Looking around at the world is a recipe for heartache. When everything feels like it’s falling apart and there is hurt everywhere, where do you put your time and money to make a difference?
If you try to tackle everything you will wear yourself thin, especially if you are also struggling with caring for yourself. Start by making a list of 2-3 causes that you feel deeply about. It can be anything, community, gun safety, access to healthcare etc. Take those 2-3 passions and find organizations that represent your values. For organizations that don’t have a local chapter, choose that place to make a monthly donation even if it is only $5. Monthly donations work better for organizations so they can more accurately plan their donation income and spending. For the other 2 causes find local organizations where you can donate your time. Local libraries almost always need volunteers, so if you care a lot about increasing literacy, that is a good place to start. Have a special skill that could be useful to others? Libraries and community centers usually allow community members to teach a class. If you are short on time and money, take 5 minutes to call your local representative or senator to talk about policy change you want to see happen.
These steps and effort may seem small, but they make an overwhelming impact. Every place doing good work needs more money and more volunteer time. Every cause needs another powerful voice standing for it. Finding some concrete ways to make a difference not only help improve the world around you, but they can help improve your mental health. Breaking down that overwhelming sense of hopelessness to action and giving back helps you feel more in control.