Hicham Aboutaam COVID helping

Hicham Aboutaam of Phoenix Ancient Art on Helping Those Who Help Us

After over a year of battling COVID-19, we can all acknowledge that it’s been a difficult time. And while we aren’t out of the woods yet, we are certainly at a better place than we were a year ago. Now the question, of course, is how to move forward. One way that many people recommend dealing with our fears, worries and instability is—ironically—to look outside ourselves. Research has shown that altruism is great for your wellbeing. It allows you to see beyond your own difficulties and to feel good about helping others.

But where to begin? Certainly, you can be altruistic on as small or large a scale as works for you. Here are a few ideas that can help you to get started, and to think about ways to get out of your own head and into helping others.

  1. Give of your time: When you start looking for those who could use your help, you will probably very quickly see things you hadn’t previously noticed. Do you have a friend or neighbor who might need 30 minutes away from their baby to get to the store? Could you write a handwritten card to send to someone who lost a loved one and tell them you’re thinking of them? Could you send someone flowers?
  2. Give of your money: This year, front line healthcare workers have obviously been at the absolute forefront of helping the rest of us. One organization that we at Phoenix Ancient Art have chosen to support is called First Responders First. This initiative from the Harvard T. C. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global and the CAA Foundation has worked tirelessly to physically and mentally support America’s healthcare workers this year. Donations have provided essential supplies and equipment for workers, but also accommodations, childcare and food as needed.  Mental health support is also being offered, and is vitally important to the continued wellbeing of our healthcare workers. 
  3. Give of your skills: Think about the skill set that you have and consider how you might use that to help others. If you are a lawyer or accountant, you might be able to help neighbors, friends and acquaintances with issues they are having; or you might be able to volunteer at a clinical or other location. If you’re an artist or musician, perhaps you can visit a hospital or an assisted living facility and bring them joy through your art. There are so many ways to help others, and you may not even have considered how the skills you have could aid and lift others in their time of need.

Certainly, this is not an inclusive list, but it’s a start. Looking back on this difficult year, we are honored to say that we were able to contribute to First Responders First and do our part to help the medical community. One year from now, what will you say you are proud to have done with your time, money or skills this year?