“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Ghandi
Depression has a way of making us focus inward, and we can lose sight of others around us. We become so focused it can tend to perpetuate the depression. I know that for me personally, my tendecy is to stay at home and not go out and interract as much as I should.
Reaching out and serving gives me the push I need to go out and get involved. By doing so, I am not only helping others, I am also helping myself.
And even if you are not suffering from depression, serving others is a great way to benefit your fellow man, as well as get a better perspective on your own situation. By helping others who have less than us, we become more grateful for what we DO have.
Where can I help
As we come into the holiday season, we are made more aware of the needs in our communities around us. Pleas are made for help, whether it is monetarily or through volunteering time.
While the needs are more evident this time of year, I encourage you to look for ways you can serve others year-round. Many churches have community- based programs that could always use help. Decide what area you have a burden for and see what you can do to help in that area.
Our church has several ways they give through the year, as well as at Christmas time. Some of the projects we have going on?
Breakfast for teachers (we meet in a high school and once a month we serve breakfast to the teachers)
Resurrecting Hope- we do major repairs on the homes of widowed and elderly
LifePacks- A ministry that fills backpacks and distributes to the homeless in a tent city near here. They also get an opportunity to minister one-on-one and pray for these men.
Homeless shelter for women and children- we bring food and gifts and spend a day doing crafts and playing with the children and ministering to the mothers.
Shop with a Hero- This is a project I love! In a nutshell, we partner at-risk kids with a hero in uniform, police, firefighter, soldier. They are given a $100 gift card to shop with their hero. I wrote a more detailed post about it last year (the last part of the post).
Angel Trees- These are everywhere in your community. The trees are filled with the information of foster children or other disadvantaged children who may not have much of a Christmas. You can pick a child and buy a gift for them.
Thanksgiving for college students- Our church is providing a Thanksgiving dinner to 80+ international students who will be left on campus over Thanksgiving.
These are just some options. There are many more out there, just keep your eyes and ears open. Serving others not only serves them, it serves YOU as well. What a great way to lift your spirits and improve your outlook!
In what ways do you like to serve those around you?
This post is linked up to Shell’s Things I Can’t Say