Giving to Feel Good

In honor of the first day of 2018 and a New Year, I wanted to share about a unique experience I had this holiday. My husband and I rescued an injured puppy, who we found wandering around a parking lot in freezing temperatures with a serious open wound in her neck. We were on our way out for a date night in honor of New Year's Eve and were excited about prioritizing some quality time together, and instead we took on a smelly, unwell puppy and spent the night at the emergency vet, setting up crowd-funding for her medical bills, tending to her wounds, feeding her pills, and making her comfortable. We hardly slept and rang in the New Year as an afterthought.

But what is really important is everything that happened after. Our concerns about the financial burden of taking on her care began to dissipate as we received an outpouring of support from friends and community members. Our anxiety about taking on too much turned into an affirmation of what happens when you follow your heart and your own inner truth about what is "right" or "best", and a reminder of the generosity of humans coming together to help someone (or something) in need. Not only was this an incredible spirit in which to start a New Year, it also reminded me of work I've read which suggests that doing something to help another actually has positive, anti-depressive effects on you! The more you do for others, the more you feel positivity and focus on good, the more you are affirmed by others to be a person of strength and character, and the more you realize you really can have an impact on your own life and how you live it.

So that's my New Year's message to you all - taking time to do good and help another, even though it may seem like an imposition, or something that is not in line with your immediate goals, can really help you feel better. Happy 2018!