Holidays are joyful times for most people. Yet, it can be hard for people to enjoy the season when they are experiencing grief or emotional turmoil. Thinking about Christmases’ past and traditions often exacerbate feelings of loss and separation. If you are immersed in a divorce, grieving or just feeling low this holiday season, what can you do to improve your outlook and find some joy? The short answer: try giving.
Giving to others helps protect your mental and physical health
Volunteering and giving to those in needs can reduce stress, combat depression and provide a sense of meaning and purpose. Giving your time or treasures doesn’t have to be vast or a long-term commitment. Help with a holiday party at a senior center. Donate clothes. Participate in a canned food drive or make a small monetary gift to a local charity. Finding simple ways to help others or give back still makes a positive difference to your health, happiness and perspective.
Your outlook and well-being improves when you give
Research shows that the social contact aspects of helping others can have a significant effect on your overall psychological well-being. Connecting with others in a positive way relieves stress. Also, when you help someone else, your natural sense of accomplishment peaks. In turn, your self-confidence and self-worth improves, and you are likely to have a positive view of your life.
Helping others is a great thing to do any time. No doubt it is hard to think about helping someone else when you don’t feel emotionally well or able to help yourself. But this is exactly when you should push yourself. Give and you will receive.