It's easy to feel stressed out this time of year. The holiday shopping season traditionally kicks off the day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday as it's been dubbed. Our 'to do' lists get longer and our budgets are stretched even more than usual as social obligations and expenses increase exponentially.
As if that weren't anxiety-provoking enough, this year may be especially tough for many people. Because of the economy, everyone is watching their budgets and cutting back where they can. Couponing has become the new normal, even if you're fortunate enough to have a job. You may have even had to make the decision to forego donating to your favorite charity as a result.
If so, you may want to re-think that decision. Why? Because doing good or donating to others will make you feel better in return. That's the conclusion of one study, at least, reported in the article "Giving Makes the Body Feel Good" on page 12.
While charitable donations are great (many non-profits are suffering right now), the article also explains that it isn't just financial donations that make a person happy: "Any type of goodwill toward others is a way to generate the endorphins and mood-boosting properties of altruism," they say. It lists several ways you can help someone that don't cost a thing, but I'm sure you can think of some creative options all your own.
That's the challenge I'm issuing to myself for the upcoming holiday season (and beyond, hopefully). I have a lot to be thankful for. Not everyone is as fortunate.
Take some time to step out of your world and put yourself in someone else's shoes. Identify a need and offer to help however you can. You'll be rewarded in ways you never could have imagined. Have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!