With so much suffering and loss in the world right now, many people feel helpless, like there’s nothing they can do to ease another’s pain. In fact, nearly 80% of people agree that when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak, it feels like there isn’t anything we can control, according to a Thrive Global survey of 5,000 Americans. The truth is, there’s more in our control than we realize. For one thing, we each have the power to give back to others in small ways that really make a difference. 

Not only is giving back transformative for the recipient, but giving is one of the most effective and proven ways to boost our own well-being. Knowing we are making a difference has a positive impact on both our physical health and mental well-being; it can even boost our motivation and resilience during times of hardship. 

And the opportunities to give our endless. For example, we can think local and contribute to a nearby food pantry, or take toilet paper or groceries over to an older neighbor’s house. We can also give back to others by offering them gratitude. Whether it’s sending a friend a supportive text message, or letting a fellow remote colleague know that we appreciate something they did, recognizing others for their work or friendship can boost morale and make us feel more connected. Spreading positivity can even be a way of giving back, as we all could use an extra dose of optimism and hope these days. 

Today, try giving back to others with one of the Microsteps below. Your well-being — and theirs — will feel the benefits. 

Right now, send a message to a neighbor or friend and ask how you can help them. This can put our stressors into perspective, and gives us a “helper’s high.”

When you come across something that makes you laugh, share it. Spreading humor and joy is a great way to transcend the challenges of this moment.

Today, make a list of someone to call, text, or FaceTime each day. Allocating a few minutes each day to call them will help you — and them — feel more connected.


  • Alexandra Hayes

    Content Director, Product & Brand, at Thrive

    Alexandra Hayes is a Content Director, Product & Brand, at Thrive. Prior to joining Thrive, she was a middle school reading teacher in Canarsie, Brooklyn.