11 Ways To Inspire Positivity During The Pandemic

At first, it seemed pretty awesome. A spontaneous staycation, if you will. A couple of weeks off from school—and with no schoolwork to boot. But then, homeschooling kicked in, and the reality of having your child with you 24/7 started to sink in. Days are starting to blur together, snacks are being served nonstop, and there seems to be no end in sight. Families are cut off from loved ones, birthday parties are all but over, and friends are relegated to drive by honks and socially distanced waves. So is it no wonder that you and your fam might be feeling a little depressed? If the quarantine has you feeling down, these 11 ways to inspire positivity during the pandemic just might make all of you feel better.

Now more than ever it’s important to keep your kiddos feeling upbeat and inspired. “Helping others makes kids (and adults) feel more connected during this time of isolation, which benefits mental health and well-being,” says Dr. Donna Housman, a clinical child psychologist and founder of the Boston-based Housman Institute, an early childhood training, research and advocacy organization and its lab school, Beginnings. But if you thought that this was just something for your kids to do, think again. “Parents can and should participate in these kinds of activities too,” says Housman. “Modeling ethical behavior by doing things like looking after neighbors and older relatives, practicing social distancing, and making the sacrifices that are necessary to deal with COVID19 teaches kids about compassion and empathy.”

So even though we’re all experiencing difficult emotions and anxieties, it’s critical in times like these to remember to leave room for positivity and the spreading of joy and community. Here’s how.

1. Cook Meals For Those Less Fortunate

If you’re finding yourself in the kitchen more frequently, put all those fridge trips to good use. You can cook for a neighbor who might not be able to get out as much, or for someone less fortunate than your family. By its very nature, cooking

2. Make Masks For Neighbors And Friends

Since social distancing started, masks can be in short supply. That’s why it might be time to break out the sewing machine and make some masks. Of course, you can create some for your family, but you can also make some additional ones to hand out to healthcare and frontline workers as well.

3. Create Lawn Signs For Frontline Workers

For frontline and essential workers, going into their jobs every day can be a scary thing. So in order to give them a boost on their way to work, your family can make some lawn signs. They can say something as simple as “Thank You Healthcare & Frontline Workers” so that they feel that sense of appreciation for all that they’re doing to help others.

4. Start A Fundraiser

Unemployment rates are skyrocketing because of the Coronavirus. If you know of a family that might be struggling due to a shortage of jobs, your family can always start a fundraiser to help them make ends meet. Share your fundraiser on social media so that the word spreads—and you meet your monetary goals.

5. Make Your Block Beautiful

Spending all that time at home can be fun at first, but then eventually you’re going to run out of things to do. That’s when you can look outdoors for some inspiration—literally. If you’ve been putting off a planting project, now’s the time to start growing your garden. You may even want to plant some extra bulbs for your neighbor, and soon, your whole neighborhood will be beautiful.

6. Bake Together

It’s not a coincidence that one of the first food products to go flying off the shelves was flour and sugar (and TP, of course). It seems that the pandemic has turned everyone into pioneers of sorts, and we’re all channeling our basic baking skills as a way of feeding our families—and coping. But baking can be fun, since it’s a positive thing to do during the pandemic. “Use whatever fun ingredients you have lying around or finish off that old box mix and actually bake!,” advises Theresa Bertuzzi, Chief Program Development Officer/Co-Owner & Co-Founder of Tiny Hoppers. “Find a recipe that includes measuring and stirring, and allows you to add your own touches like raisins or chocolate chips.” Letting your kids help with baking promotes better bonding—and better chocolate chip cookies, too.

7. Create A Capsule

The world is definitely very interesting right now, and that’s why creating a time capsule can be a very cool project to do with your children. “Creating a time capsule which contains warm ‘quarantine memories’ is not only an engaging activity, but helps kids to stay positive and focused on capturing and memorializing some of the interesting things they have been doing such as family walks, baking with  mom or dad or new hobbies,” says Babita Spinelli, LP, a licensed psychotherapist. “Encouraging the creation of a time capsule can make a difference because it helps children feel hopeful of a future as they think about how they will look back at this time and what they included in their time capsule.”

8. Encourage Your Kiddo To Write

Your child can create a sense of calm and positivity in their lives during the pandemic by writing and drawing. “Journaling helps to organize a child’s thoughts and provides and outlet to make sense of the chaos of feelings  and emotions during a time of uncertainty and chaos,” says Spinelli. “By encouraging drawing or journaling feelings, parents are introducing a therapeutic and  healthy emotional outlet.” In turn, this can help your child to feel calmer and more grounded.

9. Decorate Cards For Nursing Home Residents

The elderly are one of the greatest groups at risk for COVID-19. And as such, visitation to nursing homes has been put on hold for the foreseeable future. So why not create some handmade cards for the residents so that they feel that sense of connection? “Encouraging our children to reach out and think of others helps them cope and maintain a healthy perspective,” says Spinelli. “It also can help a child’s emotional development by turning their thoughts towards empathy for others during this time.” Take out some paper, crayons, and stickers, and you’ll not only have a fun craft to do with the kiddos, but you’ll also do something good for others, too.

10. Stay Connected

A huge part of the pandemic problem is that it isolates family and friends from each other. Instead of suffering from social distancing, why not try to maintain the connection in new and different ways? “Involve your children in helping to check on others such as grandparents or close friends via Skype or Zoom,” says Spinelli. “Parents encouraging kids to do so can help empower children in a space that is eliciting a feeling of helplessness.” And feeling empowered right now not only makes a difference for a child’s own mental well-being, but shows them how staying in touch is providing support for others who may be feeling very alone.

11. Rescue A Pet

If you’ve been on the fence about getting a pet, you might decide to adopt an animal during the pandemic. But rescuing an animal can be the right thing to do, especially during these difficult times. It gives a big boost to your home by welcoming a new member of the family into your lives, but it also shows your child responsibility and compassion as they learn to love and care for their new pet.

It’s easy to get sad about the state of the world right now. But as a parent, you have to teach your child to look for the light and the bright spots in every day—because there are many of them. And, as Spinelli points out: “Children can also see how a small act of kindness can make a difference to others in big ways.”

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