On day 9 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I explored giving blood, an activity that supports the systemic and relational dimensions of self-care.
I hate to admit it, but giving blood is something I usually only think about when I drive past a bloodmobile. I think to myself, “I really need to give blood,” but rarely give it another thought until — you guessed it, until I see another bloodmobile.
The simple act of giving blood can save lives. In fact, just one pint of blood (roughly one pound) can save 3 lives. Most of us can spare a pound, right? And those who give regularly, waiting at least 8 weeks between whole blood donations, could save 18 lives a year.
Yesterday I decided to stop looking at the bloodmobiles and finally donate. It was simple and I was done in under an hour. The staff said they expected to collect about 10 pints over a 3-hour period–that’s 30 lives!
“It feels good to give” is the slogan used by the American Red Cross. They’re right: It certainly does. The act of giving (blood or otherwise) doesn’t just benefit the receiver. Giving connects us with other people in a special way.
To learn more about eligibility requirements and other guidelines for giving blood, click here.