by M. Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer of CurlyRed
Are you tired of feeling isolated and in need of authentic community right now? I hear you.
This isn't some list to fix things, or a way to ignore the pain and suffering that's happening around the world right now—but simply a few ideas that have helped me feel more connected to others—and use this time to grow and stretch (maybe even out of my comfort zones a bit).
Here are some things I've been doing:
1. Take a class or workshop. There are so many wonderful (free or very affordable) classes and workshops being offered right now. And many of them have a community component, either through Zoom or Facebook Live, that allows you to connect with others that you might never meet otherwise. I'm currently taking a 5-week workshop through Greater Than Ministries, called “Finding Your Heart's Desire: A Christ-Centered, Transformative Look at the Enneagram.” I'm really excited to learn more about the Enneagram (which I love) while also meeting others that share my passion.
2. Sign up for a Care-Package Swap. My friend Christina Page of Sihaya & Company organized one of these through a Facebook group. I created a curated care package for a complete stranger, based on a comprehensive questionnaire on likes and preferences, and someone else will be doing the same for me. It felt really good to mail my package yesterday—I hope my recipient likes what I picked!
3. Volunteer. My daughters and I participated in the Have a Nice Day project (special home edition-pictured above). We wrote positive messages on over 50 coffee sleeves and then sent them to my dear friend Jessica Watson, who then donates them to Baltimore-owned cafes to distribute. It's a wonderful way to brighten someone's day. There are hundreds of ways for you to volunteer right now without leaving your hone. This is an amazing list of ideas.
4. Write a Review (or ask someone else to). Pick your favorite local restaurant or nail salon or hairstylist and positively review them on Google or Facebook of Yelp. If you're on LinkedIn, write a recommendation for a colleague (or if you're looking for new job opportunities, perhaps ask your peers to write one for you). It doesn't cost you anything, only takes a few minutes, and lets those individuals and businesses know how much you care during this time.
We want to hear from you—what are YOU doing right now to stay connected to others?