As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread illness, panic, and anxiety across the nation, you may be getting bored, depressed, and lonely at home. To maintain a Brain Warrior mindset, you need to put down the remote control, get off the couch, and give back. Research shows that volunteering and giving back to your community is good for the soul, boosts production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and increases happiness.
Here are 6 Warrior-approved activities to help others that can spark your brain power, boost your mood, and help you feel like you’re part of a community.
1. Make a video as you cook a brain-healthy meal. Eating nutritious food is one of the best things you can do for your brain health and mental well-being. Sharing how to create good-for-you meals with your friends, family, and social network takes it to a new level. Choose any of the recipes on my website, like Tomato Curry Chicken with Saffron—saffron’s known to enhance moods, which makes this recipe especially ideal right now.
2. Create your own face masks. Let your creativity soar by crafting
cute, colorful face coverings and donate them to neighbors or others in need.
Acts of kindness like this are bringing people together (from a safe physical
distance) in a positive way.
3. Give a restaurant gift card. Local mom-and-pop restaurants are
hurting and need support to stay open. Purchase a gift card to one of your
favorite local eateries and give it to a loved one or donate it to a local
hospital so frontline healthcare providers can use it. As a former ICU nurse, I
can tell you this would be so appreciated.
4. Get groceries for an elderly person. Because
the elderly are at the highest risk of dying or developing severe illness from
COVID-19, many of them are afraid to leave their homes to go grocery shopping.
If you’re going to the grocery store, ask if one of your older relatives or a
senior neighbor needs anything.
5. Try remote volunteering. With so many people feeling stressed and anxious during the pandemic, there are many opportunities to connect with people who need help. Some organizations provide companionship to the elderly by making regular phone calls to check-in. Others provide online or phone-based mentoring to students. These days, you can also volunteer to work at coronavirus testing locations. Find opportunities at Idealist.org.
6. Donate blood. The American Red Cross is accepting blood donations from healthy donors and has put safety precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of visiting a donation location now, make an appointment for some time in the future.
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