As we quickly approach Christmas, the stress of work, finding time for family and friends leaves us very susceptible to the neglect of very important duties. The period of December is classified by the six ways to wellbeing as a period to Give which includes helping, giving and sharing for someone else. This is often misunderstood to be a means of giving others presents to make them feel better, when in actuality the purpose of giving is to make yourself feel better as well. I’m here to let you know how you can give during this very busy month of December based on small and large actions.
Small, daily actions
From an everyday basis, the easiest thing you can possibly do and should never forget is your smile. It takes no effort to smile to friends, family and even strangers. The simplicity of a smile radiates positivity and optimism which is contagious to those around you especially so to people you don’t know. On a daily basis, we forget about the struggles of others and simply smiling at people can help raise their spirits. I further encourage you to say hi to someone that you wouldn’t normally see yourself saying hi to. Keep in mind the reciprocal effect of positivity that this simple action will have on not only a stranger but also yourself. Take pride in the fact that you have opened up conversation with someone, which is one of the small fundamental steps you can take to reduce the feeling of loneliness in society.
More so, always be mindful of any small gestures you can do to make the lives of others easier. This can include holding a door open for someone even if they aren’t too close to you, swap places with them in a queue, offer your seat on public transport to someone else. All of these minor acts have impacts on others, larger than we often anticipate.
Giving to the community
Christmas is often considered the period of giving, but don’t restrict this to simply getting presents for others. In Manchester, the homeless problem is more severe than most cities in the UK and it’s up to us to take action. Please when possible do your part in the community to offer help to the homeless. You could try giving spare change or simply smiling. Test yourself to see how far you are willing to go to help the homeless. Buy them a blanket, gloves, food, hot drink etc. because you have not only aided someone in need, but the internal feeling of good you will achieve is priceless.
The mentioned steps are all achievable and should be taken by all who read this. But if you are feeling particularly motivated to give and make a difference think about community volunteering. Manchester university specifically has a Volunteering Hub where you can find out about ways to give which include gardening, student support groups, sports etc.
Make giving part of your routine
Step by step giving can become a fundamental part of your daily routine, one which makes yourself and the people around you feel high in spirts, not only for Christmas but for the day ahead.
Always give, share and help regardless of the extent. It’s important to feel your self-worth increase during times of stress, fatigue and time restrictions.
Written by Wellbeing Champion, Sina Pourabbas