Valentine’s Day is all about love.
We can describe love in many different ways and we all have strategies to express it. But what if for the sake of simplicity, we define love as kindness? When we are kind we are not only loving towards others, but towards ourselves.
More and more research demonstrates the lasting effects of acts of kindness. Not only is the impact lasting, but it is immediate as well. Test it out for yourself. Start your day with the intention of being kind. Then perform as many acts of kindness as you can or if you are feeling particularly inspired, go for the whole week. Notice how your overall level of happiness improves.
Here are a few Acts of Kindness to get you started:
Hold a door open for someone
Leave a thank you note for coworker or staff member
Listen deeply as a friend/acquaintance talks to you and refrain from interrupting while they speak
Call an old friend and tell them how grateful you are for their friendship
Write a letter to someone
Offer to walk a neighbor’s dog
Spend time with someone older than you
Spend time with someone younger than you
Prepare a meal for someone
Pick up litter
Pay for someone’s coffee or lunch
Make a card for someone or send a postcard
Write a positive comment on a social media site
Offer to take notes during a meeting and share with the group
Say “I love you”
Share a recipe
Make a new friend
Resist the urge to gossip
And most importantly: be kind to yourself.