Education Indoor & Outdoor

25 Easy Ways to Be Kinder to Others (and Yourself)

Real talk: The world is kind of a mess right now. And some of the struggles that we’re facing seem so monumental that it’s easy to feel down about the current state of affairs. But rest assured—there are things you can do to help those around you. You can sign petitions. You can donate money. You can practice social distancing to keep vulnerable people safe. And may we offer another suggestion? You can be kind.

Every time you do something nice for others—without expecting anything in return—you make the world just that much better. Are we saying that putting change in someone else’s parking meter is going to solve the world’s problems? Obviously not. But it will make someone’s day a little brighter. And here’s the funny thing about kindness: It’s contagious. That person might just pay it forward and do something considerate or charitable for somebody else, who might do the same and so on and so forth. (Also, being unkind is the opposite of helpful, yes?) 

Here’s another cool fact about being kind to others. It doesn’t just benefit them—it will also do good things for you. “Most people around the globe want to be happier,” says Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, University of California Riverside Professor of Psychology and author of The Myths of Happiness. “And one of the most powerful ways [to do that] is actually to make someone else happier by being kind and generous to them.”

Here are three ways that being kind to

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We Asked the Experts Whether College Is Worth It

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

With so much uncertainty around how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will progress through the fall, many college students have a difficult choice to make: Is it safe to head to campus for the next semester, and for those campuses that won’t open for in-person instruction, is college worth it at all? Higher education institutions, much like the states in which they’re located, are far from a monolith. As of press time, of 780 colleges tracked by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 63% were planning for in-person classes, 8% planned to go totally online, 17% had proposed a hybrid model, 4.6% are holding out for more information, and the other 7% are considering a range of scenarios. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s still very risky for colleges and universities to proceed with full-size classes and events but smaller, socially distanced classes or a hybrid model might be more effective in limiting the spread of disease. Of course, virtual-only models pose the least risk.

That means, for students and their parents, deciding whether to proceed with their college plans is neither easy nor straightforward. “We are all operating under uncertainty, and colleges and universities have just as many crystal balls as governors,” explains John Pryor, founder of higher education research firm Pryor Education Insights.

Education is expensive

And the fact is, college isn’t getting any cheaper. The average cost of one academic year at a four-year public

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Parents and kids hate online learning, but they could face more of it

In his suburban New Jersey home-turned-classroom this spring, parent Don Seaman quickly found himself in the role of household vice principal.

While his wife holed up in the bedroom to work each day, Seaman, a media and marketing professional, worked from the family room where he could supervise his children’s virtual learning. A similar scene played out in millions of American homes after schools shuttered and moved classes online to contain the coronavirus.

Now that the year’s over, Seaman has strong feelings about the experience: Despite the best efforts of teachers, virtual learning didn’t work. At least not uniformly, if his three children in elementary, middle and high school are any indication.

“The older kids were saying ‘This is hell,'” Seaman said. “My kids feel isolated, and they can’t keep up, and they’re struggling with it.”

But like it or not, remote instruction and virtual learning are likely to continue for millions of children this fall. That’s because most districts can’t observe physical distancing with all students attending class together in-person.

Kenzie Roach, a student at Conesville Elementary School in Ohio, works on a lesson with a teacher through Facebook Live. Virtual learning and engaging students in new ways has been difficult since schools were closed to in-person instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kenzie Roach, a student at Conesville Elementary School in Ohio, works on a lesson with a teacher through Facebook Live. Virtual learning and engaging students in new ways has been difficult since schools were closed to in-person instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many reopening plans rely on hybrid learning schedules, in which students attend school on alternating days or weeks and learn from home on the other days, on a computer when feasible.  

Yet America’s educators know little

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Young people and bars are a recipe for coronavirus. Ready, set, outbreak.

And then the doors open.

You can plan all you want, test all you want, inform and educate your staff all you want, but customers are another matter, and young customers another matter altogether. The coronavirus that keeps tripping up our country grows almost giddy at the sight of college-age kids swarming a bar or restaurant. Ready, set, outbreak!

Trisha Riley thought she had prepared. She, her husband, Pat, and two of their children operate Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub in East Lansing, Michigan, a popular 10,000-square-foot indoor restaurant with a large outdoor deck.

“We did a whole day of training, we had every staff person come in, they got all the guides from the state and local governments, we let everybody ask questions, and we had them all wear their masks,” Riley told me Friday. “We actually gave them masks to go home with to get used to it.”

Harper's Restaurant on June 23, 2020, in East Lansing, Michigan.
Harper’s Restaurant on June 23, 2020, in East Lansing, Michigan.

And then the doors opened. June 8. Not surprisingly, the crowds were large. Riley and her staff kept the place at below half-capacity, which means about 225 people.

But on the deck, they noticed customers moving tables together on their own. Outside the restaurant, people in line were ignoring markers to maintain 6-foot distances — and most were not wearing masks.

“It was a full-time job of trying to monitor (the line) to keep people 6 feet apart,” Riley recalled. “The most difficult part was they know we don’t own

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Everything you need to know as lockdown eases

We have all your questions about face masks answered including how to wash them, masks for children and where to buy them: iStock
We have all your questions about face masks answered including how to wash them, masks for children and where to buy them: iStock

The coronavirus pandemic has meant that face masks and coverings will become part of daily life.

The UK government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have both advised wearing face coverings in a bid to reduce the infection transmission of Covid-19.

Since 15 June, it has been mandatory in England to wear them while using public transport and in hospitals. Failure to follow these rules can result in people being refused entry and a £100 fine.

The new measures mean that anyone travelling by train, Tube, bus, ferry or plane in England should be wearing a face covering. Those travelling by train will be asked to cover their face as they enter a station.

These rules apply to everyone, except those under the age of 11 and people with disabilities or breathing problems, or anyone travelling with someone who lip-reads.

Wearing a face covering will be even more important as lockdown measures start to lift. On 23 June, the prime minister Boris Johnson announced the latest easing to lockdown measures in England.

He confirmed that pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, hotels, cinemas, museums and art galleries can begin to reopen from 4 July, and that the social distancing guidance will be reduced from 2m to 1m.

The ban on people from different households meeting indoors together has also been eased, provided people stick to social distancing rules. There is

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