The new year is a great reminder of gratitude for all of the people and opportunities that fill our lives. I love using this time to reflect on ways I can give back and impact the lives of people in my community.
Last winter I attended a local spin class where Frost Bank was sponsoring a ‘Frost It Forward’ campaign highlighting generosity in order to inspire others to make a difference. At the end of class, each attendee found a $10 Visa card under their bike to use to ‘Frost It Forward’ by doing something kind for a stranger. These generous, kind acts are a reminder to create optimism in our lives!
I love that Frost, as a financial institution, believes in holistic financial well-being, spurred by the idea that optimism positively impacts emotional, mental and financial health!
A random act of kindness starts a ripple effect of generosity and optimism. Moments of generosity can be a spark of happiness that lasts. Generosity can be personally meaningful and creates deep connections. Life can be stressful, but choosing optimism reminds us of the best parts of the community we live in! Frost and I both believe that random acts of kindness are catalysts for optimism, and we are on a mission to make the world a more optimistic place.
Today I’m partnering with Frost to share five ways to give back this new year and ‘Frost It Forward’ yourself!
1. Sign up for a philanthropic 5k. ‘Tis the season for running! Whether it’s a 5k, half marathon or full marathon, donate to a good cause and gather with your community to get some good ole’ exercise.
2. Clean out your closets and cabinets. My kitchen cabinets are always packed with extra food. How about donating some of those shelf stable items to a local food pantry for those less fortunate? A friend once recommended a great closet clean out strategy to me too. Keep all of your clothes on hangers facing the same way? Throughout the year, when you wear something, flip the hanger. At the end of the year, clear out hangers that haven’t been flipped (AKA worn) all year.
3. Volunteer to serve food at a shelter. It’s a tradition in our family to spend Christmas packaging nutritious meals that are donated to local food banks. If you’re low on physical resources, this is a great way to give back to your community with your time! Volunteers are needed all year for efforts like this.
4. Visit a nursing home and spend time with the elderly. Last year we did this as a department at work! We visited the memory loss area of a local facility and greeted residents who unfortunately didn’t have family around for the holidays. We spent time playing holiday trivia with them and left with some special memories.
5. Buy someone’s coffee. This one is a small act that sometimes can create such a large domino effect! We’ve all read the stories of one person buying coffee for the customer behind them in line, which led to thirty consecutive people buying the customer behind them’s coffee. Talk about inspiring others!
6. Pay for someone’s groceries. My mom told me she once left money for groceries for the family behind her in line at the grocery store. It made a huge impact on me just hearing about it, I could only imagine being that family.
7. Donate to a cause close to your heart, whether it be a cause that has directly impacted your life or the life of someone you love.
8. Leave a big tip. The hospitality industry is hard and those who share an optimistic attitude, even on the hard days, deserve to be served that optimism right back. Leave a big tip to brighten someone’s day.
9. Build ready-to-go care packages for the homeless. Bag up a few basics like socks, water, dry snacks like nuts or crackers and hygiene items like antibacterial soap. Keep a bag or two in your car to provide practical help to the homeless!
Giving is good for you! Being generous can have a big impact on your sense of optimism, but there are other key benefits as well:
• Improves Overall Health: Reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of depression and anxiety.
• Lowers Stress: Reduces cortisol levels, the primary driver of stress.
• Improves Relationships: Creates an environment of reciprocity and mutual impact.
• Extends Our Lives: Science shows that volunteering actually reduces mortality rates.
• Makes Us Happy: Triggers feel-good chemicals like endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin.
Visit the ‘Opt for Optimism’ site to learn more about Frost.
This post has been sponsored by Frost Bank. All thoughts and opinions are my own. To view my full disclosure policy, click here.