New Year New You

Resolution #6: Give Back

A.K.A our quest to be more Oprah-like this year.

By: Alicia Cesaro

The holidays are officially o-v-e-r and we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. And also take the time to look back and silently promise never to leave our to-do list to the last minute again (waaaay too much of our savings were spent online or worse, at the mall—ugh) the week of. Which is all no bueno for our "stress less" mantra. But more importantly, as we look around our already crammed apartments and see boxes on boxes from ASOS and clutter galore, our inner Marie Kondo kind of freaks out and we realize (yet again) that we don’t really need all this stuff—or stress. 
 
What we do need more of includes phone-free time with our friends, more sweating it out time, more us time, more light-that-Diptyque-and-finally-finish-Purity time. In other words, things that make us feel good, not just things that cause empty wallets. So in the interest of a new us in this new year, we’re vowing be more altruistic. Whether that's finally finding a charity that resonates with us, giving gifts that make a difference (no matter the occasion), or turning our shopping addictions into something a bit more meaningful. And we all know that helping others in turn makes us feel :100:, too. And that's scientifically backed, so it’s about time we started taking it to heart. Plus, just look at Oprah: she has it all figured out. Here's how to make philanthropy and generosity (and all the warm-and-fuzzies that come along with those things) a bigger part of your life this year.

 

1.

Find & Follow a Charity You <3

 

We can thank the fact that Instagram is a daily staple in our lives for the discovery of a lot of feel-good things. Like that Australian guy who hand crochets taco hats, or, you know, ToastMeetsWorld. But more importantly, it really does gives us unlimited access to all sorts of amazing people and their foundations. Like @blackjaguarwhitetiger, which, with it’s posts of baby lions and tigers has captivated an audience of 4.3 million, all in support of their foundation—which rescues baby lions and tigers from captivity. Just yes.

And yeah, we may have initially followed Leonardo DiCaprio’s insta because we were hoping for some really great Kate and Leo circa Titantic #TBTs, but we kept following because he’s using his account as a platform to raise awareness about climate change affecting us and our planet. And for us, a massive celebrity using a personal account to promote change instead of teeth whitening kits is :clap:. 

 

2.

Shop, Shop, Shop (Actually)

 

This one is goodie because a) it's simple and b) it makes us not feel so bad about our monthly shop for coffee table books and cleaning supplies on Amazon. Next time you're Amazon, switch over to smile.amazon.com, which allows you to then choose a charity (anything from water, to The Red Cross, to books for schools). And when you check out, Amazon will donate a portion of the proceeds directly to the cause of your choice. See? It’s kind of a no-brainer.  
 
And when it does come time to celebrate a birthday, make it a meaningful one and stalk the web to find gifts that give back. Like a beaded FEED Bag for your friend who is constantly traveling, which feeds 370 school children in Kenya. Or use design site Minted.com to finish decorating the gallery wall in your apartment—a percentage of proceeds go to Every Mother Counts, the non-profit founded by supermodel Christy Turlington Burns, which supports mothers in developing countries during pregnancy and childbirth.

 

3.

Forgo Flowers  

 

As much as we at TC HQ love (like, really love) sending and receiving a good bouquet, we can all admit that it’s kind of a bummer when said $100+ bouquet wilts in oh, two days and feels like kind of a waste—plus there's the whole de-clutter and save money thing. So we’ve taken cues from others who have been forgoing flowers in favor of a donation to a charity in someone else’s name or a gift card towards a shop that gives back. Hint: all of the above :point_up_2: are :ok_hand:. 

 

4.

Make Like a Celeb  

 

While Snapchat and Instagram open up the world of celebrity makeup routines, breakfast choices and semi-drunk thoughts, it’s also given us a personal look into the causes they feel passionate about. If you’re looking for some extra inspiration (or another reason to love Chrissy Teigen and John Legend), take cues from DoSomething.org’s Celebs Gone Good list. And while you’re there, choose a cause from their super simple menu (say, education), select the amount of time you have (5 hours), the type of charity (face-to-face) and Do.Something.org will match you with a campaign (like collecting books). Your Saturday afternoon catch up with friends just turned philanthropic.

 

5.

Be Happier  

 

Like we said, it’s science. When you give your time towards helping others, make a donation to charity, or even help a stranger on the street, it automatically triggers a happy response in your brain. And we all know that feeling good makes you a nicer person, which makes for a happy life :star2:. 

 

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