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Volunteer, mentor, donate: Three ways to stay positive during the recession

During these difficult economic times, we need positive ways to reduce stress and make ourselves feel good. One way to rejuvenate your spirit is through volunteer work.  If you feel overwhelmed with all of the things that are already on your plate, instead of thinking of volunteer work as "just one more thing to do," follow these three steps to help you to jumpstart your volunteer spirit.


Day one: write down a skill or talent that you would like to share with a charity.


Day two: contact that organization and ask how your skills can be used to benefit their clients or mission.


Day three: if they are not interested, then choose another organization and inquire again. If they are interested, then follow up on the response that they shared with you.


These three steps will lead you to an organization that will welcome your initiative and benefit from you service. Plus, you'll feel great about lending your talents and expertise.


Another way to keep an upbeat attitude is through mentoring. This is a perfect way to feel emotionally, physically and mentally energized while helping someone to enhance their life. Is there someone in your organization who could use professional support or guidance from you? Do you know a young person in your community who could use an adult as a role model?  Mentoring is an excellent way to add meaning to people's lives in a simple and practical way.


Donate. Yes, it may sound awkward to request that people make charitable gifts during a recession. However, some people are financially fortunate, and in spite of losing money during this economic downturn, they may have enough overflow to still share with others less fortunate than themselves. If that describes your financial situation, then please find someone or some organizations in your community who will benefit from your generosity.


Just remember V-M-D and you will have three different ways to pump up your spirits during, and long after, the recession.