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Helping Others Can Help You Cope with Lockdown

Professional Upholstery Cleaner – It’s easy to feel, these days, that we’re swirling in a coronavirus-induced vortex of helplessness. Our first instinct may be to hunker down and protect ourselves and our immediate families. But to get through these times with our sanity and well-being intact, we may need to push back on this initial impulse – to turn outward, not just inward.

Helping buoys the helper, not just the recipient

In the wake of the financial downturn, rates of volunteering were higher than they had been the year before—and that bump came with clear psychological benefits.

Eighty-nine percent of people felt happier overall thanks to their helping efforts, and 78 percent reported that volunteering helped them better deal with disappointment and loss. About three in four volunteers felt less stressed. Many respondents reported making deeper friendships by connecting with other helpers.

Creative stay-at-home helping ventures abound

But how do you help people when you’re stuck at home?

Social distancing and shelter-in-place restrictions do put some volunteer opportunities out of reach, especially for members of high-risk groups. However, motivated helpers have found plenty of creative ways to serve others remotely.

Matching your strengths to the right opportunities

We tend to get caught up in thinking that only medical personnel and first responders can make a meaningful difference during this crisis. Yet in the coronavirus era, simply reaching out to people is being helpful and heroic in small ways. Each of us can make a positive difference by tapping into our strengths and sharing them.

In a shelter-in-place context, that might mean teaching a free online math class to kids who can’t attend regular school, or a few minutes a day doing Skype check-ins with lonely members of your social circle.

You don’t have to commit full-time to these practices to make a major difference in others’ lives—and your own. Thinking about helping as an incremental venture, rather than an all-or-nothing one, may help you overcome any initial inertia. Even making a donation to a helping organization whose mission you support—which may take less than a minute—can boost your well-being measurably.

If you live alone and you’re in good health, you may be eligible for essential helping roles that involve a higher degree of risk. Food banks around the country desperately need volunteers at community centers to distribute produce and pantry staples to households in need. Opportunities like this require you to weigh the positive impact you can have against the likelihood of contracting the virus.

And after it all – we’ll be here to help you with a friendly smile!

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