A New Energy in the Air
Perhaps you are beginning this new year with a little bit of hope again. I hope you made time to replenish your tank during the final days of the year. As the calendar changes to a new year, it feels like a fresh start.
This has been a hard and challenging time for humanity. Many people are hurting right now. Emotionally and physically, people feel exhausted and depleted. There have been so many times these past couple of years when it has felt like hope was in short supply. However, don’t we always live in uncertain times? Perhaps now we feel it more than ever, but certainty in life is a bit of an illusion. That’s why the phrase, “The only constant in life is change” is repeated frequently. Change we can always bank on, certainty however we cannot!
Certainty is Rare
As we begin a new year, perhaps it’s time to actively begin again and to acknowledge that certainty isn’t a given.
We have a couple of ways we can start fresh this new year to elevate our own kindness practices. First, let’s start with ourselves.
Creating ways to love yourself is not selfish. When we travel on a plane, they always ask us to put on our own oxygen masks first and then attend to others. This is the same with self-care. Our act of loving kindness helps us tremendously. Then and only then can we attend to someone else.
Covering Your Bases
Courtesy: Metro Pediatrics, Portland, OR
“Covering Your B.A.S.E.S” is an easy practice to start with your own self-care. It’s simple to remember and implement every day.
What am I doing today for my body? Physical, spiritual, emotional — do something today to nourish your body. Eat well, get some fresh air, exercise, pray, meditate, pause, enjoy a refreshing shower or a relaxing bath. Read or listen to something that uplifts your spirits.
What am I accomplishing today? This doesn’t have to be a huge accomplishment. Folding laundry, making a pot of soup, or organizing a drawer is an accomplishment. If it works for you, make a list and physically check it off every day once you complete the task. That physical action of checking the box signals that you have accomplished something and can make a difference in your wellbeing.
Who am I connecting with today? Phone, text, FaceTime and Zoom. We have multiple ways to make sure we get social connections every day even if we can’t physically visit with our varied connections.
Did I do at least one thing I enjoyed today? This could overlap with any of the actions you’ve taken for the previous letters. It’s wonderful to enjoy something you have done for your body, your daily accomplishment, or that social connection you made. Just do one thing you enjoy today.
Is Happiness The Secret to a Longer, Healthier Life?
What are we doing to cultivate kindness with others? When you engage in acts of kindness, actively looking for ways you can give more of your time, each day it will help you live a happier life. Did you know that? The research continues to show that kindness increases your happiness because it stimulates the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Perhaps that’s not surprising to you, but you might not realize it goes both ways. Research has also found that the giver of kindness can lessen both their own and others’ feelings of stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression. That’s right – giving and receiving kindness BOTH have health benefits.
So, why not set a new goal to look for one act of kindness you could do every day?
The size of the kindness doesn’t matter. It’s okay to keep it small and simple.
Looking Ahead at 2023
If you are looking to elevate your culture of kindness in 2023, reach out! Although we cannot always be completely prepared for change, we can give ourselves the resources we need to overcome it.
A strong culture of kindness is the foundation for an adaptable organization. Start a conversation with me to learn more about how kindness can transform, prepare, and unify your organization today.