Affordable Ways of Inspiring Cheer
Epigenetic research and modern medicine support the claim that laughter is often the best medicine. Research has shown that individuals with a deeper sense of happiness possess lower levels of inflammatory gene responses and higher levels of antiviral gene responses.
Happy individuals typically possess healthier blood fat profiles, lower blood pressure, and a stronger immune system. The Tutu Project helps individuals cope with life threatening diseases and funds research through awareness campaigns built upon laughter.
If you know someone who is suffering with a life threatening illness, there are easy and affordable ways to inspire love and cheer. As Sarah Dessen so simply put it, “The best gifts are from the heart, not the store.”
A heart shaped box of chocolates is always a guaranteed success. Of course, a personalized jar of your friend’s favorite candy is the best way to uplift their spirits and give them a reason to cheat that diet. For a real DIY approach, decorate an ordinary cardboard box out with heart shaped cutouts or stickers that really shows your effort and dedication. Gifting someone with their favorite sweets shows just how sweet you really are.
A Live Performance
Whether you’re a musician, a theatre major, or a magician, providing an impromptu live performance for a friend is about one of the most hilarious gift ideas out there. Often, the worse the musician the better the gift. Of course, you can always search online for open mics or live entertainment happening in your area and treat a friend to something that will have them going out and letting loose. There are even apps that will let you bring the live entertainment right to your doorstep.
There are literally weird holidays for everyday of the year. September 6th is read a book day, which is appropriately followed by national salami day the next day. Celebrating weird holidays always produce fun and creative ideas for projects, wardrobes, and activities to fill your day with joy.
An impromptu sticky note on a mirror or on someone’s calendar with a loving or inspirational message is enough to truly leave someone brimming with joy. The best part of this gesture is that it’s left as a silent bond between two friends. Show someone they are not alone in their affliction with a note that tells them how much you really care.
Bake a Cake
The best gifts come from the heart and not the bakery! Bake your own cake or cupcakes and deliver it to someone’s house or hospital bed. If you’re not a baker, you can always treat a friend to some ice cream. On the second thought, ice cream is better.
As people, we want to listen to music and discuss books we are familiar with. Open up your horizons and consider sharing a favorite book of yours with someone and reading their favorite book. When finished, you guys can discuss your favorite characters and plot devices for hours on end. (Hint: You can even listen to e-books on comfortable headphones for a really relaxing experience.)
Crack open a soda, bring a bag of popcorn, and enjoy a movie night marathon with a friend in need. Let them pick the movie or the genre and coordinate on different movie ideas to entertain you both. Spending time with someone with an illness is enough to provide cheer and show your support. A movies also serves a great distraction for any stress they may be dealing with in their lives as a result of terrible illness.
Invite someone to a cookout and make them one of their favorite dishes. Allow them to invite their own guests and host some games or activities that will leave the party entertained. If nothing else, surprising someone with takeout from one of their favorite restaurants will certainly result in some excitement.
This one is simply a classic. Aside from impressing a date, bringing flowers to someone at a hospital bed or sending out a surprise delivery to someone at work is guaranteed to brighten up their day. While pretty traditional, they serve as a constant and beautiful reminder of your support for their cause.
Sometimes inspiring cheer doesn’t need to resemble a grand act of giving or appreciation, it could simply be achieving tranquility. Sunlight is very therapeutic and has been found to produce serotonin, which greatly affects mood. Take an impromptu walk, go on a scavenger hunt, or fish; the possibilities are endless.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Happiness is the gift that keeps on giving and spreading joy to someone else will leave you with a feeling of joy. You don’t need to buy a fancy car or new phone to bring someone cheer. Gifts run far beyond antiquated traditions, but represent our emotional intelligence and interconnectivity as a community. There is an equal joy in giving as there is recieving.
Marcela Shine is Founder of Avanzar Ventures, Business Manager of The Tutu Project and an advisor to the Carey Foundation. Her company, Avanzar Ventures, has been supporting the project by providing operational, social media and technical implementation strategy since the inception of the project.