This year has taken a toll on us. Some of us have been a bit luckier in handling changes and some had to struggle. Some day more some days less. So I believe we should be spreading some kindness these days and give each other a break. I mean who needs to encounter grumpy people while running errands in an already stressful time? Who needs to be pushed around more when already fulfilling a job that is tough these days. Who knows what friends and family really go through on a daily basis trying to handle everything life and 2020 has thrown at us. So I made a list with 10 things to spread some kindness because we sure can use a lot of it today, tomorrow and in general in this world we live in.
It’s never a bad thing walking around with a friendly face and smile at people. Because smiles are contagious as research suggests. A Swedish study shows that it is hard to keep a grumpy face when you look into smiling faces. It triggers our mirror neurons triggering your own smile. But what exactly happens in our brain you might wonder. When our brains feel happy, endorphins are produced and neuronal signals are transmitted to your facial muscles to trigger a smile. This is the start of the positive feedback loop of happiness.
But what if you are alone and no one is there to smile at you or for you to smile at. Well the brain can be tricked. Ever tried the pencil trick? Hold a pencil with your teeth – it’s the same muscle movement as smiling and the brain is triggered to produce endorphins. I can assure you it works especially when you look in a mirror.
So there really is no reason to walk around grumpy. And if you tell me know we are all wearing a mask when around people – and I sure hope you do – you can see a smile in the eyes so do not dismiss it so easily.
If you are a fellow blogger you know the feeling of receiving one of those rare comments on the blog. It’s not what it used to be so they are even more precious. But also on social media posts. So take the time and leave a comment when you read something you like. It will make the other person happy to know the message was received. The post had someone touched maybe even smiled or supported in some way. It really is that easy to spread some kindness. And it doesn’t cost a thing.
3. Write a letter
How often to you walk to the mail box a week, a month and only find advertisements and bills there. How fun would it be to get a letter with some real personal content? So go ahead and write some lovely notes to friends, family and neighbors. Leave some positive vibes, start a conversation or just let them know your are thinking of them even when you are nota able to see and visit in person right now. And to make it a bit more fun why not use some colorful envelope.
4. Leave lovely notes in the neighborhood
You have probably seen those notes on lamp post where you can take a slip of paper to either call for a lost cat or for a tutor. You may have also seen the ones where you can take a slip of some kind gesture. Why don’t you make an own version and hang them up in the neighborhood. Possible items could be:
- Take a smile
- Receive a hug
- Share some laughter
- A pad on your shoulder
- A compliment
5. Leave a treat
How is work currently going for you? Are you in your home office? Or maybe you rotate in your office to keep exposure to your colleagues to a minimum. You probably haven’t seen the face of your favorite co-worker for some time then. So leave a treat on the desk. It lets them know you miss them. It makes them feel happy and less alone when coming to an empty office and it connects you. And also it’s a good start into any work day no matter what will hit you or how much focus you need.
6. Give your place
Have your ever been in a hurry because you were late to a meeting, you need to get something done fast because people are waiting on you or you just had a stressful day and you just want to get home to sit on the couch and maybe cry a bit. How bad does it feel to be cut in traffic, having to queue forever just to get this one item or having to stand on the rather long commute. I am sure you know the feeling. So way not spread some kindness and give people your place for once. Maybe you are having a joyful day and the extra few seconds don’t hurt you today.
7. Be kind to nature
Being kind to people is what we first think of when talking about kindness. But our street, our city and Mother Earth also deserve some kindness. When you are outside pick up the extra trash and put it in a bin. Also think about what else you can tweak in your daily life to be a bit more kinder to our planet. If you need inspiration you might find this article “Living sustainable without effort“.
8. Support a charity
With the pandemic and the winter coming lots of charities are especially struggling. People tend to keep their money together and the poorest of the poor and the most stricken ones are left alone. If you can spare some extra cash give it and if you don’t maybe you can find some time to donate. Or if that is not possible because you have to take care your kids at home maybe you can share some of the charities and support them this way. I will again participate in the “Christmas in a Shoebox” Charity with an afternoon packing boxes with my sister. Also I will pack a little box to make some child happy for Christmas. It’s not much but it is something. And maybe I will find something else to support too.
9. Be a light
Maybe you live in a neighborhood were people are walking by and see your windows. Maybe your street is dark and uninviting. Put a light in your window and spread a bit of coziness, of light in darkness and some homey feeling. I bet it will make a positive imprint on people passing by.
10. Be kind to yourself.
Notice how you speak to yourself. Are you using kind words or could you be a bit more friendly to yourself. We tend to be our worst critics and the way we talk to each other is often really horrible. I often catch myself talking down on me, nit trusting that I will get something done and believing it will be for nothing – without even trying. Rather stupid, no. So let’s be kind to yourself so you can be kinder to others.
Those 10 things to spread some kindness really don’t sound so difficult to integrate in our lives, don’t you think. I am for sure trying to remember more of it for the days to come, when it gets more hectic with the holidays on the horizon and the loneliness creeping in with the pandemic in full swing. I admit I am often a grumpy face and especially the first tip here is for me. Do you have anything to add to this list? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.
Happy kindness spreading