A potential drawback to the season of giving

A potential drawback to the season of giving

It’s the season of giving which means you may opt to volunteer more of your time, shower your loved ones with gifts or maybe even increase the number of acts of kindness you do daily. While these selfless acts can leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling, they also can benefit your health. But just like anything in life, balance is key – even when it comes to the act of giving.

Numerous studies have found that the act of giving can lower your blood pressure, increase happiness and satisfaction, and foster social connections.

“Giving is a way of connecting with others and expressing our feelings through acts,” says Dr. Ryan Rosenberger, a psychiatrist at Aurora Health Care. “It’s a very intentional act that conveys love and caring. We are emotionally rewarded by the act and by the acceptance.”

However, there’s a reason that the holiday season is known for being stressful. The uptick in the act of giving this season can add to your stress if you extend yourself and your resources too far.

Dr. Rosenberger explains that giving too much, whether it’s through gifts or donations, can lead to financial instability which can cause significant distress to families. Additionally, finding the perfect gift for your loved one can sometimes be overwhelming and stress-inducing.

“Giving too much time and energy is another issue,” explains Dr. Rosenberger. “We can become burnt out and resentful, especially if we feel taken advantage of by the receiver.”

Dr. Rosenberger encourages you to give back to yourself this season by getting the appropriate amount of sleep, exercising daily, and eating a healthy, balanced diet. He also suggests making time to do activities that give you time to reflect, meditate and check in with your emotional state.

Find behavioral health treatment and programs near you: Illinois | Wisconsin.

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About the Author

Anna Kohler
Anna Kohler

Anna Kohler, health enews contributor, is an external communications specialist for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She received her bachelor's degree in public relations from Illinois State University and has worked in health care public relations and content marketing for over five years. In her free time, she enjoys working out, exploring new places with her friends and family, and keeping up with the latest social media trends.