I have met at least five people this week who have talked to me about their emotional pain. From dealing with family issues, work frustrations, financial struggles and life changing decisions. So many people are having a hard time. Everyone is fighting their own battles and yet what can we do? We can start with kindness to others and to ourselves.
The work I do is about helping people to live their best life and let go of fears and anxiety. I am sometimes unsure how to help those who I come across randomly and who haven’t specifically asked for my help.
Think about what helps you when you are having a bad day.
A kind word, an arm on your shoulder, a listening ear. It is the simple things that can ease the burden a little. Yes, we know that we live in difficult and divided times yet we still need each other, maybe now more than ever.
Last week I received some poor customer service that made my day about ten times worse. Though I didn’t publicly take any action I silently seethed and felt defeated.
This week I have had two examples of exceptional service. I encountered helpful and flexible people doing a great job, they went out of their way to help me to find solutions and solve problems. When we are having a bad day, a curt word or dismissive response can feel devastating. We are human and we carry with us an unseen amount of history–you might call it baggage.
So let’s think of a few things we can do to make life a little brighter for those around us and for ourselves.
Smile – corny I know, yet smiling, especially at strangers can have an immediate uplifting effect.
Talk to strangers and ask questions. I have met some incredible people just by chatting while in line. You might change their day or even their life.
Send a card or a letter, I have a friend who is great at this. Receiving something unexpected in the mail, that isn’t junk or a bill, can totally lift your mood.
Physically check in with people. We are so afraid of disturbing people we don’t realize how lovely it can be to have visitors.
Share or send a book that might be helpful.
Invite them to an event, a walk, a concert, a coffee, with no agenda other than you want to spend time with them.
Offer to help with something. Ask how you can help or if you see an area where a friend or neighbor is struggling, offer. Gestures such as cutting someone’s grass or picking up a child from daycare can be a lifesaver.
Pay it forward, however, wherever, whenever possible.
Pay a genuine compliment.
Treat yourself. It can be the simplest thing but do it just for you. Last weekend I rented a movie for $2.99 that no one else wanted to watch. I watched it alone. I didn’t have to justify my choice or encourage others why they would like it. If you are a people pleaser these tiny decisions and adjustments in behavior might seem strange at first.
Do a day without news or social media.
Think about your current problem and ask how much does this really matter? Many of us are stressing over things that if we were on our deathbed would seem insignificant.
Walk somewhere–it’s a beautiful world out there.
Daydream. I love to lay in bed and think of somewhere I want to visit or find a happy memory, it sets me up for a peaceful nights sleep.
Find a relaxing YouTube video. I recently attended a workshop on shamanic drumming, it was really trippy and I’ve since been listening to similar audio I’ve found online.
Stop being the savior — you cannot help everyone.
Practice saying no, when your heart tells you that is what you need to do.
Slow down and focus on one thing at a time where possible.
Ask for help, people often want to help but don’t know how to ask.
Wear comfortable clothes. This week I bought an item of underwear to be only worn in the house. I may I have reached peak slovenliness, yet working from home does not require the donning of an underwired bra.
Be still. Turn everything off and just be.
I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful do let me know what you do to share kindness to others and to yourself.