Help Yourself By Helping Others

Lending a helping hand is not only good for someone else; it’s good for your personal mental health as well. Research shows that when you give of yourself, your attitude brightens, you reduce stress, and the “feel­ good” part of your brain tingles a bit more. Here are a few ideas of how you can help friends and strangers in their time of need, and reap the healthy benefits from your actions.

  • Contact your church office and find out if the administrative manager needs help folding bulletins, or could use help catching up with data entry or other one­time tasks
  • Keep gift cards in your glove box for the homeless asking for money on street corners
  • Get a pen pal with military personnel stationed overseas
  • Smile at the person standing behind you in the grocery store line, and if they seem open, strike up small talk or complement them if you are sincere
  • Offer your volunteer services at a local homeless shelter
  • Gather clothing from your closet you haven’t worn in two years and take it to the nearest shelter that accepts clothes
  • Sign up to serve meals at your church or a shelter on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day
  • Organize a care package drive for military serving overseas
  • Offer to do yard work for an elderly neighbor
  • Send a surprise gift to an old friend
  • Sign up for a 5K walk sponsored by a charity you believe in
  • Go on a mission trip, either in a foreign country or in your own neighborhood
  • Find volunteer opportunities in your local area that benefit the poorest populations or the disadvantaged
  • Sign up to read at a local nursing home
  • Join a mentoring group that fosters the development of children
  • Research tutoring programs at a local prison
  • If you have a finance background, offer your services to a local charity
  • Sign up to be a Meals on Wheels driver

By helping others, you can share your joy, care for those in need, and emulate the love of your faith and commitment to God.

HealthValues is an organization helping Christians become wiser with money, create collective buying power and advocate for smarter health care solutions.