Stressed? You could relax with a bath, massage, or yoga session. Better yet: run a bath for your roommate, give your guy a massage, or drop a friend off at her yoga class. People who help others are less likely to die after stressful events, according to a study recently published in American Journal of Public Health.
The best part: you don’t need to save the world, spend a ton, or go too far out of your way to reap the benefits. Just do something that’s local (read: convenient), enjoyable, and complementary to your skill set, says Bill Coplin, Ph.D., author of How You Can Help: An Easy Guide to Doing Good Deeds in Your Everyday Life and director of the public affairs program at Syracuse University. Begin with these five ways to do unto others as you’d want done unto you:
Be the designated driver
Get behind the wheel on girls’ night out, and you’ll save everyone cash on cab fares. Even better: you’ll save yourself from high-calorie cocktails and the hangover sure to follow.
As a lifelong germaphobe, I wash my hands at least twenty times a day. But I never thought the simple act of lathering up could contribute to a good cause. All that changed when I came across LifeSoap, an organic soap company that donates 90 percent of its profits to providing clean water for children in developing parts of the world.
Founded by two college friends with the ambitious mission to save lives, LifeSoap launched its first clean water project this year in Nicaragua, and they have many more projects in the works.
Nail guru Deborah Lippmann wants you to paint your nails for a cause. For every person who sends in a picture of themselves wearing Lippmann’s Across the Universe, a glittery glam aqua, she’ll donate $1 to Discovery the Journey. The nonprofit organization is made up of journalists, artists, and filmmakers who document and help women in war-torn areas. Lippmann became involved with the organization after a serendipitous meeting while standing in line at an Apple store. Great look, great cause = win win.