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5 Ways to Bring Kindness into the New Year

The holidays may be over, but it’s never too late to spread some cheer.

Young woman helping elderly woman with groceries
Credit: Getty Images

What better way to ring in the new year than with some kindness and compassion? Although we may still be experiencing tough times due to the pandemic, there are still several ways to incorporate cheer in our day-to-day. Receiving kindness—and reciprocating it—can have a positive effect on our mental and physical well-being. A simple act, such as greeting a stranger with a smile, will make your day a little brighter.

Here are five meaningful ways to bring kindness into the new year.

Reach out to loved ones 
During this time of continued social distancing, it’s important to check in on your loved ones. Sending emails, texts, or making phone calls are quick and easy ways to reach out to those you care about. If you’re feeling creative, send them a photo, a favorite recipe, a hand-written note or decorated card. This form of connection can make loved ones feel appreciated and renewed.

Volunteer your time
Support your favorite causes and organizations by making time within your schedule to volunteer. A weekly, monthly or quarterly commitment can make a significant impact on the lives of those in need. Doing good for others is not only beneficial to your community, but also gives you the opportunity to meet new people while giving back to causes you’re passionate about.

Make meaningful connections
When having a conversation with a friend or family member, listen with the intention to understand rather than with the goal to respond. Take interest in what they’re saying without interrupting or judging. The person you’re speaking to will appreciate it more than you think and will be encouraged to do the same.

Do one good deed every day or week
The next time you’re taking a stroll in your neighborhood, and you meet someone new, go ahead and compliment them. Not only will they appreciate the kind words, but you’ll be surprised with the joy it brings you as well. Other small acts of kindness you can do daily or weekly include holding the door for someone, bringing flowers to a nursing home, or simply smiling at a stranger.

Be kind to yourself
Being kind to others is important, but being kind to yourself is also a must. Take special care of yourself by focusing on your needs—emotional and spiritual. Understand it’s okay to say “no” to things you don’t have time for or things that no longer suit you. Several ways to practice self-care include reading a book, taking a breath of fresh air, meditating, or going for a stroll or bike ride in the park. Your future self will thank you.

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