Gifts of Caring
What a year 2020 has been! If the Season of Giving is beginning to add to an already stressful year, consider these ideas for giving that can make you more happy!
Giving doesn’t have to include excessive shopping, it can be any form of sharing. In fact, studies show that giving of any kind (regardless of monetary value) is “linked to the release of oxytocin, a hormone (also released during sex and breastfeeding) that induces feelings of warmth, euphoria, and connection to others.” These studies show that giving provides us measurable boosts in happiness, health benefits, and stress relief! The habit of giving is also correlated with living longer!
Volunteer. Give the gift of time and talent to an organization in your community or to a neighbor in need. Knowing that your efforts benefit the cause that matters to you can have a positive impact on them and you, including feeling physically healthier, improving your mood, and feeling less stressed.
Trees Atlanta continues to lead volunteer projects every weekend. We work outdoors and appropriately distanced apart. We have public health and safety protocols in place and can host your “pod” or you solo at volunteer planting projects.
Image source: Happify.com graphic from Lifehack
Share knowledge and inspire curiosity. Have you thought of creating and sending a video “letter” starring you baking the perfect gingerbread cookie, telling a great joke, or explaining how to knit a winter cap? A letter listing your favorite hikes with insider comments for your outdoorsy friends can be a special gift.
A tremendous upside to the boom in virtual learning is that so much content that was previously inaccessible (due to distance, schedule, or cost) is now opened up. Virtual presentations are often free and available on-demand, including Trees Atlanta’s own YouTube channel. Our education programming has gone online and a few in-person workshops are offered where proper distancing and safety protocols can be exercised. Check out our upcoming classes on our Events Calendar!
Installing the new Bog Garden on the Westside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum.
Celebrate nature. Many beautiful gifts can be made with natural materials found in your yard or a walk through a park. Please don’t remove live materials without permission, but inspiration can be found from fallen leaves or pine cones, seed heads, or small twigs.
Here’s a DIY to make a pumpkin bird feeder for your neighbor to share with backyard birds and instructions on how to collect native seeds to gift as packets awaiting spring. Even as the air chills, the outdoors provides a tranquil place to meet friends and family for a walk in the woods. How about a gift that continues giving year after year? By ordering a Trees Atlanta Holiday Card, a greeting card is mailed to the recipient and a sapling tree is planted in metro Atlanta!
Be kind. Set an intention to share a random act of kindness, and do it! Take a deep breath, write your hot reply, then delete it. “Smize” at the stranger passing by on your walk: you can smile with your eyes above your mask! Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and self-care.
Share your time and attention. Invite a friend to join you at a volunteer event, attend a virtual class or presentation together, or explore a city park you’ve both never visited before. Be generous with “liking” a positive Instagram post, practice abundance with words of support, and be intentional about what you put out into the digital world.
We’d love to hear how you are giving Gifts of Caring this season. Tag your social media posts with @treesatlanta and share with us how you are giving #giftsofcaring.
Trees Atlanta sincerely thanks our volunteers who share with us their time and talents throughout the year. How lucky are we to see your gifts literally grow with every tree planted and cared for!
Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!
Published December 17, 2020
Written by Judy Yi