Building Kindness This Holiday Season
This week I have been thinking a lot about kindness. The Thanksgiving celebration was wonderful for us this year. I am now anticipating the season of lights and giving. I think that with all the crowds and people gathering together being a little kinder may be one way to combat stress. I actually looked up what the word kindness meaning. It means doing something without expecting anything in return. It is probably easier than a lot of things to improve your health. I have found that kindness and empathy go hand and head. I picked a child's name for Christmas and thought about the family of that child. I thought that buying the Christmas gifts was the very least that I could do this holiday season. Simple acts of kindness can really change other people's lives.
I have found that kindness and empathy go hand an hand. One quote that always meant a lot to me was "If you want to change the world start with yourself." That is really true. If everyone was just a little kinder to others the world might really start to change. People are really just people. Pay attention to how you treat others. Did you react too quickly? If this happens just take a pause. See it their way. If the situation was reversed how would you feel?
Have you ever thought about how the act of kindness affects your own health? It has been found in studies that being kind to others can lift you up as much as eating a healthy meal. Two feel good hormones are released called oxytocin and dopamine. It also lowers the bad for you cortisol. Now that you know how good kindness is for you here are some things that you may want to do!
Volunteer at a church or organization once a month. I love volunteering for the Salvation Army but there are also, churches, a program at the Y, or The Ronald McDonald House.
Donate a small sum of money each month to a cause you believe in.
Buy a gift card and give it to a stranger.
Let someone in front of you at the grocery.
Hand out blankets to the homeless.
Another thing that you shouldn't do is neglect yourself this holiday season. Things are chaotic around the Holidays and you could become stressed. Another group of people who are stressed are health care providers and caretakers. Try to protect yourself from a type of kindness burnout. Here are some tips for self-care.
Take breaks often
Exercise, meditation, yoga
Take a walk outside
Listen to music
Make time for holidays
On your off-days try to actually rest
Work a puzzle
Eat a special meal
Get a manicure