Holidays can make you feel funky, can't they? Maybe you are exhausted after scurrying from one event to the next, or perhaps the holidays are never what you imagine they should be. It's healthy to feel your feelings, but if you're looking for a shift, here are some things to try:
1. The next time you are out, give a genuine compliment to someone. It doesn't need to be about the way they look. Maybe how they're parenting or the way they treat a stranger. It could make a big difference that someone notices how they're living.
2. Next time you buy yourself a coffee or a tea out, purchase a small gift card and treat the next person in line or find someone else you want to bless.
3. Bring a meal to someone who's sick, post surgery, or post baby. A grocery bag of easy-to-eat snacks works wonderfully too. Don't want to intrude? Let them know you're leaving something on their porch and don't need to come in.
4. Call or visit someone who could use a friend. If no one is coming to mind, consider visiting a senior center.
6. Go on a walk and pick up trash along the way. A small section of road will make a big difference. (For you and the road.)
7. The next time someone comes to mind, send them a message or give them a call to let them know they are in your thoughts.
8. Go to a visit a friend or family member and try to listen, ask questions, and extend compassion to them without offering advice (unless explicitly asked).
9. Find a way to be involved in advocacy for a people group, animals, the environment, or a cause that speaks to you. If you can't give of your time and resources, you can still spread their message online.
10. Next time you are tempted to buy something you don't need, consider spending the amount of money you would have spent on a local organization that does good in your area. It doesn't matter if it's only five dollars.
You have likely picked up on the fact that all of these things have to do with others. But the title still applies. Studies show that doing things for others has a more powerful, long-lasting result on our happiness than spending time, money, or effort on ourselves.
Recent events have emphasized the importance of loving, advocating for, and being a safe place for the people around us. Even in small ways. The best part about doing small things in love, is that it's not just others who benefit — it's us too.
Did you try any of these? I would love to hear your stories!
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