National Day of Giving - How Can You Give Back?
The holiday season is in full swing - meaning ‘tis the season for giving! And it doesn’t mean you have to go and spend your life savings on expensive gifts or activities.
In fact, if you’re aiming for an optimal health and wellness lifestyle, giving back should be part of your life - no, your daily philosophy. We could all give a little more.
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” In other words, true meaning and purpose comes from giving back. A person who only receives and never gives won’t ever feel that optimal satisfaction with their life. They’ll keep collecting things, wondering what’s missing.
If you want to put a label on it, you can call it karma. If you give more, you’ll experience more satisfaction and fulfillment with your own life. It’s your route to happiness.
Studies even prove this. Generous behaviour increases happiness. An even bigger surprise? Big and small acts of generosity had the same impact on a person’s happiness - meaning even if you don’t have much to give per se, small acts of generosity work just as well.
So, What and How Can You Give Back?
This list could be never-ending. There are so many ways you can give back. Don’t overthink it. When the opportunity presents itself, just follow through! Get into the spirit of giving.
But if you’re seriously stumped, here’s a few ways you can hop on that giving back train.
Let’s dive in!
1. Help a Friend or Family Member
Are they moving? Does your elderly family member need help setting up their Christmas decorations? Offer to help! Give the gift of time. Again, giving does not have to burn a hole in your bank account. Keep it simple.
2. Take the Reins & Organize a Food Drive
Again, you don’t have to cough up much - if any - money here. Plan a food drive in your apartment building or at your child’s school. There are many individuals and families that can’t afford food. And the holiday season is especially tough. Talk to your property management about it. See if your neighbours are interested! Then, pick a date and start collecting. Afterward, drop them off at your local food bank.
If you don’t want to organize a food drive, drop a few items in that food drive bin at your local grocery store on your next shopping trip. A can of soup or a bag of rice - every little bit counts, especially for those that can’t afford it.
3. Serve Meals at Your Local Shelter
They always need people. And it’s only a few hours of your time. I knew a family that used to do this every single Christmas. Why? Because they wanted to teach their children how fortunate they were. They wanted their children to grow up not taking things for granted. In other words, this one is great for the whole family. You’ll feel good about it, and instill good values into your children.
4. Put on a Free Garage Sale
Most items that people sell at a garage sale they had no use for anyway. So, why not just give them away for free? You’ll be more likely to get rid of your so-called junk. Plus, you’ll make someone’s day! It’s selfless. You are can’t anything back but good feelings.
5. Have a Bake Sale & Donate the Money to a Charity
Not exactly proud of your baking skills? Do a garage sale with the same incentive. Whatever money you raise, donate it to a worthwhile charity of your choice. Think the Red Cross, your local children’s hospital, or a local animal shelter.
6. Volunteer at a Local Seniors Home
They are always looking for volunteers. Help them out with a board game night or bingo night. Whatever works. Give a night a week over the next month. We know you can!
7. Pay for Another Person’s Gas or Coffee
You might not know the person behind you in the drive-thru. But it could make their day. Same thing with gas. If you were having a bad day, would someone paying for your gas not just flip that switch a bit? Make someone else’s day, then get on with yours. Plus, this can start a chain reaction. Be the instigator. Set off a cascade of giving.
8. Donate Your Blood
Save a life. Blood banks are always in need. And it literally takes you next to no time and won’t cost you a dime. So, why not?
9. Consider AmazonSmile
Do you do a lot of your holiday shopping online? Try AmazonSmile. It’s the same as Amazon. Yet, it has one major difference. When you shop on AmazonSmile, 0.5% of your purchase price goes to a charity of your choice.
10. Shovel Your Neighbour’s Driveway or Walkway
The winter is tough. Help out your neighbours a little. And if the snow hasn’t hit yet (or you live somewhere with little snow), help them out with the leaf cleanup.
11. Tip a Little More
If money is tight, this might not be doable for some. But if you can, tip a little more. People in the service industry bust their butts. It’s not exactly the easiest job. They get a front row to angry and unsatisfied customers. And the winter months are their slow time. Add that extra 5% to the regular 15% tip. It likely won’t make a difference to you, but it could make all the difference to them.
Sometimes we forget that we need to reward ourselves sometimes. Treat yourself. Take care of yourself. While giving is great, don’t forget to cut yourself some slack too! Take a day off when you need it. It’s not being selfish. It’s finding a balance that all of us direly need - especially during the hectic holiday season.
November 27th is National Day of Giving
It’s giving Tuesday! Give back anything and everything you can. What have you got to lose? It all comes down to being part of your community and leading that happy and wellness lifestyle you deserve. After all, we are all in this together. Let’s take of each other. Give a little more and you’ll get a little more out of your life!