Giving: Ourselves and Others

Giving to Ourselves

As the holiday season starts this coming week, many of us may experience a mix of emotions ranging from excitement to spend time with family, loss regarding loved ones who have died or changes in family structure due to separation/divorce, as well as experiencing a history of trauma that may hit particularly hard during the holidays. Additionally, the ongoing unsettling news regarding conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine as well as ongoing gun violence also leaves its mark, potentially leaving us with feelings of disorientation, anger, and loss. While we often feel torn in a million directions during the holidays, we need to recall the importance of self-care. In a recent article in the New York Times, Excuse Me While I Do My Holiday Preset author Alyson Kruger discusses the importance of taking a holiday “preset.” For some this may include cutting back on alcohol, socializing, or spending money. Others may focus on adding wellness practices to their daily routines, such as doing meditation, yoga, or improving their diet.  This holiday season perhaps think of one way you could give to yourself and have your own holiday “preset.”

Giving to Others

Another way to deal with the combination of commercialism, over-stimulation, as well as emotional losses we have experienced is to engage in volunteer work.  While helping others is undeniably a benefit of volunteerism, such acts stimulate the reward system in brain areas and result in feelings of satisfaction, increased connection with our community, and potentially increasing connections with others.

Areas in the Seacoast to Volunteer:

·       Gather

·       Spirit of Giving Toy Drive 

·       NH Habitat for Humanity 

·       Crossroads House

.       SPCA


Helpful Resources:

The Importance of Giving – Intelligent Change

How Children Can Benefit by Giving Back | Dayton Children’s Hospital 

Sites That Help Kids Do Good | Common Sense Media

All of us at PNC would like to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!