Lonely? Sad? Help somebody else.

Lonely, sad, depressed? Maybe bored and sad at the same time if you lost your job or are furloughed because of the Coronavirus? The cure may be volunteering or helping another.

I have heard this advice recently from two people worth listening to.

The first is Esther Perel in her recent interview with Tim Ferriss. (I highly recommend listening to this interview with great tips about coping with COVID-19, particularly related to relationships). The second reference is older, but another great resource in this time, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.

How can you focus on others when limited in physical interactions?

  • Reaching out to friends and family could help them and yourself cope. Phone, video chat, or write an old fashioned letter to say hi.
  • In Juneau, the city has created a portal to volunteer. If you are in Juneau, you can access it here. If not in Juneau, perhaps your city or state has something similar? Some of the options involve being around other people (such as preparing meals or working at a shelter), but if that’s not an option or an interest, there are other options that can be done from home such as sewing masks and providing counseling over the phone.
  • You could create for others. Do you make music? Write a book or poem? Research an interesting topic and create a handout to give out to friends? You could make handmade gifts and bring them to a local shelter or to healthcare workers or another place where people still have to go to work.

I am sure there are many more options. Get creative if you find yourself down. In his book, Dale Carnegie talks about the power of helping others to help oneself, but he also talks about the power of staying busy in some way so that whatever you are doing takes the focus off yourself.

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