You can make a difference right from your own home. Here are some ways to get started:
- UNV Online Volunteering, which is run by the United Nations, connects volunteers with organizations working for peace and sustainable human development around the world.
- Volunteer Match links volunteers to virtual opportunities both in their local communities and across the globe.
- Idealist.org is a valuable tool for finding volunteer opportunities with a nonprofit focus — and you can search by your focus area, schedule and more.
- DoSomething.org allows you to virtually volunteer for a wide variety of causes, from mental health and homelessness to bullying and the environment.
- Amnesty Decoders, which is operated by Amnesty International, is a digital volunteer network that helps conduct research into global human rights violations.
- LiveYourDream.org offers flexible online action opportunities for you to advocate, raise awareness, and participate in a global movement to empower women and girls.
- Red Cross has an opportunity perfect for people already glued to their phones. It utilizes digital volunteers during times of disaster to monitor online discussions and share important updates on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
If you live by yourself and are self-isolating, then you may be especially prone to loneliness — but even if you have roomies, or live with a partner or family, it’s still entirely understandable if you’re missing the company of classmates, coworkers, neighbors, and friends.
“Humans are social creatures," says Ruiz. "We are often energized by being around other people and we get support, encouragement, and love from others."
Melanie Shapiro, a licensed clinical social worker, says the best way to combat loneliness is to stimulate your mind, body, and heart — and reaching out to others to participate in an engaging discussion, game, or activity is a phenomenal way to accomplish that.
According to Suzie Pileggi Pawelski, well-being expert and co-author of HAPPY TOGETHER: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love that Lasts, self-care is also key to enabling healthy and fulfilling connections with loved ones. "We must take care of ourselves in order to better show up for others," she tells Elite Daily. "It can be a daily yoga or meditation practice. Or it may be going for a run or walk outside, or delving into a good book."
When loneliness strikes, remember this: social distancing is only a temporary effort. More importantly, you can still be social while staying safe — you just have to get a little creative.
If you think you're showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you're anxious about the virus's spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.
Amanda Ruiz, licensed professional counselor
Melanie Shapiro, licensed clinical social worker
Suzie Pileggi Pawelski, wellbeing expert