For kids, nothing is better than a summer vacation. Finally, they get a break from schoolwork, can enjoy fun outdoor activities, hang out with friends, and stay up late. This year, however, summer is different than it’s ever been before.
COVID-19 has cast a shadow on the regular plans of many families. Movie theaters are closed, malls are open but with special rules and many kids’ camps have been canceled or have moved to Zoom, which is a nice idea but really not the same.
So what can kids do this summer to fill up their free time?
Giving back and volunteering are excellent ways to fill the void created by COVID-19. There are so many benefits of giving back, both physical health benefits and emotional ones.
Here are the top 5.
The Top 5 Benefits of Giving Back to the Community
A 2016 study suggests that the current way of achieving happiness — which is focusing on oneself – is not correct. In a 6-week longitudinal study that observed nearly 500 participants, researchers found that people who focused on themselves did not report increased happiness, but those who focused on others did. In other words, if you want to be happy, help someone else out.
Studies have shown that the act of giving activates the area of the brain associated with positive feelings, which in turn helps manage stress and keep it at bay. While you may think kids have nothing to stress about, think again. Being out of a routine, being in the midst of a pandemic, and not being able to do the things they usually do can all lead to stress, though young children may not know how to express it. Giving back is a healthy, positive way to relieve that stress.
Connection with Others
Kids who volunteer can expand their social circles and connect to others who share similar interests or passions. Real connections are especially important during an age when kids are used to communicating via some form of technology as opposed to in-person. And they are even more important when COVID-19 has necessitated social distancing and other forms of isolation.
Giving back to the community can naturally increase self-confidence and self-esteem as a result of the good work you’re doing. But the thing about these feelings is that they don’t only remain when you’re actually volunteering — they stick with you through the day, the week, through various other things so that you feel good about yourself more often.
Volunteering has been shown to decrease blood pressure and reduce mortality. While these may not sound like they apply to kids, volunteering when you’re young can create good habits for the future.
5 Ways For Kids to Give Back This Summer
1. Seniors –
If your kids can’t physically go to a nursing home due to health concerns, they can call up and get a list of elderly residents who would enjoy getting a friendly phone call once or twice a week. Just a few minutes of conversation can make someone’s day!
2. Neighbors –
If you have teenage kids, they can offer to help the neighbors by watching their kids, cooking meals, or taking their dog for a walk.
3. Friends & family –
Young children can draw pictures and mail them to friends and family, both near and far, who they don’t get to see as often as they used to.
4. Environment –
Go to your local park or even the beach and pick up garbage that has been left there. If your kids are young, they will need supervision, but teens can do this on their own.
5. Animals –
Volunteer at a local animal shelter. Animals are not only cute but caring for them can be therapeutic for kids of all ages.
There’s No Downside to Giving Back
With all the benefits and the many options (even during COVID-19!), there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by finding a way to give back. In fact, volunteering and performing acts of altruism can be what transforms your kids’ summer from a total bust to a totally enriching experience.
When your kids are happy, we don’t need to tell you how happy you’ll be. As a family that is made up of contributing, happy members of society, you can enjoy a high quality of life, including lower rates on life insurance. The way it works is that the happier and healthier you are, the better rates you get on life insurance, and your family certainly plays a role in your happiness.
Sproutt insurance advisors are available to help you determine what kind of life insurance is best for you. Simply answer a few questions and we will find the best-value plan for your lifestyle, needs, and budget.