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7 Ways To Give Back This Holiday Season

While the holiday season is known as the “season to be jolly,” it can be about a whole lot more than just  enjoying the good cheer. Whether you are religious or not, the holidays can serve as a reminder for you to be grateful for what you have, and a great way to foster and express gratitude is to dedicate some time to giving back. Here are seven great ideas to get you started. 

  1. Pay Forward Your Lessons In Recovery 

For some people, one of the most satisfying aspects of recovery is being able to use their experiences to help others who are currently dealing with the issues that they once struggled to overcome. Sharing your story at a twelve step meeting or in another support group or  through some other platform could be a great way to impact others by showing them that healing is possible and spreading the word about everything amazing that awaits them in recovery.

Or, if you feel comfortable enough in your own sobriety, you could also consider becoming a twelve step sponsor. There are many other organizations out there that work to help people with addiction in many different ways, and so just as many ways to get involved in whatever way feels right for you.

2. Give Back To People Who Are Close To You

Giving back might mean getting involved with a charity, but it could also mean taking the time to lend a hand to those loved ones who may need it. If someone in your life has had a lot on their plate lately, offering to lend a hand with even simple errands like baby-sitting, shopping, or preparing meals could make a big difference. 

The holidays are also a perfect time to remind your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Because of the psychological benefits of gratitude, something like writing them a heartfelt letter could make a huge positive impact on both of you, and could be a major step towards healing if your relationship with them was damaged during the course of your addiction.

3. Help Out With Young People Or With Animal Friends

Even if you aren’t much of a people person, there are still ways that you can give back this holiday season. Studies show that spending time with animals can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and local shelters are almost always in need of volunteers. If you have the resources to do so, you could even commit to fostering an animal for the season.


In the same vein, dedicating your time to volunteering with children, such as as a mentor or tutor, is another way to give back to those who have the least ability to help themselves, and that might be appealing as a way to brighten your perspective even if you are overwhelmed by adult company.

4. Lend A Hand At A Food Kitchen Or Food Drive

Few needs are as basic as the need for food, and helping ensure that everyone is able to eat their fill is a great way to give back this holiday season. Local organizations dedicated to providing to the less fortunate tend to go into high gear around this time to help ensure that everyone is able to have a holiday meal. 

Others often take advantage of the giving spirit the holidays encourage to hold a food drive that you could get involved with either by simply donating or with planning or publicizing. If, for some reason, you find yourself without plans on one of the big days themselves, signing up for a shift at the local soup kitchen could ensure that you stay busy and the day still feels meaningful.

5. Don’t Forget About The Environment

Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s pretty easy to forget the fact that the planet we are living on is in increasing peril due to the impact our lifestyles and apathy towards their effects are having on the planet we live on. 

So, this holiday season could be a good time to do some research into how you can live a more sustainable lifestyle, find out how you can get involved with an organization dedicated to helping heal the planet, or to join in a beach cleanup or even organize one. We only get one Earth, and it’s everyone’s duty to do their part in preserving it for the generations that will come after us.  

6. Take Advantage Of Your Unique Strengths 

On the other hand, while almost anyone can lend a hand with certain tasks, there might be ways that your unique background and talents could help out people and organizations in need. Sites like Catchafire can help connect you with non-profit organizations that can take advantage of any professional skills that you may have.

For instance, if you come from a financial background, maybe you can use your accounting skills to help out with an organization’s tax returns, or, if your background is more literary, maybe you could lend a hand with something like grant writing or public relations. If you are in early recovery, a volunteer “job” might require less commitment and pressure than full time employment, but still serve as a way for you to feel productive and engaged this holiday season. 

7. Don’t Forget To Help Yourself Too

While the intention to give back is admirable, it’s also important to remember that you will not be able to help anyone else if you do not take care of yourself as well. Especially if you are in early recovery, pushing yourself too hard could put you at risk of a relapse, so it’s important that you take the time to take care of yourself as well as to serve others. 

And, if you are currently struggling with substance abuse, helping yourself may mean seeking out professional treatment. At Reco Intensive, our top-notch treatment program is here to help you get back to the healthiest and most healing version of yourself that you can be. Call (561) 464-6533 to learn more today.

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