The world feels like a crazy place these days. Sometimes it seems like we’ve completely lost our way. People are arguing in the grocery stores over masks. You can’t talk about politics without it turning into a heated debate. We still have COVID-19 cases surging across the country. Senseless acts of violence are happening more and more. It can feel like things are spinning out of control. I often wonder how we will recover, if we will recover and when we will recover. It’s quite possible we won’t ever have a ‘new normal’ because we’re living it right now.
So how can you find balance and stay positive when everything feels like it’s spinning out of control?
We have so many ways we can be kind to ourselves and one another. And it doesn’t cost a thing. Kindness can be an act toward another or it can be something you bestow upon yourself. It’s just simply being friendly, generous or considerate. We can literally change the world by starting with one person. You.
Kindness can decrease stress, increase happiness and improve your wellbeing. Even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference for others and you. Here are a few ways you can practice kindness toward others and it won’t cost you a thing:
- Smile at a stranger.
- Lend someone a hand if they need help.
- Call a friend or family member to let them know you’re thinking about them.
- Compliment someone.
- Ask an elderly neighbor if they need help with anything.
- Volunteer time at a nonprofit or in your community.
- Donate old books to a library or a school.
- Write and send a thank you note, gratitude letter or thinking of you card to someone.
- Donate clothing to a women’s shelter or Goodwill.
- Be courteous to a stranger by holding a door open, say “please” and “thank you” with a smile.
The last two years have been very stressful for all of us as we navigated the pandemic and political unrest. So many stressors have come at us with school closures and layoffs. It’s time to be kind to yourself. Having an awareness of your inner thoughts and how unkind we can be to ourselves is an important way to improving how we view the world. Here are a few ways you can practice being kind to yourself:
- Learn to calm your mind.
- Take time off for yourself.
- Stay true to your word.
- Embrace your courage and use it.
- Build up your inner advocate, break down the critic.
- Give yourself positive recognition for accomplishments that are big or small.
- Show yourself compassion.
- Set time aside for yourself and a hobby or passion.
- Take a minute or two each day to appreciate yourself (abilities, accomplishments, etc.).
- Be patient with yourself. It’s all a learning and growing process to be kind to yourself.
Be the change by starting with you. One thought and one action at a time. The best part is that being kind feels good. So go on, wave to someone on the street and show them your smile. It will brighten your day and theirs.