Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by the items on your to-do list? Is one of those items searching for the perfect gift for someone—or many people—you care about?
I sometimes feel guilty if I slip a gift card into an envelope when I don't have hours to search for a unique and fun gift. Then I remind myself that there are lots of ways to give.
You may be short on time, funds or ideas for what to give, and that's OK. You can always give of your heart. In fact, there are lots of ways to give that you are already be doing, that you may not perceive as being selfless and thoughtful, so let me give you a list of generous acts.
When you're super busy and rushed, and yet you stop what you're doing to take the time to be 100 percent present and have a conversation with an elderly neighbor who might be a little lonely.
When a friend is going through a tough time and you call, text or drop by to sit together, offer to go for a walk or pick up groceries.
When you resist the urge to offer unsolicited advice and try to fix other people's problems (even though you know you could). Instead of trying to fix the problem, you decide, wisely, not to jump into the situation, but, instead, sit by the fire with them.
When you make someone's favorite meal—just because they love it.
When a friend who's undergoing chemo needs a companion to drive them or sit with them, and you understand that they may need to sleep or may not feel like talking. Just having you there makes them feel better.
When a coworker is having a bad day and you bring them a cup of coffee.
When a local school is having a rummage sale, holiday sale or bake sale and you buy something to support the effort.
When you go through your closets and find coats, sweaters and warm clothes to donate for people who might be cold this season.
When you're doing your food shopping and slip some money into the Salvation Army bucket as you pass by.
When you're boarding the plane and stop to help an older person put their bag in the overhead.
Check out HealthyWomen's Spiritual Holiday Gift Guide Filled With Purpose and Meaning
There are innumerable acts of kindness and ways to be generous of spirit. If you want an easy way to be generous, you can click here to make a donation to FAME hospital in Tanzania. This will go a long way in helping FAME to make this world a gentler, safer place for the many rural Tanzanians who depend on FAME for lifesaving care.
This blog originally appeared on Nurse Barb. Barb Dehn is a women's health nurse practitioner, award-winning author and nationally recognized health expert. She practices with Women Physicians in the Silicon Valley of California.