Emotional Resilience: 5 Ways to Wellbeing – Give
Throughout this month we are going to focus on emotional resilience using the Five Ways to Wellbeing. This week as we approach the festive season we thought it was a good time to look at “Give”.
“Give” is about doing something nice for another person, this could be a friend, family member or neighbour. Whether it is giving a smile to a passerby, supporting a cause that matters to you or just helping other people in some way, giving is like gold dust for our mental wellbeing, especially at this time of year.
Acts of giving and kindness can be incredibly rewarding. Individuals with a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Research has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
As humans, it is important for us to give back in any way we can, whether it is our time, our words or our presence. Carrying out random acts of kindness releases endorphins, which are your body’s feel-good chemicals, both for the person giving and receiving.
So, how can we give back at this time?
- Be considerate – Buy a few extra things if you are able to for foodbanks, to help those who are struggling at this time.
- Stay connected – Phone an elderly relative or someone you know who would appreciate the call.
- Community support – Join your local community group(s).
- Support local businesses – Buy vouchers for future use for local businesses, if you can or feel able to. These will make great Christmas presents.
- Donation – If you can afford to, donate to charity. Lots of people donate to charities rather than sending Christmas cards.
Supporting others in the community who are in need of help, or volunteering, can help you make new friends, keep active and gain new skills. Helping others in your community can make a real difference to your own and someone else’s wellbeing.
Or is there someone you know locally who is unwell at the moment or is vulnerable? Try to make contact with them and see if there is a way that you can offer assistance, for example, you could offer to get them some shopping.
Offer a gift to others
What better way to brighten the day or week, especially if someone you know is feeling a bit down at the moment, than treating someone with a gift. This could be a Christmas gift or just a little reminder to let someone know you are thinking about them. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
… browse online. If you cannot find what you are looking for in the shops, have a look online to see if it is available. You can even have it posted directly to them.
… get creative. Giving does not have to be grand or expensive. What better way to show someone that you are thinking about them by creating a gift with a personal touch, which could be a card, painting or writing them a letter.
Offer a gift to self
It is also important to treat yourself every once in a while. This can help to uplift your spirits, freshen up your routine and can be something to look forward to. You could make yourself a gift if you are feeling crafty, give yourself a pamper day, learn a new recipe and make yourself a nice meal, or just give yourself time to relax. Make the most of any downtime you might have over the festive period.
Being there for others
Things can be difficult for people we are living with or close to us. By giving up some of our time, we can really help with supporting each other. It is the small things that count. Here are a few suggestions:
- Can you do more to help out around the house?
- Ask your friends and family members how they are and take time to really listen to their answer.
- Do you know of someone who is struggling with something? Lend your ear and then help them take action.
We sometimes forget to tell those around us how much we care, appreciate and love them. Show appreciation for someone publicly or privately.
Why not write down a list of three people who you really appreciate. Then either speak to them, write to them or post on social media the reasons for your appreciation.