In these strange times what can we do to make everyone's lives a little better?
One of the abiding memories from this period of lockdown in the UK is how communities, streets and the whole country have come together when it has been really needed to help friends, neighbours and complete strangers in their time of need.
From socially distanced street parties to celebrate VE Day, to contributions to Captain Tom's amazing walk for the NHS and our weekly Clap For Carers, we have come together and created some happy memories amidst the uncertainty and fear during the height of the pandemic.
Here at Boxcitement we made a few small contributions including starting a fundraiser for the NHS, creating free stay-at-home craft projects available via our website and sending our subscribers their own wall prints with a gorgeous Stay safe message.
Now we are slowly returning to a more normal way of life, including going back to work and seeing our town centres open up again, it's more important than ever to continue to be kind and approachable to everyone we know and don't know, so that our communities see a long-term benefit from this amazing period in history.
It has been proven that being kind to others has a beneficial effect on our own sense of wellbeing. So what can we do to make sure our legacy of kindness continues?
We have compiled a list of ideas here that may help you to decide - let's make our new world a better place, one day at a time.
· If you started to help neighbours during this period of lockdown, how about offering to make it permanent? Adding a few items to your own weekly shop for someone who is vulnerable can make a huge difference for a small effort.
· Nature has had a respite from the damage we normally inflict over the past few months - have a think about what you could do to make the benefits last. Can you cut hedgehog tunnels into the bottom of fences to allow these gorgeous creatures to pass through gardens without having to negotiate roads? Create a wild patch in your garden to attract butterflies and bees - or perhaps commit to keeping the car at home a bit more.
· If you know someone who has struggled while being stuck at home, why not send them a gift, some flowers or a simple card? You don't even have to tell them it's from you - just imagine how nice it will be for them to receive something lovely, for no reason at all.
· Start paying compliments to people - it really is a lovely feeling to receive one isn't it? Make sure you thank people for any acts of kindness you receive, too - a thank you note through the letterbox is a lovely gesture.
· Practice patience - a lot of shops are now open but their supplies may be running low or they may take longer than expected to deliver to you. They are trying their best and behind the scenes things may still be very challenging - let your expectations go for a while.
· Can you set up a local collective of sharers - either physically or online? We have all been reading, watching box sets and trying new indoor activities recently - can you arrange to swap items you no longer need, or set up a Facebook page where people can share tips? Knowing they are part of a community is one of the biggest ways people can avoid feelings of isolation and depression - and this doesn't just have to be during lockdown.
· Finally - if you are able - how about donating any money you may have saved from staying indoors to a charity or cultural organisation? Set up a direct debit now and let them benefit from our enforced period of inactivity - and know that you are doing a great thing for people who are going to need help in the coming months.
I hope you stay well and safe in the next few months as we all negotiate our new world - and as always I would love to hear your ideas!
Best wishes for now – Deb
(P.S. I'd love to know what random acts of kindness you have achieved - leave your comment below!)