5 Ways to Thrive by Giving Back

Did you know that giving back can do a lot of good for you? Giving has been shown to increase happiness, improve health, promote cooperation and social connection, and evoke gratitude.

Here are five simple and meaningful ways to give back to the community:

  1. Check in on a friend

We often find ourselves caught up in the busyness of life. Between classes, jobs, extracurriculars, and family commitments among other things, sometimes we forget about the people we care about. Check-in with your loved ones regularly, you never know what they may be going through. It will mean a lot to them!

  1. Donate used goods

Whether it’s over reading break or the weekend, take the time to sift through your old clothes and items. Donation is an excellent alternative to throwing away used goods in the trash. In addition to the environmental benefits of giving these items a second life, you are helping others and clearing space.

  1. Call your parents

Have a long chat with your parents. You don’t need to reserve conversations with your parents for bad news. Try deepening your communication with them and focusing on just the interaction. The conversation may go a long way in brightening each others’ days.

  1. Express gratitude

Thank your bus driver, compliment a stranger on their outfit, or let your friends know how grateful you are to have them! Research has shown that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity, improve their health, and build strong relationships.

  1. Try a more environmentally friendly life

Give back to the environment through some simple lifestyle habits. Practice recycling or composting, bring your own bag to the grocery store, pick up trash outside, and buy products with less packaging. You can also try buying only what you will use, buying secondhand items, and upcycling.  Get creative! There are so many ways to make your life more green even as a pro.


Giving back doesn’t always need to be a grand gesture in isolation. Small actions over time build community and your sense of self. I encourage you to think about how you want to give back today and make it a personal practice. Happy Thrive month!