Healthy Habits

Staying Socially Healthy by Serving Others

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

December is usually a time of year filled with holiday parties and celebrations with friends, family, and co-workers, but this year it may also mean a time of isolation and loneliness. It’s important to be aware of others’ feelings and strive to strengthen relationships with friends, family, and with those in the community.

Find ways to serve this holiday season while following CDC guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Here are some ideas to get started.

  • Check-in on an elderly family member or neighbor. A phone call or video chat can help brighten someone’s day, especially those who are older or alone.
  • Offer to make a trip to the store or deliver a meal to someone who is elderly or who has a compromised immune system. Helping others can help you feel a sense of purpose during vulnerable times.
  • Find a service project in your area or donate to a local nonprofit or charity of choice. Points of Light is a great resource to identify different nonprofit organizations.
  • Donate food or volunteer safely at a local food bank that may need help with packing and sorting. Check with the local food bank in your community to see if they need volunteers or donations.
  • Check with your local schools for opportunities to serve, including helping with donations or volunteering your time.
  • Blood donations have decreased during the pandemic. Contact the local American Red Cross or other local sites to help contribute.
  • Visit All For Good for volunteer ideas that can be done from the comfort of your own home.
  • Local communities may also have volunteer opportunities available. Check out State Service Commissions for specific offerings close by.

Consider an idea from above to get started on something that sparks an interest. Research has shown that serving, donating, and spending time with others can enhance personal health by decreasing depression, reducing stress, and having fewer aches and pains. When you serve others, you will find you feel better about yourself, your life perspective will improve, and you will feel a sense a belonging. Helping others does not have to cost money or consume a lot of time. Enjoy where the journey leads and feel better along the way.

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