February 9-15, 2015 was International Random Acts of Kindness Week. Their website is packed with great ideas on how to celebrate, and I especially love the approach of committing a random act of kindness for three different people:
- Someone you don’t know
- Someone you know
These are pretty simple and can quickly become a habit. (That’s a good thing!)
Someone you don’t know
Smile. When you’re in a depressingly long line at the bank, watching a parent deal with their toddler’s public meltdown, or sitting next to another car in traffic. A kind grin goes a long way when you’re feeling a bit hopeless about the daily hassles in life.
Someone you know
Take a moment to think about who in your life may be a little touch-deficient. Maybe you know someone who is recently widowed, a single parent with older children, or a new empty-nester. Maybe even a young teenager in an especially introverted stage of awkwardness.
Make it a point to touch someone. It could be a warm hand shake, high-five, or great hug, whatever is appropriate for that person and situation. Touch is shown to make us happier and healthier, and it benefits both you and the receiver!
People depend on you, so it’s important to take care of yourself. If you’ve only got a few minutes, steal away and flip through a great magazine. If you can set aside some more time, get a massage (schedule now), go for a walk by yourself to recharge, or window shop at your favorite mall.
Kindness doesn’t have to cost you anything, and it doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. All little goes a long way!