If you are feeling helpless do what my 93 year old neighbour does

Feeling helpless? We all do sometimes.

But first, I hope you’ve not been too adversely affected by COVID-19 and that you and your family are mentally and physically healthy and safe.

I don’t know about you but the last few weeks I’ve experienced almost every emotion I can possibly experience from shock, anger, denial, gratitude, love, supported, vulnerability and everything else in between and beyond. And that’s OK, it’s part of the grieving process as we experience change and transition from loss of the old reality to the new one.

As a speaker my diary as been wiped clean for the year of all business and I’m having to adapt and adopt to virtual delivery. So, exciting times too as new skills are being learnt. It’s a time of challenge for all of us.

When we experience such big change in our lives, we need to remind ourselves to be even kinder to ourselves, kinder to others and do what we can to help and contribute as we are all in this together.

This was brought home to me last week.

I live alone and yes, I have my worries, as we all do during this time. I’ve been offering to do shopping visits for my neighbours paying a little more attention to the elderly ones.

One night last week, apart from two visits to the loo (I’m at that age now), I slept soundly for about 10.5 hours (I had no idea I was that tired). Instead of getting up at about 6.00 am as I usually do, I was out of bed at about 8.40 am. As soon as I drew the curtains I received a call from my 93 year old neighbourwho lives opposite me. She was making sure I was OK.

She’s a fit 93 year old, even so she’s quite frail. She knew she wouldn’t be able to do anything physically herself but was offering to call for help for me if I needed it. It nearly brought a tear to my eye.

She knew she couldn’t do much but was willing to do whatever she could to contribute and help.

We’re all looking out for each other. If you or you know someone who is self isolating, vulnerable, elderly or not physically mobile, remind them, they may not be able to get out and about but they can still help in a small way, even if it’s checking up on your ‘healthy’ neighbours to offer an encouraging word.

And if you genuinely think you can’t help or you need the time to withdraw, relax and rethink that’s fine too. Our priority is to look after ourselves first. If we don’t look after ourselves first we won’t be able to help others.

The good thing about the pandemic is how it’s brought communities and people together. It’s not a competition about how much you can contribute and help it’s just about doing what you can, no matter how apparently small an action it may be. Often what might seem like a small inconsequential action can have the biggest impact.

My neighbour certainly had an impact on me and perked me up.

Until next time may you, your family and colleagues stay healthy and safe.