In a time when negativity surrounds us, it’s important to spread positivity and be the light for others who are struggling. These are some simple ways to do so in 2019:
1. Use social media for good
Social media is a go-to time filler for many people. And while it helps bring us together, it also has broken many apart through messages of hate and negativity. Take the initiative to use social media for good — to spread uplifting stories, bring attention to charitable fundraisers and share messages of hope when people may need it the most.
2. Be available to listen and offer support
There are times when all a person needs is to have someone there to listen. Be a listening ear for others to vent their frustrations and worries by motivating, encouraging and helping them through their difficult times.
3. Partake in random acts of kindness
Challenge yourself to brighten the days of others with random acts of kindness each day — whether that’s paying for coffee for the next person in line at the coffee shop or making care packages for the patients at a local hospital.
4. Compliment others
Take the time to acknowledge the qualities you like most about your family, friends and acquaintances by complimenting them. Acknowledge their achievements and strengths, and let them know all they truly have to offer the world.
5. Write notes of encouragement
Set aside some time to write up encouraging notes to pass out to others you encounter in public who seem to be having a bad day. If you see a stressed parent at the grocery store whose child just had a tantrum, give them a note letting them know they are a good parent. If you come across an overwhelmed retail worker or restaurant server, give them a note to tell them they are doing a good job. The point is just to let people know that everything is going to be OK.
6. Spend time with residents at a nursing home
Plan a day to spend at a local nursing home to bring joy to its residents. Ask them what they enjoy doing the most, and participate in that activity with them. If it’s painting or making crafts, create with them. If it’s watching movies, watch with them. If it’s playing board games, play with them. Spend quality time with residents, and make sure they know they are not alone.
7. Ask someone how they are doing
Check in with a family member, friend or neighbor you haven’t heard from in a while, and ask them, “How are you?” If everything is well, let them know you are happy for them. If they are going through difficulties, be there for them and ask them how you can help. This lets them know someone is thinking about them — in the good and bad times.
8. Be a mentor
Commit to being a mentor for youth in your community who could use a confidence boost. Offer to help them with schoolwork, give them advice as they face obstacles, and be someone they can count on.
9. Say “thank you”
Make it a habit to always say “thank you” to show people you appreciate what they do for you. By expressing your gratitude, you are letting them know that what they do really matters and is making a difference.
10. Cheer others on
Be there to support your family and friends as they work toward achieving something important to them. If your parents are taking steps to adopt a healthier lifestyle, celebrate their milestones with them. If your children’s soccer team made it to a championship game, be there to encourage and cheer them on. If your friends are graduating grad school, be there for the commencement ceremony. Show them you care about their accomplishments.