With all the noise about COVID-19 and its gloomy details invading our mental space, it’s hard to avoid the pandemic panic. Unsettling news of death rates and daily reminders to socially distance or quarantine interrupts our normalcy, fueling anxiety and even loneliness. Still, there are ways to help you navigate the unknown and maintain a sense of community while we wait for a treatment. Believe it or not, there are actually some positive things that can come out of being required to keep still. The good thing is, we are all in this together. Surely, we can find ways to help one another conquer COVID-19 so we all can get through this—together.

Yes, Stay Home

It sounds redundant, but it is the single most important thing you can do to help stem the rise of COVID-19 cases. Social distancing is still the best practice, because it lowers transmission rates. If you are sick, it is even more important that you stay in, practice good hygiene, avoid contact with others and wear a mask. If you are not sick and you must go outside, keeping six-feet away from others is safer for everyone.

Serve Your Community

These are tough times. People are getting sick, losing loved ones and losing jobs. Essential workers are at greater risk of exposure to the virus; there are food shortages; young children are being left home alone without proper supervision while their parents work. In times like these, we need as many acts of kindness as we can get. Start in your neighborhood with friendly check-ins, especially with seniors or others whom you know may be at high-risk. Shop for them periodically. Pick up their medicine. See if someone on your block needs help paying for childcare. Don’t forget about the larger community. Donate to organizations that support those impacted by COVID-19. Donate food to your neighborhood pantry, or have lunch delivered to nursing homes and the nurses and doctors of your local clinics and hospitals. Whether it’s donating blood to your local Red Cross or donating money, your support can make a difference.

Shop Local

Even with services like Amazon and Instacart, avoiding commercial outlets completely can be unrealistic. Still, compliance to stay at home pleas continues to keep shoppers scarce. The decline in customer traffic, however, affects major chains with deep pockets less. Small business owners are being hit hardest. Shopping local for essential items helps not only support your local economy but also those smaller businesses that depend on community traffic to survive.   Shopping in your neighborhood also keeps you closer to home so you can get out and get back in quickly.

Relax, Relate, Reflect — And Get Organized!

We’ve all had to make adjustments around COVID-19.  For many, working from home is probably one of the toughest. Trying to be a top performer while homeschooling is no easy task. Yet, you can still take advantage of being homebound! Start your workday earlier so you can get off sooner and spend more time enjoying your family, be alone or even catch up on those long-overdue projects. Put on your mask and get outside. Go on a family bike ride or a walk in the neighborhood, following social distancing rules, of course. Stay inside and curl up with a movie or a great book. And what about that closet or garage you haven’t cleaned in ages? Now is the perfect time. Before you know it, things will be right back to normal, and you’ll wish you had taken the time to find a way, amidst all that seems like madness, to simply enjoy the moment.