During the month reserved for feelings of love for those we hold most dear, Family Advocates invites you to extend that love a little further. It comes as second nature to love our family and friends. Those we have a relationship with. But what of those we don’t know?
In our current world, we find ourselves tucked away and limited to virtual, phone, and socially distanced interactions. But does this limit our ability to show compassion? There are so many opportunities to still reach out to those who don’t even have the virtual options. This week I met with Cakes 4 Kids who provided those that love baking with an opportunity to provide the gift of a delicious pastry to a child in foster care. Can you imagine never having had a Birthday cake where you counted the candles, held your breath during the singing, and blew with your eyes closed and fingers crossed hoping for the perfect gift? This organization came about through showing compassion. We live in a wonderful community full of compassion!
Sometimes we can simply speak up and share words of encouragement. We all have our difficult days. A card in the mail. A text that says, “Thinking of you.” A phone call to wish someone a wonderful week. These are simple gestures that oftentimes go overlooked. They can provide that tiny push to hang on and keep moving forward. Even if you aren’t “close” to someone, these words of encouragement are appreciated.
When we are out and about, social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t speak! There is something about having a mask over one’s face that almost mimics a hand covering your mouth. However, making the effort to be kind to others is a great practice but you have to speak up. “Please,” “thank you,” “after you” are all ways to exhibit some common courtesy and we all appreciate that. Consider this an opportunity to model positive behavior for children. Whether they are yours or belong to a stranger that happens to be in the vicinity, they see these things.
We all have some form of time, talent, or treasure. Give what you can. Maybe it’s volunteering to do data entry, offering your professional services, or it’s a financial donation. Being generous with what you have is not only a blessing to the people and organization you are giving to but what a wonderful feeling it leaves in your heart!
Sometimes, you can just be maxed out. Maybe you don’t have much to give because life has just been hard. But we can always give a smile. There is one study that suggests that smiling can help us recover faster from stress and even reduce our heart rate. They say that even a fake smile can help YOU. If it can boost your mood and happiness level on a downer of a day, it’s worth a shot! The person you just smiled at won’t know any different and you will have just made their day… and improved your health simultaneously.
So, during this month of love, remember to show some compassion, practice words of encouragement, show common courtesy, be generous and smile!