5 Intention-setting Ideas (per day!) to Express Kindness
Be Kind to Humankind Week!
I’m grateful for this annual worldwide celebration, that occurs the last week of August (starting 8/25), yet I also have to admit I wish it wasn’t necessary. My hope is that we are kind to each other every day!
Each day of this week has a focus, an area where you can practice kindness:
- 8/25: Thoughtful Thursday
- 8/26: Forgive Your Foe Friday
- 8/27: Speak Kind Words Saturday
- 8/28: Sacrifice Our Wants for Other’s Needs Sunday
- 8/29: Motorist Consideration Monday
- 8/30: Touch a Heart Tuesday
- 8/31: Willing to Lend a Hand Wednesday
Below are intention-setting ideas for you to consider to demonstrate your kindness to humankind this week (and beyond):
- Thoughtful Thursday. Below is a list of suggestions for consideration:
- Try considering the feelings of others.
- Offer appreciation to a co-worker or class mate in a written note.
- Reach out to someone to let them know you are thinking of them.
- Donate used sheets, towels and blankets to your local vet or animal shelter.
- Be on time.
- Forgive Your Foe Friday. Consider one of the following to begin to reduce the anger within:
- Practice self compassion to reduce any anger towards yourself.
- Take a day off from watching the news.
- Listen to a loving kindness meditation.
- Catch yourself when you think something hateful and try saying to yourself “That’s not true.”
- Try to see the other person’s perspective.
- Speak Kind Words Saturday. Conscious practice is the beginning of forming a new habit. Perhaps try one of these:
- Compliment a feature of your neighbor’s home.
- Tell a friend what you love about their children.
- Pay attention to your tone of voice, specifically how it changes when words are offered from the heart, and speak from an open heart.
- Practice saying thank you to others when you experience their act of thoughtfulness.
- Give an unexpected compliment to a stranger.
- Sacrifice Our Wants for Others’ Needs Sunday. Giving of ourselves in service of others is a reward in and of itself. Consider trying one of the following:
- If you know your friend is sick, bring them a home cooked meal (or their favorite meal from their favorite restaurant).
- Do extra chores to give a family member some extra time to themselves.
- Offer to watch your neighbor’s child for free.
- Take an elderly family member out for a day trip.
- Participate in a local fund-raising event.
- Motorist Consideration Monday. Driving is stressful. Perhaps try one of the following to bring more kindness into the experience and see how it might reduce your level of stress:
- Slow down to let someone merge in front of you.
- Make eye contact with pedestrians at cross walks and traffic lights and smile or wave.
- Move over to give bicyclists more room on the side of the road.
- Leave your mobile device out of reach to eliminate the impulse to just check in while sitting at a red light.
- Avoid driving faster than the speed limit.
- Touch a Heart Tuesday. Deeply touching the heart of another through words and deeds profoundly expands the capacity to give and receive kindness. Consider trying one of these options:
- Say “I love you.” to those you love, especially your children.
- Adopt a animal from your local shelter.
- Practice being a good listener.
- Send a friend an uplifting article that made you think of them and let them know why.
- Volunteer at a nursing home and offer to play games with the residents.
- Willing to Lend a Hand Wednesday. Keep in mind the Butterfly Effect when perhaps trying one of these small random acts of kindness:
- Pick up trash in your neighborhood and put it in the garbage.
- If you know someone that needs a ride somewhere, offer to take them to where they are going.
- Volunteer at your local library to read a book to children.
- If someone looks lost, stop and ask if you might offer them some assistance.
- Stay late for a co-worker who needs to get home.
As always, if you try any of these intention-setting ideas for holistic health, I would love to hear about the impact they might have had for you. Please send me an email at email@example.com to share!