Hard times bring out the best and worst in humankind. As lockdowns grip the majority of Australia and New Zealand, civil unrest erupts in Afghanistan, and wild weather rips through Turkey and other parts of the EU – so many of us are feeling down in the dumps. And when you’re in a negative head space, that can seep through to every conversation and interaction you have with others.
When your life gets ultra-stressful and situations happen that are beyond your control, impacting your livelihood (exhibit A: the pandemic), staying positive feels like a distant dream. Frustrations reach an all-time high and seeing through to the other side feels like mission impossible.
If you’re one of these people right now, we’re here with you and we feel for you!
One bit of solace to consider is that you are not alone. Everyone is experiencing the same frustrations to different degrees all around the world.
To help lift your spirits, here are a few of our favourite ways people can show kindness in hard times.
Send a gift to your loved ones who are struggling
There are so many people around our country in extended lockdowns right now and many are struggling. The toll lockdowns take on mental health is huge, especially for those who live alone or separated from their families.
If there’s someone in your life that is struggling through lockdown, brighten their day by sending them a surprise gift. It could be as simple as a bunch of brownies, sweet treats, a plant, or item they’ve been eyeing off for a while.
You could even send them a heartfelt message if times are tough financially for you right now. It’s the thought that counts most!
Don’t forget that your clients might want to be sending gifts to their loved ones at this time as well. With Shortcuts, you can offer the perfect gift in the form of a virtual gift card. The online gift card can be purchased directly from your website and sent to the gift receiver in minutes! We’ve created a bunch of helpful email and SMS templates to help you spread the love and promote online gift cards to your clients! Check them out here.
Speak kindly to customer service staff
With tensions high and A LOT of stresses being added to the mix, it can feel so easy for some people to direct all of their frustrations at customer service staff. Whether it’s retail, hospitality, or customer service reps on the phone, none of these people deserve to be yelled and belittled – they’re just doing their jobs at the end of the day. If they have to be the bearers of bad news, it doesn’t mean they should be mistreated for it.
Keep in mind that these customer service workers may be having an equally hard time behind the scenes and one sour interaction with a customer can have a negative impact on them personally too.
Speak to people in the same way you wish to be spoken to ❤️
Donate to those in need
There is always someone out there who is less fortunate. Someone who needs a helping hand. There are so many amazing charities and organisations around the country (and the globe) whose sole mission is to help those in need!
Being stuck in lockdown, it can be a tad tricky to donate your time or money, so think about how else you can give to the community. Maybe you have opened products that are going to waste that can be sanitised and donated. Maybe you have tinned food sitting at the back of your pantry that can be donated. C’mon, are you really going to use those 5 tins of tomato soup? We’re on our way into summer!
Here are a few of our favourite charities that are always in need of kind donations:
Check on your neighbours
If you have neighbours, particularly elderly neighbours, make sure to check in on them. You may not be able to physically visit them, but if you’re both in the backyard or on the balcony at the same time, make sure to say a socially distanced “hi” and see how they’re doing.
Some people may not have any loved ones close by and this can be a really tough and isolating time for them. Kindness from a stranger can make a world of difference to their day and lockdown experience.
Be kind to yourself
And last, but certainly not least, be kind to yourself. YOU are going through a tough time. YOU have felt the impacts, stresses, and frustrations of this pandemic. Your livelihood, social life, family life may have all been impacted. Your feelings are completely valid!
Make a conscious effort to add little self-care activities to your days in lockdown. This might be Facetiming a friend (yep Facetime so you can SEE them – don’t just call). It might be adding a workout to your morning routine. Reading a book or listening to a podcast in the sunshine. It might be making a new recipe every night from the cookbook collecting dust on your shelf.
Whatever it may be – do something every day for you. Look after yourself!