World Kindness Day can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but we like to interpret it as a day to be kind not just to others, but also to yourself. As the old saying goes, doing good feels good, and it’s true that thinking about others often makes us feel better about ourselves.
To help celebrate November 13th, here are five ways to share kindness with those around you.
It’s been scientifically proven that smiling not only makes the person doing it happier, but also the people around them happier, too. Even just smiling for thirty seconds can improve your mood and make you feel more positive and optimistic. For such a simple expression it can have huge impact on your and everyone else’s day, so why not make a conscious effort to smile on November 13th? It may even catch on and be infectious to everyone else in your life.
One of the simplest and more direct ways of giving back to others on November 13th is to donate money to your favorite charity. There is a plethora of them out there to choose from: hospitals, animal rescue shelters, domestic abuse shelters, food kitchens, and countless others. Pick one that resonates with you, and then donate what you can.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t have a lot to give: every little bit helps, and the truth is that in our economy most of us our just an emergency away from taking out a new credit card or auto title loan to survive.
This is such a simple concept that most of us never even think about it, but this World Kindness Day, take a minute and just ask a family member or friend if they need help. Run to the store, watch their child while they work, fix a leaky pipe, clean the house: everyone’s life is busy, and even just running a quick chore for a friend could unburden their whole day.
While we usually only think to give gifts twice a year on birthdays and Christmas, gifts are always appreciated by those receiving them. As the old saying goes, it’s the the thought that counts, so don’t just run to the store and grab the most expensive thing off the shelf. Really take a minute and think about what the recipient of the gift needs, what’ll make their life easier, what’ll make them smile. That kind of gift is the one worth giving.
Often we’re so much kinder to other people than we are to ourselves without even realizing. We’re far more judgmental, much less forgiving, and our inner-talk can be astoundingly hostile. Take a minute out of your day to listen to how you talk to yourself, and you may be surprised by just how harsh and judgmental it is. Just as bad, we tend to push ourselves harder than we do our friends and be far less understanding of failure.
This November 13th, be kind to yourself. Do you need a day off? A spa day? A mental health day? Too often we overwork our bodies and minds and don’t provide them the break and chance to recuperate they need.