The holiday season brings its own special challenges for people who have a tendency to over shop and over spend. Advertising bombards us to go out and spend money! It’s almost impossible to avoid these ads as they are on TV, in the newspaper, and they show up in your email and newsfeeds throughout the day.
Practice mindful shopping. I could tell you to “make a list” of the people you need to buy presents for and set a budget, but I’m sure you’re already aware of that. I think it’s important to realize that where you spend your money matters. When you shop with local merchants, as opposed to large chain stores, you are supporting your neighbors and directly impacting your local economy.
Personally, I like to donate to small organizations that are helping to change the world. Here’s are three that I think are doing very important work:
1. Acupuncturists Without Borders. AWB’s mission is “to interrupt the devastating effects of trauma by reducing suffering and helping individuals and communities find greater balance and resiliency.” I know firsthand the healing power of acupuncture. AWB brings groups of acupuncturists, like myself, to people who have gone through natural disasters, as in the recent Northern California fires, or who have escaped from childhood sexual slavery in Tibet, or are living in a refugee camp in Greece. These people, who live with conflict, poverty and social injustice as a way of life, are given a time of calm in the midst of their loss and chaos.
2. Malala Fund. Co-founded by one of my heroes, Malala Yousafzai, and her father, the Malala Fund works tirelessly to give every girl access to a “free, safe, quality education.” That right is by no means guaranteed in many parts of the world, and to me it’s one of the most fundamental building blocks for a healthy life for girls, their families, and their communities.
3. Genneve. While genneve isn’t a non-profit like the others, its mission is still an important one – helping women in midlife find solutions to health concerns and thrive during these most vibrant years. We have so many resources for women in their reproductive years, but there’s very little information to navigate the challenges of menopause, and genneve is working to change that.