Friday, January 21, 2011

Kindness through the Winter Blahs

I am not sure about you but I struggle through the winter months; particularly January and February. After the holidays are over, the cheer seems to have drifted and the gray snow cloud ridden skies seem to cast a shadow over the friendly spirit that once was from the holidays. 

Sometimes I find myself getting short with others, or I just want to hibernate and not be bothered. 
Do you ever feel like that? 

In hopes of lifting my spirit {and others perhaps} I have decided to do {at least} one act of kindness a day that will benefit another person. I have not set any limitations on this endeavor. The person could be anyone-my fiance, my boss, coworker, a friend, a student, or a random person. 
I will do something out of the ordinary.

Here are some ideas that I have brainstormed during my "Operation Winter Kindness" endeavor:

1. I will listen. Truly and honestly listen. I will tune out the world, my phone, my job, and tune into my fiance. I will give him time. Somebody recently told me that people put so much time and effort into their jobs but not nearly as much time and effort into their relationships. I really thought about this statement long and hard and weeks later am still thinking about it. This statement rings true for me. Does it for you?

2. Compliment others.



3. Shovel a neighbors driveway and walk the next time it snows. 


4. Appreciate the small stuff. There is good all around. I will take time to bask in it and be thankful. 

5. Help strangers. A couple ways I can do this and I get giddy with excitement just thinking about it is to feed quarters into a parking meter as it is about to expire, list an unused item online for free, or doing community service. 

How do you get through the winter blues blahs? How do you show kindness? 

 

10 thoughts:

Terri said...

Awww!

I just wrote an email to a new teacher telling her she was a blessing to our school... and I did it in honor of you!

Ashley said...

Something I like to do is write a nice email about a co-worker to their boss, or the leaders of our organization. I tell them how the co-worker did a great job on a project or helped in a moment of urgency. I've had emails like that written about me, and received thank you notes from co-workers and students, and they just make my day - no, my week!

I love spreading that sort of love around.

I also try to put my loose change in my coat pockets so it's easily accessible when I pass by someone in need. This happens every day on my walk from the train station to my office, and there are so many people moving at a fast pace that it's difficult/dangerous to stop & pull out your wallet. In Chicago's long and frigid winter, my heart breaks for the people on the streets. A while ago I decided to stop trying to figure out if they deserved a handout from me or whether they'd use the money on something I approve of. Now, I just give. And with a smile. Another thing - and this isn't major to us, but I think it is meaningful to others - when I pass by someone on the street asking for money, I look them in the eye, smile and say hi, good morning, etc. It's easy to get in the habit of not even acknowledging they're there, because if you admit you see them, you might feel guilty for not helping. I decided whether I have the money or not, whether I choose to give or not, I am going to treat that person like they matter and let them know I SEE THEM. They are worth at the very least, my smile and hello. And guess what - time after time, they have returned the smile and greeting, and that's it. They don't pounce on me trying to get me to give money. Some have said something along the lines of, "you're the only person who's talked to me all day."

Whatever our views are about those on the street, I think the least we can all do is acknowledge their presence. If that is too much to ask, or if we think they aren't deserving of even that - well, then, I fear for our world.

I suppose that could extend beyond people on the street. The person serving your coffee or lunch, the garage attendant, the customer service operator. Everyone has it rough at times and we could all stand to be more civil and kind to those we interact with throughout our days.

Ashley said...

And for my next novel . . . please check your local bookseller. ;)

Sorry!

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

Very inspirational Gina, thank you. I needed this....Winter Blahs are in full effect around here! Not a fun day here in the Northeast but rest assured, the next big storm is coming TUESDAY. I'll be refering back to your post then! ;)

Kayla said...

Adore this post. I am going to try and do some of these things too.

Ramblings of a Small Town Girl

WendyB said...

Ugh, I totally have the winter blahs.

Watkins35 said...

I DEFINITELY get the Winter blues - all that darkness, I find it so difficult, & there's not much to look forward to for a couple of months. Roll on Spring that's what I say, although I perk up at the beginning of March when it's my birthday as we always go somewhere.

I LOVE your idea (one of my things on my "to do" list is leaving 10 kind random messages) and will try to also do this :D, thanks gina xox

Sarah B. said...

I hate the winter blahs! And kindness is a wonderful way to lift the spirit :)

Elisse said...

Hi Gina!

I'm happy to be a new follower - I really like what I see of your blog so far (especially the owls header - I LOVE owls!)

Despite having the winter blues you've turned to helping others and spreading community spirit to create more joy in your life. The feeling of helping a stranger, paying someone a compliment, and simply appreciating life is irreplaceable.

xoxo,
Elisse

Terri said...

This is such a wonderful idea for beating the winter blahs (& I have quite the case of them!). I like the idea of doing small things for friends and strangers to show your appreciation or just bring a smile to someone's face.

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