It’s easy to sit comfortably in our established patterns. But sometimes, when we’re feeling down or lonely or frustrated, the quickest way to return to a mindset of abundance is to do something kind for someone else.
If you’re in need of a mindset shift, scan through the following list of suggestions and then, as quickly as possible, take action. You can probably make someone else’s day in less than 2 minutes, and you may just turn your own day around as well.
1. Write a note to your child and slip it in his or her lunch box.
A corny joke to share with friends and an “I love you!” can be a great pick-me-up in the middle of a long school day.
2. Send some extra supplies to your favorite teacher.
Most teachers shell out a good bit of their personal money on stocking their classrooms. If you have an extra of something at home—tissues, hand sanitizer, resealable plastic bags, sticky notes and writing supplies always come in handy—toss it into your child’s backpack with a short note of appreciation. No school-age kids at home? Swing by the front office of your local elementary school with a bag of goodies. The staff will make good use of your gift.
3. Call a friend during your commute.
It’s OK if they don’t answer. Leave a short message saying you were thinking of him or her and hope they have a fantastic day.
4. Do a dirty work.
Whether it’s making the first pot of coffee, emptying the dish washer or refilling the copier, every house and office has that one task that everyone tries to avoid. Today, be the one to step up to the plate with a smile.
5. Compliment a coworker.
The office can sometimes feel like a rat race. Today, find someone you think is under-appreciated and offer some specific praise and encouragement.
6. Be Thankful.
When we’re in a rush, it can be easy to just go through the motions. Instead, pause for a few seconds at the gym, grocery store, takeout window or wherever your errands take you, look the person behind the counter in the eyes, smile and say thank you.
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7. Be generous.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a few extra dollars in your wallet this week, why not pass them on? Even better if you combine this with #x by adding a warm smile and a sincere thank you.
8. Add a special touch to dinner.
This doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Make what you already had planned, even if it’s reheating leftovers from last night, but give it a small flourish. Use the good dishes. Serve water in stemware. Spend an extra minute plating.
9. Have Fun
Tonight, after work or homework is done, pull out a favorite old board game or a deck of cards and suggest a family game. Short on time? Turn on a silly song and have a dance party in the kitchen. Home alone? Crank up the volume and dance anyway.
10. Express gratitude.
You may already have a practice of ending your day by recording the things for which you are grateful in a journal. If some of your gratitude is directed toward others, why not let them know? Give someone a call or even a simple text message to let them know how much they mean to you.
These are small actions, but they can have a big impact as they ripple out into the universe. You may not get to see the full result, but just knowing that you’ve helped to bring a bit more joy is reason enough to smile.
How will you add a little sweetness to your daily routine?