12 Ways to Share Kindness and Warm Up the World This Winter
By Ashley Geist, LPC, NCC, M.S.Ed.
It’s so easy to get swept up in to-do lists, commitments, and worries this time of the year. One of the quickest ways to change our points of view and improve well-being is to practice generosity and foster a sense of contribution in our communities. Read on for 12 wonderful ways to share love and kindness with others and improve the world for us all.
1. Share the Gift of Time
Do you know of anyone who struggles to leave their home or is lonely? Is there an organization in your community that might welcome an hour or two of cheerful volunteering? Even amid our busyness, most of us can find an hour to contribute. Even lingering a bit longer over a cup of coffee with an elderly friend or neighbor, could make a world of difference.
2. Share the Gift of Talent
Do you organize, sing, or build amazing birdhouses? Whatever we are good at, there are ways to share that talent with others and to use our gifts to do good in the world. We can use our theatrical skills to read stories to children, or our accounting skills to help support a non-profit or startup business. There is no end to the possibilities.
3. Share the Gift of Abundance
Most of us in the developed world have more objects in our homes than we use or need. Unless we are just starting or practicing minimalism, many of us could easily find kitchen utensils, blankets, decorations, and other extras around our homes that might quickly become needed necessities for those setting up first homes or re-starting after struggle or tragedy. Simply sharing some of our extras with community groups, church supply drives, an individual, or second-hand stores can make a big difference.
4. Share the Gift of Affirmation
Who do you know, who is doing a great job at their work? Who do you know who is working hard at school or who provides an amazing service that you enjoy? Now is a great time of year to say extra words of thanks out loud or in writing. Thank your cashier for helping you today, note that your barista gives excellent service, thank a special teacher for working hard all year to support and guide children.
5. Share the Gift of Support
What are some small businesses that you enjoy, know of, or visit? Supporting a small business in your own community, or in another community, is a beautiful way to impact not only the owner, but the community the business resides in as well. If shopping for gifts this holiday season, consider what small businesses you might support as you tackle your shopping list.
6. Share the Gift of Experience
When we think about our lives, we often remember experiences and memories made with other people we care about, the most. Cook dinner for a friend or partner, host a game night, or plan an outing of skating and cocoa, or a movie night in with the kids. Experiences don’t have to be extravagant to be memorable. Whether it’s a date night or a neighborhood event, engage in a meaningful experience this holiday season.
7. Share the Gift of Relief
Who do you know needs a break? We’ve all been there, and hopefully we know how amazing it feels when a coworker, loved one, or friend reaches out to us with a simple act of kindness. It can mean the world to someone who is overwhelmed or feels unseen. Offer to provide an hour or two of caregiving services, pick up groceries for someone struggling with health problems, take a busy student out to dinner, or offer an evening of babysitting to a busy, single parent.
8. Share the Gift of Creativity
Sharing a unique skill such as baking, sewing, art, or writing creates one-of-a-kind gifts, experiences and memories. Who do you know, who might appreciate receiving a creative gift, or even sharing in the process or learning the creative art, themselves? Host an afternoon of baking or crafting to not only create something wonderful, but also make some special memories too!
9. Share the Gift of Community
Do you love to host or attend gatherings? Both hosting and attending gatherings, events, celebrations, or parties is a gift to those who welcome others and those who participate. The spaces in your community where you enjoy spending time, are made better by your presence. Consider participating in an event in your community, or hosting something if there is a lack of opportunity. Keep it simple with potluck or offer a simple game or craft, the focus should be on the gathering, not how extravagant the preparations are.
10. Share the Gift of Generosity
Financial gifts and contributions do NOT have to be large to make an impact. Carry spare change for the Salvation Army Kettles, pledge a small amount to a charitable organization, or share an extra-generous tip with a server or service provider, or participate in an Angel or Giving Tree at your local church or community group. Even a small generosity can make a big impact on someone’s day.
11. Share the Gift of Kindness
Being kind to others is fun, simple, and often low-cost or free. Spend some time thinking of unique ways to show kindness to someone you care about or have fun holding doors and sharing smiles with strangers. Wish someone a good day, return your cart to the store, or buy coffee anonymously for someone behind you in a drive-through.
12. Share the Gift of Love
Love comes in many forms. Take a moment to write a heart-felt note to a spouse, sibling, grandparent or friend. Call a relative just because, tell a former teacher or boss the impact they had on your life, or simply take extra time during the day to tell your family how much you love them.
Looking for more feel-good inspiration and mental wellness resources? Check out www.thesupportcircle.com, today!