During the busy festive season, it can be challenging to find ways to practice kindness. It’s so easy to be in a rush to get everything done – the last of the Christmas shopping, the wrapping, the food and drinks for the Christmas feast, etc, etc. … We’re all busy, busy, busy. In our haste, it can be easy to forget to say please, thank you and Merry Christmas.
It’s at this time of the year that I’m grateful I don’t work in retail any more. I had my own retail business for 5 years and also worked as a Christmas casual for a few years. Spare a thought for the retail workers during the Christmas season. This is their busiest time of the year and most of them are just trying to do their best to help you. They’re working extra-long hours, so they’re tired and frazzled, just like you. Believe me, not everyone has the Christmas spirit while they’re Christmas shopping!
That brings me to the concept of kindness. Do you practice kindness? It costs nothing, but it means a lot to the person receiving it.
Kindness starts with being kind to yourself.
Here’s some tips to help us all practice kindness during this somewhat stressful season.
Be kind to yourself …
- Be positive – don’t buy into the stress and negativity
- Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing
- Smile at every opportunity
- Meditate daily
- Eat healthy food
- Get plenty of sleep
- Take some time out for yourself – even if it’s just a few minutes a day
- Do what makes your heart sing – It might be to dance, sing, paint, read – try to find the time
- Try something you’ve always wanted to try
- Let go of things you can’t change
Be kind to others …
- Pay it forward – help someone and expect only that they will help another
- Volunteer in the community – schools community groups always need help
- Express gratitude for what you have
- Acknowledge someone when they do a good job
- Visit an aged care facility – have morning or afternoon tea and a chat
- Buy your fruit and veggies at a Farmer’s Market – support local and organic growers
- Fundraise for or donate to a worthy cause
- Recycle unwanted items – give things you don’t need any more to charity
- Offer to help people who look lost
- Become an organ donor and/or give blood
- Grow flowers or vegetables and share them with your neighbours and friends
While I already do some of these things, making this list has reminded me that I could be doing more to express kindness to those around me.
I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotes…
“Be kinder than you need to be because everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”
Got some suggestions to add to this list of ways to practice kindness? Please post them in the comments box below.
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