Life has a way of stressing us out, doesn’t it? Maybe I am the only one, but too often I feel rushed and running behind, despite my best efforts to be organized and efficient.
Luckily, even though the holidays are busy and the preparation can be stressful, it seems to be a time of year for additional kindness. As much as you might feel like you need a vacation in Mexico to truly relax, spreading the holiday cheer throughout the year can bring happiness and reduce stress everyday. Here are some ideas, many of which cost little or nothing:
- Hold the door for someone coming behind you.
- Smile and say hello.
- Help someone struggling with packages, children or pets. Or all three :-)
- Donate. Give to the kids bagging the groceries for a fundraiser, the people ringing the bell, the tip jar at the soup or coffee bar. There is always someone who is in true need and showing your appreciation to service folks feels good.
- Cut up fruit, make a coffee cake, make brownies and bring it to work, school or anywhere you want to share your love and/or appreciation with others.
- Let someone in during your commute. Does it really matter if you are one more car ahead?
- Help out an overwhelmed parent; invite the children to your house for a play date.
- Help out an overwhelmed parent (maybe one with a sick parent, a new baby, an illness) and offer to drive a child to or from school or an activity.
- Donate a meal to a family in need of food, money or time.
- Cuddle with the kids and read a book or watch a special show.
- Tell those in your life how much you love them and appreciate them.
- Volunteer. At church, a senior event, a school, a community event, an animal shelter – anywhere. Just do it and you might be surprised when you benefit the most.
- Show mercy. Give someone the benefit of the doubt, forgive someone for being short with you, hug someone who needs it.
- Take a few moments to reflect on your blessings. Gratitude is a powerful force.
Wishing you peace, joy and love!