Wednesday, November 3, 2010

getting well sooner

Life isn't easy. And no matter how much I try to focus on the positive and wear a smile on my face, it sometimes gets the best of me. But there are things that can be done to feel better, and they don't necessarily require family and friends (though they certainly can).
Today I read an article that discussed What You Get from Giving. It's an older one, published in 2007, that still managed to impress me with it's somewhat mature findings. Ready for this? "Blissful karmic payoff" also known as altruism. What's most amazing is that "it's more often the giver - not the receiver - who reaps the biggest payback."
The take-away, say scientists, amounts to much more than a passing feel-good moment: It's literally your health that stands to gain. In one study of 2,000 people conducted at the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, California, those who volunteered for two or more organizations had a whopping 44 percent lower likelihood of dying compared with those who didn't -- and that's after adjusting for other factors such as health, exercise, and marital status. Volunteering even beat out exercising four times a week (30 percent) and going to religious services (29 percent) when it came to promoting longevity. Another study of 427 women found that those who did any kind of volunteering had better physical functioning 30 years later. Next to quitting smoking, giving is the best possible thing you could do for your health -- making virtue truly its own reward.
That's not to say, of course, that we should give back simply to get back. Yet I do think it brings a whole 'nother motivational dimension to doing good.
Make generosity a part of every day with me, won't you? Here's how you can help:

My darling friend, Chrissie, is working for the fundraising department at American Cancer Society and thus will be a busy bee at the ING NYC Marathon on Sunday, November 7th. I will also be there by 11 a.m., volunteering my time, cheers, and ability to distribute refreshments at 73rd Street and 1st. We ask that you please volunteer as well. It'll be a fun and inspiring event and I promise you won't regret it! All you have to do is fill out this form

Another friend of mine, Amanda, is working at NYU Medical Center. She is overseeing their National Memory Screening Day in association with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. On that day, Tuesday, November 16th, you will be able to get a free memory screenings and evaluations from 10am-4pm at 145 East 32nd St. It'll be easy, pleasant, and your participation will be greatly appreciated for research purposes! To do so, please contact her directly at (212) 263-8548 or

And last but most definitely not least, Kailey, the lovely friend that she is, needs your vote. She is applying to become Sunglass Hut's FULL TIME FABULOUS Fashion Blogger. When she wins, (and she should), she'll be relocated to New York to report on the hottest of fashions and rock the Sunglass Hut brand in every way possible. Please vote for her here! She is made for this position and deserves it more than you know.
In the words of bioethicist (and author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Stephen Post, Ph.D., "Give a little every single day, and you'll live a happier, healthier, and longer life." I am so ready to continue on that path.

And while being kind, thoughtful, and philanthropic with others, we mustn't forget to provide ourselves with that same treatment. Today I finished a novel, enjoyed a free pilates class, and savored a glass of yogi champagne. It's been a much better day, and with patience, there'll be many more to come. Tomorrow, I'll be working in the city. Yes, working. It's only temporary and project-based, but it's a job in a new and fabulous environment. More details to come :).

Words by D. Alvarez, Photos by D. Alvarez & K. Ottomanelli


  1. congrats on the job girly! im still on the lookout for one.. hope it will be easier to find one once im up there

    gonna try to make it out to cheering on the runners too !! :)

  2. Yay, which job? email me at for updates! I am so happy for you!

    I really wish I could be there to celebrate the marathon and all the charities involved this weekend...but sadly (well, its good too...) I have to meet up with former bosses this weekend (why I am missing foodbuzz).

    Also, I truly believe giving is good for the soul...often the little things we do are the most significant.

    miss you girlie.

  3. Shannon, Tropical Eats: Don't congratulate me yet, nothing's concrete :). I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you too though! Hope to see you this weekend!

    claire: I am emailing you soooooon! Very true, very true. Good luck and miss you too. (I like rhyming).

  4. Great post, Danielle. Very moving. So flattered you chose my photos! Let's get together soon! Love, Katie O.


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