Monday, January 20, 2014

30 Ways To Be Kind

 
 
"Our job is not to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world, our job is to raise children who will make world a little less cruel and heartless." LR Knost
 
I was chatting to my favourite barista not long after new year and she informed me that her new years resolution was simply to practise more kindness.
 
How admirable is that?
 
I don't have any resolutions for this year, but I jumped on the idea of creating a list of ways to be kind - to ourselves AND our fellow man.
 
 
SO, WHAT IS KINDNESS?

Wikipedia describes kindness as:
 
"a behaviour marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions (see ethics in religion). Research has shown that acts of kindness not only benefit receivers of the kind act, but also the giver, as a result of the release of neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of contentment and relaxation when such acts are committed."

I love that last phrase - that in doing kind deeds to others, we ultimately bless ourselves and our mental health.

Like my happy barista, who encouraged me to consider the virtues of kind deeds, may I pass on the encouragement to make the world a happier, brighter place? Practice joy inducing, contagious, random acts of kindness where ever you can.

Why not challenge yourself to a 'month of kindnesses' by undertaking one of these 30 'good deeds' everyday. You will have formed a new habit, made people smile, and made yourself happier in the process. 


Being Kind To Yourself:
 

Get a massage

Write a love letter to yourself - telling yourself how much you appreciate all your great qualities and achievements

Leave a bad relationship

Cook your favourite dessert as a Saturday night, stay at home treat
 
Outsource jobs you hate - ironing, gardening, washing the car. Someone else can benefit from the added pocket money and responsibility, and you deserve a break!
 
Indulge in a couple of good magazines, lie in a garden or park on a lovely day and enjoy the relaxation!
 
Stay in bed an extra hour, or watch a movie in bed.
 
Start a new class in something you've always been interested in - Yoga? French? Sewing? Computers?

 
Being Kind To Our Families:


Hide notes of encouragement with a little gift of love in your children’s lunch boxes ie. A sticker or a small yo yo

Have a date day with your children – take them out of school for one day and dedicate it to whatever they would like to do most with you

Hold a birthday party for your child's favourite toy

Give your teenager a shoulder rub while you watch a movie together

Run a luxurious bubble bath for your partner – complete with glass of wine, candle and soft music.

Create a date night list (one friend I know made a pinterest board with 52 do-able local date options on it for each week of the year). Let your partner choose his/her favourites and do those.
 
 
Being kind to our communities:

 
Buy a box of doughnuts for a local football team after Thursday night practise

Write a letter of gratitude to an older person in your community who you believe has made a difference

Leave a magazine or book in your favourite café for others to read

Bring some homemade goodies to your workplace for morning tea

Create a ‘free vegie’ box in your favourite local café for people to leave/take or swap their home grown produce

Blow up balloons to hand out to children at your local childcare centre
 
Find out from your local real estate agent who is new in town and visit them with a basket of local produce and a list of services and contact numbers



Being kind to others:
 

By lottery tickets and hand them out randomly in the street

Offer to babysit for a friend for nix

Ask for forgiveness

Mow your neighbours lawn or bring their bins in

Create a ‘friend of the year award’. Do up a certificate or make a trophy for someone who has shown you particular support or love

Pick a massive bunch of flowers from your garden, or wildflowers where appropriate, and give them to a friend/your local shopkeeper/Doctor/ librarian – whoever !

Leave compliments and words of encouragement all over facebook for a day

Invite someone you don’t know so well for dinner or coffee

Leave a box of chocolates in the letter box of someone you appreciate


 
A little bit of kindness spreads a long, long way!
 

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