A Cure for the Hectic Holidays

A Cure for the Hectic Holidays

Do you feel like you never have enough time? According to Dr. Kathleen Vohs, 47 percent of Americans say they are starved for time. It’s an epidemic she describes as a time famine. Feeling time-starved is linked with stress, insomnia, food cravings, less exercise, and all around bad decision-making. The busy holiday season can amplify the feeling that the day isn’t long enough.

So what can you do? Saying “no” is one option (though easier said than done). Or cut down on responsibilities (also unrealistic for most of us). While there’s no way to add an extra hour to your day, studies show there is a way to help you feel less time-starved: Give it away.

Volunteering and doings things for others expands your subjective experience of time. Researchers believe this is because it provides perspective, builds resilience and boosts competence.

Time isn’t the only thing you’ll gain from volunteering and helping others. Volunteering regularly will make you happier and healthier. As longevity expert Dan Buettner points out:

Volunteers tend to weigh less, to feel healthier, to have less chance of suffering a heart attack, and to score higher in every happiness domain.

If you are too busy to volunteer, it is a sign you will benefit from it all the more.

In addition to a holiday feast, have a time feast.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill

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