Social support is important to physical and mental health, yet many of us don't practice giving back. Community outreach not only helps those within your home base, it provides a chance to meet new people and build new relationships - something that is lacking for many after the pandemic.
Here are five easy ways to give back:
1. Random Acts of Kindness - Help a neighbor with yard work. Hold the door for someone and say, "Have a great day!" Compliment a stranger. Make and send a card to a friend you haven't talked to in awhile. The smile you give them may get them through a tough time you didn't even know about.
2. Volunteer at your local Senior Living Community - The older generation need excitement too! Imagine how boring life would be if it was the same, day after day. Some older people can't work or volunteer anymore, but that doesn't mean they don't want to connect! A friendly chat can mean so much more than you realize.
3. Plant a Tree - It will probably be on your own property, but you can do some quick research and find out what your city allows. While you're at it, check to see if a community garden could be an option for some new beginnings.
4. Volunteer at your local Animal Shelter - The ASPCA is always looking for help and/or donations. Cat Cafes are starting to pop up, and they also need volunteers. Plus, playing with kitties and puppies provides a major dopamine boost!
5. Be a Youth Mentor - Look into Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America for an amazing and rewarding experience! Check out the link: https://www.bbbs.org/get-involved/become-a-big/
Helping others and creating a greater sense of belonging will have positive effects on your health and well-being. It's never too late to start a new chapter!