We recently talked about the important role of self-care in our well being, and I continue to maintain that this is a priority. While we are doing doing that, we can still serve others, but from a place of feeling like our own cup is full, or in the example of air travel, that our own oxygen mask is securely in place.
You may be overwhelmed at the thought of giving when you are feeling in so much need yourself. But, with the skill of contributing, you needn't do something of epic proportions in order for it to be effective.
Here are some very BASIC ways that you can practice the skill of contributing:
If you're feeling up to doing a bit more but are apprehensive about making any type of long term commitment, consider:
- One Brick - a website that allows you to volunteer on a project-by-project basis with no long term commitment. Feel up to doing some organic planting in a community garden? Sign up, show up, contribute, and feel better about making a difference and getting your mind off of your own problems for a bit. Other opportunities exist as well, and they vary by region. I've seen tasks such as helping to clean litter along the ocean shore and serving a meal at a soup kitchen. If you know of other sites like One Brick in your area, please do share in the comments below so that I may update this post with those listings.
If you'd rather make a difference and volunteer from home (or if health reasons make it difficult to leave home, consider:
- Volunteering Online - This website list a number ideas for opportunities to volunteer and make a difference right from behind your computer screen. If your schedule is very tight or you have difficulty leaving the house, this may be a good place to start.
If you want ideas to make a difference today that can have ripple effects:
- Smile at others
- Hold the door open
- Offer to take a shopping cart back to the store
- Offer to help an elderly person or a Mom load groceries into the car
- Offer to walk someone's pet
- Offer to babysit to give a couple a night out
- Make a nice meal for someone
- Send a card or a handwritten note to someone who may be lonely
Here are some additional ideas for random acts of kindness that involve very little time and money:
What other ideas do you have to practice the DBT skill of contributing?
Thank you for reading.