December 1, 2020
Congratulations, we’ve made it through 2020! We’ve proven to ourselves that we’re disciplined and strong! And we appreciate even more what our family and friends mean to us! Does that mean we don’t need to make resolutions this year? Maybe. But it’s always good to have a goal. So, if there’s nothing to resolve for yourself, why not direct your resolutions outward for 2021?
It feels good to do something nice for someone; even science tells us so. A study published in the journal Nature Communications asked participants to spend money on either themselves or others over a four-week period. The group that spent money on others reported feeling happier than the control group that spent money on themselves, no matter how much or how little they spent. And that generous feeling continued to influence the decisions they made for subsequent tasks in the study.
We’re not suggesting you go out and spend money on random people, of course (unless you want to). In fact, you don’t need to spend any money; you can do nice things for your family, friends and community that take little money, not much time and allow you to maintain social distance when needed. Here are some ideas:
- Send someone who needs a pick me up a quick handwritten card or note.
- Ask someone: “What can I do for you?”
- Ask elderly or homebound family members or neighbors if you can pick up groceries or run other errands for them.
- Smile and thank those who aren’t acknowledged enough—cashiers, baggers, the servers who bring out your curbside carryout, delivery drivers…a small gesture can go a long way.
- Use your computer expertise to set someone up with free video chat software and teach them to use it. For those who are alone, it can be a sanity saver.
- Drop off an occasional meal for a family member, friend or neighbor.
- Help beautify your community (e.g., take part in park or roadside clean-ups).
- Donate food, personal protective equipment (PPE), computers and any other items to those in need.
While it’s important to be kind to yourself, make the extra effort in 2021 to look outward and take care of those around you as well. Here’s to a better and brighter new year!