A Brighter Side: good news & good deeds

It’s no secret that as a society we are masters of keeping busy, positioning a jam-packed diary as a symbol of success.  So for many (but certainly not all) of us, the unfamiliar reality of the looming weeks to come where working from home and school closures means our well-established routines will need to adapt somewhat, might seem a daunting proposition. 

Already in this period of isolation, however, we are noticing a growing sense of community and togetherness emerging from our imposed distance as we all navigate this new and unfamiliar existence as one.  Individuals, communities and brands are using their platforms and voices for good through initiatives both big and small helping to brighten our days, warm our hearts and cut through the bad news with hope and optimism.  Below are a few of our favourites. What are yours?

Credit: Prof. Laurie Santos. Getty Images

Yale University’s Professor Laurie Santos first taught her ‘Psychology and the Good Life‘ class in spring 2018 in response to concerning levels of student depression, anxiety, and stress.  The course, renamed ‘The Science of Well-Being’ has since gone on to become the most popular class in Yale’s history, and the good news is that it is now available for everyone to enrol in online for free here.  The course features a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits, perfect for those of us adapting to working from home in the weeks to come.

Credit: Royal Academy of Arts

Heeding the government guidelines, the Royal Academy of Arts has temporarily closed its doors to the public but remains ‘virtually’ open to art-lovers everywhere and will continue to bring a dose of inspiration, escapism and creativity straight to your homes.  From ways to explore their collections and exhibitions online, tips and tricks on how to keep creative, or blogs to get lost in a world of art history, we recommend you head to the RA’s website and subscribe to their weekly newsletter for your art fix.

Perhaps the most abundant, and sometimes overwhelming, platform for sharing updates of any kind is Instagram.  Just like elsewhere, we are seeing positivity platforms gaining traction and spreading hope by sharing tales of kindness, connection and care.  For your daily dose of uplifting stories take a look at the Good News Movement (@goodnews_movement), a journalist run page which celebrates acts of kindness and good news.  Similarly, Good Good Good (@goodgoodgoodco) shine a light on the people, ideas and movements shaping the world for the better online and with their Good Newspaper.  Sign up to their weekly Goodnewsletter and you can expect to receive five good news stories in your inbox every Tuesday morning.

With the tourism industry one of the hardest hit, it’s inspiring to hear tales of travel brands who are doing their bit for their communities. In China, LUX* Tea Horse Road Lijang is supporting vulnerable members of the local community by offering a food delivery service whilst residents are unable to leave their homes. Over in Ecuador, our friends at Metropolitan Touring are working with the government to acquire testing and health equipment to further combat the spread and impact of Covid-19 in the Galapagos Islands. They’ve also gone as far as creating a virtual call centre with local medical officers whom usually attend guests aboard their fleet of expedition vessels, supporting health authorities on the islands by answering inhabitants’ calls and web chats about their suspected symptoms.

So whilst this period of time is daunting and uncertain, we urge you to focus on the positives, and remember – we’re all in this together.