Suffolk, UK

6 Ways to Brighten the World During Lockdown (For FREE!)

The sun may be shining and the sky may be blue but with the UK lockdown still firmly in place, nobody would blame you for feeling a little down in the dumps. The world doesn't seem at its friendliest at the moment, with self-isolation and social distancing keeping us apart from our nearest and dearest. It's all for a good reason, of course, but it can make you feel a little glum nevertheless. If you're in need of a pick-me-up, I've put together a post full of positive actions that you can take from the comfort of your own bedroom to make the world a brighter place. And, most importantly, none of them will burn a hole in your pocket either. Let's begin!

stay positive during lockdown

1. Stamp and Deliver for Charity

With many of us taking an income cut during the pandemic, donating money to charity is something that can fall by the wayside. Happily, there are plenty of ways to support their important work without putting yourself out of pocket during a tricky time. One thing that you can do is collect used postage stamps. Charities like Canine Partners, who train assistance dogs to meet the needs of individuals with even the most complex physical difficulties, can recycle postage stamps and exchange them for donations. They receive £12 for every kilo of stamps they receive. Used stamps usually just end up tossed in the bin, so if you're able to collect them to donate, you're really turning rubbish into gold!

2. Research Yourself Silly

If you've always wanted to be a part of a cutting edge research project, now is the time to make those dreams a reality! With the help of a site called Zooniverse, that is. Zooniverse is a vibrant research community that needs volunteers to help with everything from identifying gravitational waves to counting penguins to better understand their lives and environment. Right now, there's even the opportunity to help transcribe handwritten letters between prominent members of the anti-slavery movement. You don't need a specialised academic background to join in with this research and make a real impact so if you're looking for a feel-good boredom buster, you've found it!

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3. Stop Scrolling, Start Supporting

We're all guilty of spending too much time scrolling through Instagram of late. But what if you could turn your ten hours of daily social media use into something positive, benefitting a really worthy charity? Well, guess what: you can! By signing up to be a micro-volunteer for the RSCPA, you'll be sent three or four micro-volunteering activities a month, tasks that don't usually take you more than 5 minutes to complete. So far as part of my micro-volunteering role, I've been sharing posts about the RSPCA's work on social media, taken a few photos, and filled out a survey or two. It really helps the charity and gives you those warm fuzzy feelings too!  

4. Lend a Lockdown Ear

Self-isolation needn't stop us reaching out and feeling connected, and if you want to make real difference to people's lives through the power of conversation, you can become a volunteer listener with 7Cups or a similar service. By offering a friendly ear on the other end of the phone, you'll be helping other people through a difficult time. You'll complete an active listening course to ensure that you're prepared for the job and then your volunteering can begin. You're given complete control over how much or how little you volunteer - how you help is up to you. I couldn't think of anything more impactful or rewarding!

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positive actions lockdown

5. Become a Cape-less Health Hero

"No capes!!" Follow Edna Mode's unforgettable advice and become a cape-less hero by learning First Aid online for free. It's always good to be prepared for an emergency situation, even more so at a time when key services such as the NHS are so overstretched. By the end of the University of Glasgow's course, you'll be able to help people with acute bleeds, choking, and know how to deal with an unconscious patient in need. You don't need any medical experience before you begin and you'll gain some truly lifesaving skills! Other courses such as a Food as Medicine nutrition course are available if you want to learn even more about health and wellbeing.

6. Get Your Rocks Off

Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about PAINTING rocks of course! Painting or decorating a few stones with positive, supportive messages and leaving them around your local neighbourhood on your next government-approved walk can be a great way of boosting community spirit. You'll have fun getting creative during the process and others' days will be brightened when they spy your designs - it's a win, win situation! Many of us will already have paints, pens, chalk or similar crafting supplies at home, so it shouldn't be an expensive way to spend an afternoon.

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How have you been staying positive and helping others during lockdown? Please share down below!

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