Written by contributing blogger, Daniela Forte.
Kindness towards others is not a hard thing, it’s actually rather simple. Hold a door for someone, help someone with their groceries, buy someone a cup of coffee, read to child. All of these acts are acts of kindness.
This month will forever be ingrained in my mind as two years ago a friend of mine ended his life. Did people know he was struggling? Probably. Did they try to find out why? Yeah. But I doubt anyone knew he’d take his life. These days when I hear about suicide or people struggling with depression and/or anxiety, my heart truly aches for them. I suffer from both myself so I understand how you can have those really dark days, where the light at the end of the tunnel is out of reach.
Kindness has come to me though. With the support of my friends and family, the kindness of new people I have met along the way or people who have returned to restore my faith in forgiveness and love.
I remember the day it happened like it was yesterday, it’s usually the case when a tragedy strikes. Most people like to forget, but in cases like this one, you must remember and celebrate the person, because they didn’t celebrate themselves in the end.
So how can we be kinder? Here is what we can do:
Volunteer Your Time: To an organization that you feel you can really make a difference by doing so. I recently started volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association for their annual walk event in honor of my grandmother. Find stuff like that, where your time makes a difference in another person’s life.
Call a Friend: Life can get pretty hectic and sometimes even monotonous. But take five to 10 minutes out of your day and call or text a friend to see how they’re doing. You may be the only one that does.
Pass it Forward: If someone shows kindness towards you, pass it on to the next. Someone buy you a coffee? Buy someone else one the next one. A small act such as this one could make someone else’s day.
Send a Card or a Letter: I wish people still wrote letters! I love them so! Beautiful stationary, authentic handwriting, love it! But it’s hardly done anymore with the advent of emails. And cards are usually sent on special occasions, not just because. Also! If you battle with depression and anxiety, take a half-hour and start writing letters to people in your life telling them why you are grateful for them. It cuts the anxiety and makes the other person feel good! Trust me, it works!
Start a Positive-Themed Group on Facebook: I am part of a group called, “Today I am Grateful For…” this group was started by someone I went to high school with where each day we tell the group three things we’re grateful for. It is aimed at creating a habit of being grateful for things that happen in our day.
To Yourself: Ahh… this is the tricky one. We can so easily beat ourselves with negativity that we forget to treat ourselves with kindness. Take a lavender salt bath, buy yourself your favorite meal or drink. Go shopping and get a new outfit. Take a day trip to something you really wanted to see. Do something that makes you happy. Because no matter what is happening around you, it’s all about what you think about yourself.
Cook for Your Family: My grandfather misses my grandmother’s lasagna. She doesn’t cook anymore so some of his favorite dishes she used to make just doesn’t happen. One Sunday, my mother, my brother and I made him lasagna. Sundays are best days for this, but even some weeknight cooking to help you and your family get through the week.
Read to Children at Your Local Library or Independent Bookstore: See if your local library or bookstore has story time and see if you can read to children. Great way to meet new people too!
And lastly… Smile: There was a day several weeks ago, where I was in my car bawling my eyes out. It had been such a bad day. I am visibly crying not thinking about who might be looking at me. I turned to my right and there was a person just smiling at me. I stopped crying and smiled back.
image source – pixabay