Andrea from the Geauga West Branch shares the following post with suggestions for ways to keep engaged during the stay at home orders:

We once had an Australian Cattle dog whose enemy was boredom. Thus, a tennis ball was never far from reach as he stayed near us and remained hopeful to engage at any moment.

In this time away from serving patrons at Geauga West, I have often felt like our beloved pup, and have sought meaningful ways to connect and to help in this crisis; I am sure many of you share this desire. Since our social time will continue to be impacted in the near future, perhaps some of the following ideas will help, as they have helped me during this time:

Dust off those unused notecards, purchase some stamps online, and write a real letter to a family member or friend. One of my coworkers sent a homemade card to me, and I still have it on my refrigerator! You may want to even send some notes to nearby nursing homes and assisted living facilities to encourage the staff who are working tirelessly during this crisis. Others who may need a lift may include your local first responders, grocery workers, and your mail delivery personnel. Simply leave a note for your mail carrier, and what a lift that would be! Don’t forget about our Geauga County Public Health officials as well!

Take a “social distance” walk with a friend; schedule a virtual coffee date via the phone or video chat; that time spent to listen and to be there for another struggling person might provide just the hope they need to endure.

Use social media to not only find recipes and the latest news, but to spur on others to excel, be creative, and be hopeful. If you have not already done so, please take some time to watch John Krasinski’s “Some Good News.” This former Office star has brightened the lives of many in his episodes that both inspire and bring joy, highlighting health workers and engaging with high school students longing for the last fun moments of high school, like prom, etc. You may not have the following like John Krasinski, but your words might be just enough to brighten the moments of people in your very own sphere of influence.

Take a walk around your neighborhood and reach out to chat with your neighbors at a safe distance. You may meet new people, strengthen connections, and be just who they need in the future.

We have a choice to be helpful and hopeful. Upon being denied of playtime, our pup would often rest in the moment, stay alert, and wait in hopeful expectation for the next opportunity to engage. We too can make the best use of the time we have and make efforts to lift up one another and provide some momentary joy. Stay hopeful everyone!