Kindness First

Weekly Health & Green Tips

Each week, a new letter of the alphabet is introduced that represents a simple idea – a reminder of the small things we can do to make a big difference in the health of our families and the well-being of our planet.

 

K=Kindness First 

Do you need an emotional pick me up?  Are you feeling drained, tired or stressed out at the end of your busy weeks?  Are your children seeming to need a little help in chasing away “poor me” feelings of self-centeredness. The answer may be to bring the family together to helping someone else out.

 

How can adding one more thing to your to-do list make life better?  Research has shown being kind to other people actually makes us feel better.  It can improve your self esteem, reduce stress, and help you feel more connected to the people around you. Kindness is a self-perpetuating energy, like anything else. The more kind you are, the more you see kindness, the more it seems to find you.

 

Children can be naturally kind and compassionate, but sometimes it can take a prompt to let them feel free and safe to share with kindness. Modeling ways to help each other, simply to be kind, is an easy way to help them internalize the goodness that blooms when kindness rules.  Making service to others a way of life is a great way to keep your energy reserves up and your stress levels down.  The key is finding simple ways to fit helping out into your everyday life.

 

 

People who volunteer an average of 2 hours per week throughout their lives have a 40% lower mortality rate than those who don’t.

Simple Ideas for Making Kindness a Daily Practice:

 

  • Celebrate Kindness. Cheer each other on by sharing stories of kindness while you eat dinner, or by posting drawings of your volunteer activities on your fridge door.  It’s okay to feel good about giving of yourself to others—in fact, it’s a great motivator!
  • Volunteer as a family. Double up on family time and volunteering time by spending an afternoon at a local soup kitchen together or sorting clothes to give away.  This is a great way to teach kids about the importance of helping others.
  • Send a card. Create a weekly habit of mailing one “I was thinking about you” card to a friend or family member.  You can get the kids involved by having them draw pictures or write their own notes. Include a pressed flower from your garden or a silly snapshot. Have fun simply thinking “what would give this person a smile?”
  • Cook extra.  If you’re already preparing a meal, why not make a little extra for an elderly neighbor, a friend battling an illness or just someone who needs a lovely surprise?

 

Learn More

 

HelpOthers.org has even more ideas for kind things that are easy to add to your daily family life.  Serve.gov can help you locate volunteer opportunities in your local community.

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