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Give a little: Get back to basics for a happier holiday.

Toni-Ann DiSantis

Give a little: Get back to basics for a happier holiday.

During the holidays, do you ever feel a bit like you’ve stepped on a treadmill that’s moving way too fast? While we’re all for keeping up with your literal treadmill workout throughout the season, if it’s a figurative treadmill that has you feeling frantic, it’s time to step off! The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, not endured. Self-care is one way to manage stress and keep your spirits up this time of year. But incorporating some good, old-fashioned giving will make for a happier, more meaningful season. Compared with acting based on our own self-interest, generosity makes us happier, according to a new study. The area of the brain associated with altruism and the area associated with happiness interact, and even simply planning to be more generous can flip the happiness switch, according to the study. But follow through, and you’ll help yourself and someone else. (We just love a win-win!) Opportunities abound this time of year. Provide gifts or a holiday meal for a family in need, volunteer at a soup kitchen, grocery shop or shovel snow for an elderly neighbor, take a sick friend some soup…the possibilities are endless. Keep the giving going, and you may boost your happiness year-round, while making the world a kinder place. (Again, a win-win!)