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Spending time, not money

As the festive season approaches and you begin to think about what presents you need to buy if you celebrate Christmas, don’t forget to consider how you’ll spend your time.

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In the run up to Christmas, there can be an increased pressure to spend money – from food and drink to gifts and decorations.

But the best thing you could possibly spend is your time, with people you love; time is the best gift you could give. 

Social connection with friends, family, colleagues and our local communities are really important – they can help to lower anxiety and depression, help us to regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and even improve our immune systems. 

We share some ideas around how you can give the gift of time below.

Help those that are vulnerable or lonely

For some people, Christmas can be a particularly lonely and vulnerable time – but there are a number of ways you can help. Why not volunteer at a local food bank, or offer to have a neighbour who would otherwise be on their own round for dinner? Or you could do an older person’s shopping for them and pop in for a tea when you’re dropping it off. There are also a number of charities looking for volunteers to take phone calls, including Age UK.

Offer a favour voucher

It may sound a little out there, but you could give someone a voucher offering up your time, whenever they need it! For example, is a friend thinking about decorating their house? You can choose the amount of time you’d like to allocate, and perhaps suggest some ideas of what you might be able to help with.

Go for a walk

Whilst many people think of meeting up with friends and family in bars, restaurants, or cafes, some of our best conversations are had on a walk! Whilst it’s a bit brisk in the evenings now, there are plenty of well-lit routes that look beautiful at night. Walking releases endorphins which are feel good hormones, plus fresh air can do a world of good for our mental wellbeing. If you feel good, you may well have even better conversations! Plus you’ll be less distracted by your phone as it’s impossible to use it, with the bitter cold.

Whatever you do over the festive period, don’t forget just how valuable time can be – spend it well!

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