Your guide to getting the most out of giving and goodwill
People will often talk about the gift of giving – that amazing feeling of giving something to someone you care about and seeing the reaction on their faces. Yet finding a perfect gift can sometimes prove to be a little stressful, and if you’re pressured by time or don’t have any ideas, a special opportunity to show someone you appreciate them can quickly turn into a daunting or even annoying experience.
While giving a physical gift can reap some of the benefits of goodwill, learning how to be more giving in all aspects of our lives can have an even bigger impact on our emotional wellness. It can make us more introspective, empathetic, selfless and strengthen our relationships with others.
The Bach Team have put together a quick guide you can use to help you get the most out of giving and find pleasure in goodwill every day.
Planning gifts in advance:
Last minute gifts are not only stressful to buy, but they can also feel half-hearted, as we’re often limited with how many shops we can explore to find a gift and might just settle on the first thing we see. To avoid last minute shopping, write down a list of events, birthdays and holidays coming up so that you know when to start planning.
We suggest you begin planning a gift at least a month in advance – this will give you enough time to come up with ideas and research the best place to find that perfect gift. If you need to order something online, remember that ordering from another country can often take several weeks to arrive, so giving yourself that month should be enough time for it to arrive.
If you find any fun trinkets on your travels, or see something you think would make a great gift in a shop, but don’t have anyone to give it to just yet, remember that things such as dinner parties or last minute opportunities can always come up, and it’s great to have something in store just in case you haven’t got time to plan in advance.
Gift giving is meant to be special; not only is it meant to show that you care for the person you’re giving the gift to, but also that you know and understand them. This is why personal gifts are so well received and can really enforce that connection between two people.
Friends and family often mention things they’d love in conversation, but when the time comes around to buy a gift for them, you might find it tricky to remember what those things were. Keep a list on your phone or in a notebook and write down ideas every time they come up in conversation. When Christmas or birthdays comes along, you’ll already have a wealth of options to choose from that you know the person mentioned they would love, saving you precious time and ensuring you find the perfect gift.
Helping loved ones:
Goodwill isn’t all about material gifts and being there for support, or giving your time to those you love, can be a great gift in itself. Listen to your friends and family and make time for them; offer advice or company in times of need.
If you’re a chatty person, make sure you remind yourself to ask others questions too – how they’re doing, how they’re feeling, what they’ve been up to – and really listen to their answers. This will help you build stronger bonds with others. You’ll feel more grateful for their friendship and they will, in turn, feel more grateful for yours.
As with helping friends, helping others by volunteering can be a great way of practising goodwill by offering your services to those in need. Volunteering can be as big or small as you’d like. You could volunteer at a local shelter or charity shop, or organise a beach or park clean up with friends. If you have any skills that you think others can benefit from, then you could offer to teach them to friends. Check out this list of 12 ways you can volunteer to help you find some inspiration.
Donating to organisations you believe in:
If you’d like to give by making a monetary donation but are overwhelmed by the amount of organisations out there, it’s important to do your research and plan before you sign up. Firstly, set yourself a budget that you’re comfortable with donating. Then figure out how often you’d like to donate. Would you rather donate once to one organisation or several times over the next year, or would you rather donate to a different NGO every month?
Ask yourself those questions and write out a plan, this will help you visualise where your money is going. If you’d like a more hands-on experience, to see how your donation is contributing to the cause, consider donating more locally, as you’re likely to be kept up to date with the organisation and might develop a stronger connection to the cause. If you don’t have any money to donate, you could also consider giving some older clothing, books or household items to charity shops.
Don’t forget charity shops:
Charity shops are an amazing place to find some long-lost treasures and are also great for closing the goodwill loop. Not only can you find a perfect gift for a loved one, but the money you spend at a charity shop will also go to a good cause, giving back to the community.