How To Navigate The Gift-Giving Season

23-11-2019

The holidays are all about spending time with your loved ones, yet often we rush through the checklist of things to be done and forget to create space for mindfulness and quality time together. We can all work on creating a little bit more awareness in our daily life and during the holiday.

On June 1, 2017, US President Trump declared that the United States was going to exit the Paris Agreement, an agreement to reduce global carbon emissions to slow down climate change. The agreement was signed under the former United States President Obama, promising to cut US emissions 26-28% of their 2005 levels by 2025.

The winter holiday is here around the corner, so we have prepared a guide to a more mindful and sustainable break.

Holiday is all about spending time with your loved ones, yet often we rush through the checklist of things to be done and forget to create space for mindfulness and quality time together. We can all work on creating a little bit more awareness in our daily life and during the holiday.

In Europe alone, the average person spends €188 on gifts in 2017; mostly on clothing, food, sweets and books. Yet, what if we spent even as little as 10% of that to help others?

Small steps can really make a difference. Here are some things we encourage you to consider during this gift-giving season. Who knows maybe you will establish a new holiday tradition?

Donate for a good cause

During winter holiday many people seek reconnection with community, while homeless and elderly people living alone are especially vulnerable. Why not reach out and support a local foundation that brings a real difference? Studies show that random acts of kindness helps boost your mental health through the release of dopamine (sometimes referred to as “helper’s high”) and easing stress. It’s a win-win!

Donate food or clothing

Food and clothing are often taken for granted. Yet, many people would be grateful for support in the form of a pair of shoes (especially valuable during winter), or food. You will most likely find plenty of organizations, like food and clothing banks, promoting themselves in local shops or other venues. But these days, you can also find them on social media. Keep your eyes open and you will easily find many places to support.

Give experiences instead of physical gifts

Advertisements are bombarding us with pictures of things that we should buy to make our loved ones feel happy and fulfilled during the holidays. Quality time or relationships may be hard to quantify, but they can turn out to be the best gifts. Studies show that happiness granted by experiences will most likely last longer and even increase over time. Our experiences become engrained as part of our identity. So, try to think of something non-material you can give your family or friends – maybe a dinner, going to the theatre, a hike in nature or a concert together?

Above all, don’t let all those to-dos stress you. It’s great to be aware of our actions, every step we take does matter to the well-being of our planet. Yet it is our own well-being that we need to start with first. Only then can we truly help others and our mother Earth. So this holiday, get that nice dose of sleep, meet with friends and family, relax, and be grateful for this special time of the year.

Happy holidays from the team at SustainOnline! 

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