Throughout this month and beyond, look for opportunities to give back to the people around you: your colleagues, patients, vendors, loved ones, and even complete strangers. Your actions will help others and may also help you.
This holiday season, focus on the spirit of giving in your workplace. Remember that giving doesn’t have to mean hosting an employee gift exchange or a holiday party. If your team looks forward to these traditions every year, by all means, keep them going. But giving more intangible gifts, such as your time, attention, and intention, can be even more meaningful to the people you see every day.
Many studies have shown a link between generosity and positive physical and health benefits for the giver. In older adults, giving social support (time, effort, or goods) is associated with better overall health, and volunteering is connected with delayed mortality. Generosity, even through small acts of kindness, is also linked with happiness. In the workplace, it may also reduce the likelihood of burnout.
Give Time: Our Most Precious Resource
When you give someone your time, you’re giving them a valuable and limited resource. In a society that often values productivity and efficiency above all else, giving someone your undivided time and attention can be a powerful gift.
Make an effort to invest your precious time in people. Take an extra few minutes to explain a new process to a team member or answer a patient’s questions without rushing. Whether you are spending quality time with a loved one, volunteering in your community, or simply listening to someone who needs to be heard, giving your time can make a lasting impact.
Give Attention: A Rare Commodity
In our increasingly distracted world, giving someone your full attention can be a rare commodity. When you’re constantly bombarded with notifications, emails, and social media updates, it can be difficult to be fully present in your interactions with others. But when you give someone your undivided attention, you show them that they matter and are important to you.
Demonstrate with your actions that you value your relationships with people. Put your phone away during a conversation, and turn off distracting notifications on your devices. Make eye contact, and actively listen to what someone is saying. Giving your attention can be a powerful form of connection.
Give with Intention: Purpose and Impact
When you give someone a material gift, it’s often easy to fall into the trap of giving for the sake of giving. But when you give with intention, you infuse the gift with purpose and meaning. Consider the recipient’s needs, interests, and values, and choose a gift that will truly resonate with them. You don’t need to spend a lot of — or any — money on a gift for it to be valuable. A thoughtful handwritten note, a homemade meal, or a small donation to a cause they care about can make a meaningful impact.
The Joy of Giving Back
While giving your time, attention, and intention can be a gift to those around you, it can also be a gift to yourself. When you give back to your communities, you feel a sense of purpose and connection that can be hard to find elsewhere. Whether it’s volunteering at a local food bank, donating to a charity, or simply being kind to others, giving back can make you feel more connected to the world around you
We believe happier and healthier people are the biggest driver behind a thriving business. This blog is part of our Heart of the Business initiative and our ongoing commitment to delivering health and wellness content to support healthy employees, and, in turn, healthy businesses.