The gift of giving

December 2021

It's not all about presents, as we all know. There are lots of ways to give at Christmas

Giving is one of the five ways to well-being, an evidence-based approach to looking after your physical and mental well-being that was developed by the New Economics Foundation. This research found a strong connection between helping others and personal happiness.

We all know Christmas is a time where people exchange gifts, but we want to highlight the importance of giving our time to those around us and those in need. This not only improves the lives and well-being of those around us but can also improve our own well-being.

Here are a few suggestions of ways in which you can offer your time, energy or support.

  • Check in on our friends and family, either by text or phone or even in person. Christmas can be an isolating time for many and the simple act of checking in can go a long way to remind people that they are loved and have a support network around them during this difficult time. Just a simple chat about how they have been, their Christmas plans, what they are looking forward to (or not as the case may be) can make such an impact.
  • Remind people you are there for them. If you have elderly neighbours or anyone you know who is on their own, pop in and say hello and if you can, consider inviting them to your Christmas dinner! If this isn’t suitable for them, you could even offer to take a plate round. It may also be difficult for those who are vulnerable to get out to buy their presents or put up their decorations. Perhaps see if they need anything that you can buy when you are shopping yourself or if they would like a hand putting the decorations up!
  • One way to give this Christmas is to donate to charity if you are able. West Sussex Mind relies on fundraising to continue providing vital mental health support to our local communities, so please consider buying a raffle ticket or donating this festive season if you can.
  • More than anything, be kind. Research has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in well-being. It's more important than ever over the festive season, which can be a trying time for many people.

This past year has been difficult for many. Let’s come together this Christmas time and be a support network for those around us. Every gesture, no matter how small, can make a large impact on the mental well-being of others and ourselves. Merry Christmas.