Ways to help yourself by helping others


The past 12 months have taken a huge toll on the well-being of almost everybody, and at the same time also shone the spotlight on the fact that while things might not be going well for you, there is somebody for whom it is going far worse. Less than two minutes into the daily news, or glancing at social media feeds will show you that this is a trying time for everybody.

One possible solution then is to find a way to help others that also improves your own mood at the same time. Though this may not be true for everybody, a large number of us do feel better by helping others, so here are a few suggestions for ways you could do exactly that.

#1 Pay it forward

By making a small gesture like paying for the person behind’s coffee, or putting your loose change in a vending or parking machine to benefit another, you could be doing a lot of good. While the gesture itself might be small, the knock-on effect can be huge. Your act can mean the person you have helped, will help somebody else due to the unconscious sense of obligation felt.

This, in turn, can start off a chain of events that reaches far beyond what you might have imagined would happen, when you first decided to do your good deed for the day.

#2 Offer a helping hand

Another way of helping others is to donate to a good cause or charity. While the obvious way of doing this is just to give them money, there are other alternatives. You could help out at a thrift store that donates to your chosen charity or spend time using your expertise doing tasks that would otherwise cost the charity a lot of money, like accountancy or web design.

If you are wondering about how to donate money to a local good cause or one that helps people worldwide such as the Red Cross in other ways, there are many options. You could ask people for a donation to your chosen charity instead of a birthday gift, or take part in sponsored events and then give the money to your chosen cause.

#3 Help out in your local community

There are also those in your community that would benefit from help either with tasks they can't do themselves or with things that help their state of mind. Many people are feeling much more isolated in the current crisis and in some circumstances, can go a whole week without having the type of conversation the rest of us take for granted.

By just doing some shopping for them and sitting and spending time listening and talking afterward can do more good than you could imagine.

If this isn’t your thing, there are other ways to help the local community by collecting surplus items and distributing them where they are needed. While things like collecting leftover food and giving it to those who are homeless might immediately spring to mind, other deeds like collecting IT equipment that local businesses are about to throw out and handing them to nearby schools and community centers can also provide massive benefits.