Shaking hands is out for now. So is inviting someone in for tea and cookies. But with a little creativity and kindness, we can still be amazing neighbors to those who live around us even this year.
Having a great connection with friends and neighbors may make the difference for many people between feeling despair or having hope during this drawn-out pandemic.
Let’s be neighbors helping neighbors!
Here are some ways you can be “the good neighbor next door.”
Communicate with your neighbors
Get contact info for your neighbors (and for their relatives if a neighbor lives alone). Start a group email/group text message circle for immediate neighbors in case of emergencies and to help each other with needs.
Ask for everyone’s birthdays so the group can celebrate each birthday by sending birthday cards or gathering on the driveway for social distancing games and to have a piece of cake. Or think of some creative Zoom birthday party ideas with birthday Zoom backgrounds and play fun games together virtually to celebrate.
Periodically sent a text message or email to ask how people in the group are doing emotionally, physically, etc… and if they need anything. Share a printed letter or email with your neighbors with ways you can help them, if they need it. Invite other neighbors to share their abilities and willingness to help the group, too.
Help Neighbors Who Are Elderly and Alone
Set up a schedule to check on close neighbors, especially elderly neighbors who live alone and don’t have family close by. Maybe you can text briefly each night just to make sure they are okay. Offer to help older neighbors with technical issues so they can stay in contact with family and friends.
Let older neighbors know about meal/grocery delivery services. Or offer to pick things up at the store for them, especially if they are at risk and you don’t currently have any COVID-19 symptoms or high risk.
Be kind to those around you
With everyone being so isolated and stressed, loneliness is a big problem. When people feel alone, stressed, and like they have no purpose, life can be overwhelming and discouraging.
During a crisis like this, kindness is more important than ever to help boost other people’s spirits, and our own. As we assist others and do good things for them, we don’t feel so lonely and we have a sense of purpose that blesses us, too.
Sweet Things to Do for Neighbors
- Send out cards, letters through the mail, on the porch, or send cards online
- Take food over
- Send encouragement gifts and packages
- Help neighbors with kids
- Mow a sick neighbor’s yard
- Work in your garden to brighten your neighbors’ day
- Be friendly. Smile and wave! Always say, “Hello!”
- Stop to speak from a distance with a porch visit or front yard visit.
- Share supplies if someone runs out.
- Alert your neighbors if you see a security risk.
- Walk a sick or elderly neighbor's dog.
You may be the only human contact some of your neighbors have all day or all week. One small act of kindness can spread a lot of hope and joy to others and can refill your emotional tank, too.
Be respectful of your neighbors’ needs and preferences
Some new ways we can show respect and compassion to others during this pandemic may be a hassle. New information may come out in the future that is more accurate. But we can try to follow the CDC guidelines. Other people will appreciate that we are trying to protect them just in case we could be contagious.
- Stay outside in the yard or on the porch instead of going into someone's home.
- Social distance from others (at least 6 feet with a mask) to try to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
- Some neighbors like a lot of your time and attention, others don’t. Respect each person's level of desire for contact.
- Stay away when you know you or a family member at your house is sick.
- Wear your mask around your neighbors to protect them in case you might be sick—try to help them feel comfortable.
- Remember that everyone is more stressed this year and give some extra grace.
- As always, keep the noise level at your house to a minimum. Especially when neighbors may be asleep.
Shop local to boost your neighborhood’s businesses
Good neighbors can also help each other by supporting local businesses and restaurants. This has been a devastating year for many businesses. Our patronage of local small businesses may help them stay afloat so we can continue to enjoy their products and services on into the future.
Ready to be a new good neighbor in the Lexington, SC area?
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