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.
I get that often the last thing we think will help us when we are suffering is to put our situation on hold to help others; however, with the DBT Skill of Contributing, this is exactly what we do, and it can have profound effects.
- 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.