Staff Corner: From the remote desk of Cara Simon
Current location: New York, USA
A small act of kindness goes a long way. No matter what the current events, doing something nice for someone – or a group of someones – always makes the world a little sweeter.
Since being a remote worker, I’ve decided to consciously increase my efforts of small acts of kindness, almost like a new year’s resolution and probably something I should have been doing anyway – but no time like the present. I have found that something which may appear to be small or of little effort to me, can mean a GINORMOUS amount to someone else. No act is too small. EVER.
A few weeks ago near my “isolation birthday”, I had been feeling a little helpless with the current COVID-19 crisis, and outside of staying home and self-isolating to prevent the spread, I wanted to do something to contribute, support or help.
On one of my “runs” I came up with an idea to do something for a group of someones. After a quick Google search, I decided to contact local nursing homes to see if they would accept “self-care” kits for their support staff and essential workers. I had no idea if any place I rang would be open to this idea or just think I’m a weirdo (probably the latter – ha!), considering the potential risks involved. However, one of the first homes I rang, accepted. I was provided with instructions on how to deliver and be cautious, but the overall feeling was that it was very much appreciated.
Here are the self-care kits my Mom and I and delivered. I have no idea if these self-care kits were used or binned, but doing something for someone felt better than doing nothing for no one.
Each kit included a candle, a mug with hot cocoa packets, granola bars, a journal with a pen and bath salts.
I encourage you to do something for someone or a group of someones. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just something to spread the kindness. It’s all about the little things…
Here’s a little list of ideas that I’ve heard of others doing, which might inspire you:
- Call or video chat someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Sometimes a chat goes further than you know.
- Are you crafty? You could knit or crochet something for someone. I’m currently attempting this… and have decided it’s the thought that counts, not the appearance of the scarf…
- Do you know anyone living alone and might be especially isolated? If so, you could reach out to them and give them a little extra love.
- Leave a thank you message/note for your local mail person. They are working hard to keep the post system running.
- This could be applied to anyone in the essential worker category that we may not necessarily think of: ie Rubbish collectors, pharmacy staff, grocery clerks, gas station attendants, etc.
- Do a fundraiser to provide support to a cause like medical supplies. I had a friend in the UK do this and raised £2,000 sterling for medical supplies and food to be delivered to a local hospital and essential workers.
- Connect with a local charity or nursing home and help from afar. Some places need people to chat with the residents since they cannot have any outside visitors.
- Write a letter to a friend, family member or someone for a little hello because who doesn’t love mail?! This is one of my favorites, it doesn’t cost much but a little time and it puts a smile on someone’s face.
Send a card via snail mail to brighten someone's day and support the postal system.
- If you are going grocery shopping or even out to the pharmacy or wherever, call a neighbor, a family member or a friend to see if they need anything.
- Say hello to a stranger.
On my walks and runs around the neighborhood, it’s blowing my mind on how everyone is smiling and saying hi as you pass – this is not necessarily the norm here, but lately it is and I like it. It’s amazing what a hello or a smile or both can do to brighten the gloomiest of days.
- Start a fitness group to keep people engaged and exercising while at home.
- Learn International has one with some friends and partners – please let me know if you’d like to join our group. We are doing a 12-week HIIT challenge (freeon YouTube) and all are welcome. It’s actually really fun and you get to meet new people.
- Pay it forward – you could pay for someone’s order, whether it’s a coffee (drive throughs are still open here in the USA) or takeaway food order, or leave money towards petrol at a gas station… There are lots of ways to pay it forward and ways that can
support a local restaurant to help keep small businesses open.
These are just a few ideas! If you have any ideas or experiences to share, I’d love to hear from you. Remember a little can go a very long way…