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I’m currently facing a corner of my dining room that doesn’t match the tidiness of the rest of the house. This corner is full of cardboard boxes and plastic bags with donations for a local no-kill animal shelter’s upcoming fundraiser. My desire for clean spaces aside, I kind of love this mess. I love knowing the money raised from these items will provide food, shelter, and vet care for animals in need. While these donations live at my house, they provide a teaching opportunity for my kids. Although my youngest son, 18 months, is preoccupied with pulling loose edges of tape and tasting scraps of cardboard, my oldest, at five years old, has more pressing concerns, like how this pile of stuff will help animals, why do they need it, and where will they put it. My son doesn’t fully understand the process yet, but he knows we’re doing something to help and that helping is “good.”
Volunteering fits perfectly with the healthy living mission of Juice Plus+. Being healthy isn’t only about what you eat, it’s also about what you do. Taking good care of yourself and giving to others both increase your well-being. Inspiration is contagious, and it spreads from the ways you fill your free time to how you interact with your community. If one activity doesn’t appeal to you, keep looking! You might not realize it, but even the smallest effort can make a difference.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a priority for me and my family. It encompasses our meals, our activities, and involvement with our community. Since I have two kids under five, my ability to be physically present outside my home is limited, so I’ve had to get creative. Besides volunteering with the shelter, I’ve found other simple ways to be active and give back. If you have limited time too, consider these ideas for enriching your life:
- Donate: Go through your closets and kitchen to pull out items you don’t use. This will only really take around 30 minutes. Local charities will be happy to take it off your hands, and you never know what one donation could mean to someone in need.
- Volunteer: If you think you can’t fit it into your schedule, think again. Volunteering takes on many forms, some of which don’t require your physical presence or much of your time. Call a few local organizations and ask what types of help they could use. A few ideas: libraries, nursing homes, animal rescue groups, community centers, or shelters!
- Garden: This is a win-win. You get the therapeutic effects of being out in the sunshine and growing your own food, plus you can make someone else’s day by giving away leftovers! Community gardening is another option. They’re popping up everywhere these days, and results are showing this is a valuable trend.
- Play: You’ll be hard pressed to find a town without summer leagues for softball, kickball, or summer sports. It’s a great way to get to know people you might not have the chance to meet otherwise, and in turn you’re creating a stronger sense of community!
How do you foster healthy living in your community? Share in the comments below!