Ways to Connect and Give Back

Summer is a time to reconnect with people, be outside, take life a little less seriously, and enjoy the warm weather. One of the most precious aspects of being alive is sharing our lives, and connecting to others. Our relationships with friends, family, and co-workers reminds us that we are all connected to each other.

Other people are our mirrors, reminding us of our own humanity,. Even a short exchange with a stranger or acquaintance can brighten our day. It’s that connection, love in all its forms, that we all seek and need on a daily basis. The times we begin feeling down or depressed often have to do with dwelling on our own problems, going inward, or feeling isolated and unloved. When we stay connected to others on a regular basis and share positive experiences, there is often less of a tendency to dwell on our own problems. When we look outside of ourselves and focus on others, we really see them. We all are dying to be seen and heard.

Take some time to start finding small ways you can connect more to others. is there a card you’ve been meaning to send someone you care about to tell them how much you miss and love them? Can you really see the person at work you are talking to, and give them a real compliment on their new hair style or great attitude at work? The difference we can make in another person’s life by simply noticing them, is really quite remarkable. It also makes us feel happier and lighter to touch someone else, and takes the focus off of ourselves. We are all in the same world together after all.

A wonderful way to feel more connected, get out of the house, and outside of oneself, is to give back to others. Whether it is talking for one hour a week to an elderly person, helping the sick or homeless, or reading to a child in need, giving back is a wonderful gift.

There are several organizations to volunteer with in New York City. I have listed a few of them below. If you are in another city or state, look on the internet under Volunteer organizations and choose the population you are most interested in working with.

VolunteerNYC.org–has a large listing of many different types of volunteer organizations in the city.

NYcares.org–has a wide range of volunteer opportunities including working with animals, children, and adults throughout the year and on holidays in a wide range of fields

www.NYCgovparks.org–work on volunteer projects outdoors in the parks and cleaning up the environment