has a curated list of nonprofits and other groups that are in dire need of support as they address the virus and its fallout. Financial support is of course always needed and appreciated, but other options exist as well: donating blood, hygienic products, or even old books can help as much or more than donating money. Charitable giving has been linked to higher levels of happiness and satisfaction in the donor, and can help create lasting positive group dynamics.
Take steps to safeguard your mental health
There are many online resources that can help to protect your mental and emotional well-being in this particularly trying time. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) published a report with advice on navigating the mental burdens that come with the disease. Their suggestions include: establishing an emotional support system; giving your day structure that resembles your pre-virus routines; and familiarizing yourself with healthcare and financial support systems that could help if needed. Exercise has long been associated with stronger mental health; CNBC published a list of livestreamed exercise classes provided for free during the crisis. Check your local gym or yoga studio’s social media presence to see if they are offering anything as well!
Beautify your little corner of Texas
Keep Texas Beautiful’s mission is to inspire and empower Texans to keep our communities clean and beautiful. Community cleanups and public beautification projects have been temporarily suspended due to the current crisis. However, there are still steps that we can all take to stay positive and productive, even in the midst of a national quarantine. Examples include recycling properly, doing an art project made out of repurposed items around the house, planting flowers in your yard, and so much more. For more information, please feel free to visit KTB’s COVID-19 response page. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected to the world around you.
Blog Post Written By Dan Matz, Programs Intern at Keep Texas Beautiful.