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7 Simple Ways to Start Doing Social Good Today

7 Simple Ways to Start Doing Social Good Today

At any given point, the world is facing crises that seem overwhelming. Today, we face political upheaval, war, famine, economic hardship, hatred, and environmental issues. If I wanted to focus on the negatives, I could continue that list for pages and pages. It’s certainly easy to get frustrated and think that nothing can possibly be done to make things any better.

The world becomes a better place when ordinary people commit to doing social good every day. If you aren’t sure where to begin, keep reading. Here are 7 things that you can begin doing today to make a positive impact on the world.

Here are 7 things that you can begin doing today to make a positive impact on the world.

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1. Be Alert And Mindful

One thing that I am very guilty of is walking around in my own world. If I’m not staring at my phone, I am often immersed in a book. The problem with this is that it causes me to miss opportunities to do small acts of kindness or charity.

I’ve committed to changing that a bit. I’m working hard to pay attention to the world around me. By doing this, I’m finding ways to do little things such as giving up my seat on the train for a man who looked simply exhausted, or helping a woman to corral her dog. These aren’t life changing things, but there’s always a piece of litter that can be picked up, a person who needs a door held open, or someone who just needs a kind word.

2. Change How And Where You Spend Your Money

Money isn’t the most important thing in the world. However, when it comes to doing positive things, it sure has a lot of power. In fact, the simple purchasing decisions that you make on a daily basis can really make a difference. For example, most people buy tickets to concerts and sporting events several times each year. Imagine the good that could be done if everybody decided to use Good Deed Seats to purchase those tickets.

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Next, take some time to think about where you go shopping in your community. Are you spending your money at big box stores? They are often more convenient and less expensive, but consider the benefit to your community if you started shopping in locally owned stores.

3. Show Kindness When Interacting With Disagreeable People

You’re trying to make a return and the customer service clerk is being rude. You’ve waited twenty minutes just to get a cup of coffee, and the server brings you regular instead of black. Somebody cuts in front of you at the store. When these things happen, it’s tempting to snap at people, to match wits, or to complain about them.

Before you do that, stop. It’s impossible to know whether or not somebody is incompetent or intentionally rude, or if they are having a really bad day. Try hard to give people the benefit of the doubt. Doing so never hurts you, and it could mean a lot to a hurting stranger.

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4. Volunteer Today!

Since college, I’ve always spent a few days over the Christmas holidays volunteering at a homeless shelter. That’s not a humblebrag. In fact, lots of people do the same thing. In fact, that’s where the problem lies. Us human beings are great at being generous in the face of the holiday season, or when tragedy strikes. The question is, where are we the rest of the time?

There are people and organizations in your community that can use  your help today. Don’t wait for Christmas. Call a food bank in your area and ask if you can come in to help today. Walk into an animal shelter and ask if they need help cleaning cages. There are immediate needs all around you.

5. Do The Charitable Things That You Have Been Putting Off

As I write this, I am acutely aware of a box of clothing that I haven’t worn in months. It’s sitting in  my storage closet waiting for me to drop it off at the local women’s shelter.  I am guessing that I am not alone in this.

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If you’ve been intending to donate food, goods, or money to a charity, do it today. Don’t put it off any longer. If you keep meaning to start a compost pile, or to finally begin recycling, there’s no better time to start than today.

6. Change The Way You Consume

Everybody likes stuff. Unfortunately, consumerism truly does have a negative impact on the world around us. It leads to economic problems in third world countries, environmental troubles, causes debt, and clutters our lives. Here are a few changes you can make.

  • Buy more ingredients and less pre-packaged food.
  • Spend money on experiences.
  • Get items fixed instead of replacing them.
  • Donate things or repurpose them instead of throwing them away.
  • Purchase items with the least amount of packaging.
  • Buy things from companies that practice fair trade and have environmentally friendly policies.

7. Reach Out to a Lonely Neighbor or Family Member

Do you have a neighbor who lives alone, and rarely gets visitors? What about a family member who rarely sees their children? Pick up the phone. Invite them to lunch. Bring them lunch if they cannot or will not go out. Drop off a book that you think they might like. Watch television with them. Your presence could make a huge difference in the quality of their life.

Everybody has the potential to make the world a better place. Start doing social good today. It’s truly what the world needs right now.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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