It’s the end of the first week in January and I’ve made it to my 7th resolution. In previous posts I’ve mentioned reading Deepak Chopra’s latest book Super Brain. I can’t believe how many rich lessons are inside. There’s one that particularly stuck with me about service. In a section about how to live a “simple, well-regulated life that avoids agitation and chaos,” he suggests that you “be of service. Let the world be as close to you as your family.” Those two sentences really struck me because that’s exactly what service, volunteer work, and helping others feels like. When you lift a hand to help someone else, you’re given a glimpse of their life, a chance to see the world from another angle and feel a close connection with them.
I was overdue to volunteer and so last month my boyfriend and I headed out with a group of volunteers to Far Rockaway beach in New York. The community there is still facing the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy and were in need of meals to feed their families. Our friend Lisa had organized the trip, and while it was a hard day’s work in freezing cold rain, I felt such a sense of community while building friendships with fellow volunteers and reaching out to people less fortunate than me to offer a smile and food to eat. Gosh, that day really filled me with gratitude.
7 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
#7 – Be of Service
Quoting Anne Naylor’s article on The Huffington Post, “when you assume a serving frame of mind, it is less likely you will feel needy, despairing or dependent upon outer, material circumstances for your well-being and happiness. Giving gives you freedom.”
This year my 7th and final healthy resolution is to find more opportunities to be of service to my community, friends, and family. I may be a very busy person, but I know that I can always find ways to give my time or my compassion. In terms of my writing and blogging, I am looking forward to find additional ways to give back to the foodie lovers and share more of my nutritional knowledge for free.
Serving others is great for your health because it makes you happier and relieves stress, and we know how harmful stress is on our bodies. In addition to formal volunteering, here’s ideas on how to be of service in everyday life:
- Offer to babysit/dogsit for friends or family members
- Find someone who lives alone and ask them out for coffee, tea, or a walk
- Donate clothing to Goodwill
- Volunteer at a local farmer’s market
- Listen to a friend or coworker who needs to talk out a problem (see the TED video below)
- Host a book club, study group, or gathering for friends who need a free location
- Give your talents (such as cooking, yard work, writing, painting, building, maintenance)
- Share a meal with someone who does not have family around on holiday breaks