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Try the 28 day challenge to spread some joy


When Swan Valley resident Shannon Bauman received the disappointing news that the Province was under a Code Red restriction, she felt a great sense of disappointment. “I just remember feeling so frustrated, angry, sad and all of those mixed emotions,” said Swan Valley resident Shannon Bauman. “I said I was going to let myself rant only for an hour then, after that, I am going to change my tune and do something positive about it. I wanted to not only encourage myself in that aspect, but other people as well, because I know if I am feeling like this, there are other people who are as well. COVID-19 has been
especially hard for Bauman. During the initial outbreak, Bauman’s mother, who suffered from dementia, had a difficult time during the self-isolation period. “In the beginning of March, my mom fell, broke her hip and had gone into the hospital for four weeks,” said Bauman. “During that time she had no contact
with anyone she knew or anything familiar. That just heightened the level of dementia she was suffering from and then we lost her in September. It’s been a tough year and the lockdowns have been really personal, because of my mom.” 
Bauman went through the motions, but then decided to put herself in a more positive mind frame.
“They can make all kinds of rules and COVID-19 is going to play a part, but we have our spirits and we can rise above it,” said Bauman. “We can just grab a hold of this and do something for other people, because that is the best way to bring joy to others and to ourselves, so this is how I came up with my Facebook post.”
Spread Joy Manitoba 28 day challenge started on Nov. 12, when Bauman posted out a call for everyone
to find a way to encourage and support someone by sending a text; baking something and dropping it off safely for a friend or neighbour; writing them a letter; sending a care package to someone; donating to the food bank and all other types of wonderful heartfelt suggestions. “However people can get creative and think of ways to encourage people to go out of their way and just take a little bit of time out of their day to be kind to someone,” explained Bauman. “I have made some Christmas ornaments with my grandkids and it was fun to leave them on the doorsteps for people to find. There is no end of ideas as to what a person could do to spread joy.”
“After my grandkids and I had left a package for someone, we then had seen a post on Facebook acknowledging that they had received a surprise and wondered who had sent it. People are always just excited and happy when you do something little for them.” “This also shows my grandkids that the greatest joy you will ever have in your life is by giving to others and focusing on others rather than yourself,” concluded Bauman. “There is just so much negativity right now and fear because of COVID-19. This is just a way we can safely do this and make someone else happy. My grandkids are excited. They are seeing the joy and how we can really make a difference, bring some joy to people and have fun in the meantime.”
Bauman encourages people to share their posts so people can see how the Spread Joy Manitoba has impacted people during a difficult time.