The winter months can be overwhelming with the holidays but it is also a time to reflect. One school district takes the month of December to reflect on the social and emotional theme of generosity. Being generous does not have to come in a form of money. Generosity be shown as giving back to the community and volunteering. There are major health benefits as well when we give a gift or even help someone. Those benefits include your brain secreting “feel good” chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. These hormones are all made in the hypothalamus part of your brain. Serotonin helps to regulate your mood, Dopamine gives you a sense of pleasure and Oxytocin creates a sense of connection that can be made with others.

Think about a time that you may have needed help and someone reached out to lend a hand, how did that make you feel? If you have ever lent a helping hand to someone you know that needed it, how that that make you feel? Selfless acts can go a long way. There are different ways to give back. They may look like volunteering at your local food bank, walking a neighbor’s dog, running errands for an elder family member or helping a friend that may be struggling to down tasks around the house. Helping those in need whether it be an act of kindness or assisting financially, these actions can make a huge difference in individual’s lives.


Team, B. and S. (2023, January 5). Why giving is good for your health. Cleveland Clinic.

Professional, C. C. medical. (2022, February 23). Hormones: What they are, Function & Types. Cleveland Clinic.

Logan Elementary School (Ed.). (2022). Social Emotional Learning (SEL) / social emotional learning monthly themes. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) / Social Emotional Learning Monthly Themes. 

Written by: Nichole Storr, MHA, CMHS

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