Christmas is the season of love, the season of family, and the season of joy. But for some single parents, it can also be a very difficult time of year. Whether financial constraints make it difficult to put presents under the tree, you’re dealing with the loss of loved ones, or you will be away from your kids Christmas morning, this season of joy may not be bringing you smiles.
One way to help you increase your happiness is to help others. In a recent study by the German Socio-Economic Panel, “the more we focus on compassionate action, on helping others, the happier we seem to become…” One reason that this happens is that as you help others, your sense of value or purpose is increased. The greater sense of purpose we assign to the value of our lives, the happier we become.
Ironically though, it is when we are in most need of happiness, when we are the most stressed, that we are the least likely to help others. And, for helping others to increase your happiness to work, it has to be done by your own free will. If you can make the conscious decision to help others, it “can provide [you] with enthusiasm, encouragement, and even joy,” says Dr Alex Lickerman.
If one lights a fire for others, one will brighten one’s own way --Nichiren Daishonin
Ways to help others:
- Donate to or volunteer your time with the Nurture the Creative Mind foundation, a foundation that helps "encourage multidimensional youth who celebrate diversity while promoting unity, dignity, self-value and universal appreciation." (read more about the man behind NCM here)
- Donate to Toys for Tots or other organizations that are in need of toys for needy children. You can find great deals on toys, like this Transformers Rescue Heroes Fire Station, currently marked down 67% at Amazon, and provide a “big” toy for a very small price.
- Donate a new coat for a child
- Volunteer at local hospitals
- Volunteer to help deliver meals to homebound seniors with Meals on Wheels
- Volunteer at the Humane Society
- Serve a hot meal to those in need at the St Vincent De Paul Dining Hall
- Donate toys to Primary Children’s for their playrooms
- Donate a book the LionHeart Owen Holiday Book Drive, which helps provide a new book to kids in the hospital every day
- Shovel a neighbor’s driveway