January brings an onslaught of “me” goals, but how can we expand our goals to include others? With the “Season of Giving” being over, it’s up to us to continue our commitment to help the underserved in our community.

Break the “Me” Cycle- 6 Ways to Be More Generous

1) Spend Time With Friends/Family

The gift of your presence doesn’t have to be just a holiday occurrence. Seasonal celebrations mean an onslaught of visits with family and friends. The uptick in social activity can bring joy to those who miss it the rest of the year. Give a little time to those who might be lonely. Make an extra phone call to check-in with a pal or a parent. Go for a winter walk with them to boost your moods (just a little time outside can make you feel more positive). Meet a friend for coffee. There’s no paucity of coffee shops here!

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2) Donate Clothes to Non-Profits

Freezing temperatures and Nor’easters make these winter weeks one of those times when non-profit organizations can really use your help. Organizations that help the homeless need blankets, jackets and aid this time of year.

3) Donate Together with Friends/Family

Combine the first two suggestions. Meet a friend and gather up unused scarves. Go on a walk together and decorate a tree or two on the way with warm winter wear. Be sure to attach notes that let cold folks know the items are for the taking!

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4) Give to a Food Bank/Food Pantry

The turkeys are long gone from food pantry fridges. You could spend some time spreading warmth by helping out at a food pantry, church or other organization that helps get food to people who need it. The Greater Boston Food Bank is an organization that fills backpacks for hungry kids to take home on the weekend. Use the muscles you’ve built up at Healthworks to help load them up!

5) Attend a Charity Event

There are many to choose from this winter in Boston! January brings opportunities to eat and give back. Get your protein fix at the Chili Cook-Off for RESPOND that works to end domestic violence. Or, join 1000 of your best friends at the indoor PMC Winter Cycle event at Fenway Park to raise money for Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Those events are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to active ways to give back to those in need.

6) “Just Because” Notes

Start a “Just Because It’s January” note writing trend. We think about gratitude frequently during the winter holidays and encourage gratitude lists – especially around Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. Continue that train of thought and write “just because” notes to spread positivity during this spate of short days. An unexpected sunny letter of encouragement and appreciation can melt the slushy grey chill.

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