As coronavirus (COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2) continues to spread, the concept of social distancing (deliberately increasing the physical space -- at least 6 feet -- between people to avoid spreading illness) is vital, but being separated from others doesn't mean practicing acts of kindness should stop.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho shares simple ways you can spread joy while still staying 6 feet away. She suggests the following:
Write a letter to a loved one - There's no better time to reach out to a friend or family member you have lost contact with.
Teach someone a skill - To all the parents with kids stuck at home now is a great time to help your little ones learn something new like riding a bike, how to play a new game, or how to cook or bake something new.
Plant a tree - You might need to stay away from people, but nature is perfectly safe and should be enjoyed and now is a great opportunity to help replenish it.
Give an honest compliment - Who couldn't use a little praise right now?
Send flowers out of the blue - A bouquet can help brighten up someone's home and help bring some joy for days.
Give away something valuable - This time is perfect for helping out those in need, especially for those with the means to give.
Put coins in an expired meter - Just one quarter could help someone avoid a costly parking ticket!
Pick up litter - Going on walks is encouraged during social distancing and a great time to stop and collect some trash along the way.
Do a chore - Do you have cupboards and closets filled with items needing to be donated that you have been avoiding? No time like now to tackle them!
Make someone laugh - Such a simple thing like a good laugh can improve someone's mood and lower stress levels in so many ways. Consider sending a funny meme, video, or photo for a much-needed LOL.
Send an encouraging text - If you're feeling down right now, chances are your loved ones are as well. Reach out, it can make a huge difference in someone's day.
Learn CPR - Educate yourself on how to help save a life with this helpful video from The American Heart Association.
Write a positive review - Have you been loving the take out and delivery food from your local restaurant? Drop a glowing online review to help them out!
Give a thank you note to your postal worker - Now is the perfect time to acknowledge the hard-working individuals who continue to deliver your mail and packages.
Donate to a charity - Log on to your favorite organization's website and give.
Cheer up a friend - Social distancing can cause some to feel down. Make sure to check on loved ones, call them, Facetime or reach out via text (or even try a handwritten letter if you want to truly surprise them!).
Forgive mistakes - Serious events like coronavirus help to put past disagreements, fights, and arguments in perspective and now is a great time to forgive and move forward.
Stay informed on the latest information on the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and learn about prevention methods and what to do if you are infected.