It's important to remember that your time can be just as valuable a gift as anything else. Your help, or your expertise could mean the world to someone else and it's quite possible it wouldn't cost you a thing. If you're thinking of friends who run businesses, maybe they could do with a positive review on google (ask them), a shout out on social media about how to support their business, or you have some technical know-how that could help them dial things up a notch. Maybe, when this is all over, they'd just love a hand painting their fence.
Think of anyone who is spending lockdown alone. Can you reach out and call for a phone chat or a FaceTime call? Ask them how they're doing and just listen for a while. It can mean the world to people.
If you want to treat people and support some small businesses at the same time, you can find a whole post about this, including a list of great little businesses who would really love your support. Think snuggly clothes, fresh produce, and gift cards so they can visit their favourite local cafe (using contactless pickup!).
Connecting to our local community is often something we all struggle with. Have you thought about charities that might be in your area who are doing a wonderful job supporting those in need? What might they really be needing right now? If there's a charity you are thinking of helping this year, it's always worth contacting them and asking what would truly help them in the long term. We all have something we can offer, and while specific volunteer roles might be down at the moment, there will alway be a need for donations/drivers/helpers in the future.
Auckland City Mission's Foodlink community programme is completely run by donations. There's a particularly strong need right now because of the effects of Covid on jobs. To donate food for emergency parcels email them here. Around New Zealand, Kids Can provide food/shoes/raincoats/and health checks to kids in poverty. They do incredible work supporting kids to break the cycle of poverty. You can read about their donation process here. If you're interested in running, reach out to the local run clubs and ask how you can get involved or support the clubs when they're back up.
The point is to take a moment and think about what you really love. Find ways to reach out and help. You are often the person who is saved by these acts the most.
Here you'll find essays and musings on applied mindfulness. What does this look like on a daily basis? How can you infuse it in your day to enjoy yourself more? Join hundreds of others on the the mailing list (link in footer) to get these straight to your inbox.