The day I received the heartbreaking news of my stage IV disease, I felt lost and overwhelmed with fear. Though I had cancer before, stage IV felt scarier than the first diagnosis and I didn’t know what to do or where to reach out. Something pulled me to a spiritual place. I picked up the phone to call a priest who was close friends with my in-laws. He answered the phone and told me that his next appointment cancelled and I should drive over to meet him. Though we share a different faith, his words resonated and filled me with hope and was exactly what I needed at that time. What stood out to me most in the conversation was these words: “Caryn – live with a loving stance.”
Initially I thought, “what does that mean? How can I live with a loving stance in my own life?” Obviously, wise words from religious figures, role models, scholars or even greeting cards are meant to be interpreted individually. However, I saw it as not just about romantic love or self-love, but about spreading love in my day-to-day.
Studies show that random acts of kindness whether receiving or doing them can provide positive effects for all involved. In fact, The Mayo Clinic shares how those involved in volunteering receive a “helpers high,” which can also increase healing and health benefits. So, in an effort to live with more of a loving stance, I asked myself and then the Pretty Wellness and Happiness through Hardship – The Podcast communities to share efforts they have made or would like to receive where they felt loved. These are a few…please keep the love coming and comment below or reach out via Instagram with your ideas.
25 Ways to Spread Love
- Write a love letter or love “text” to a person you appreciate and send it to them.
- Do a small favor for a person you care about (buy them a coffee or tea, a friend/make a roommate dinner.)
- Compliment a stranger or a person you may not know well while out in public.
- Offer extra time to listen to a friend or loved one’s problems without interrupting them or talking about yourself.
- Volunteer time to give back to your community (see our list of ways to virtually volunteer now – spreading love and kindness while not having to leave the house.)
- Leave post-it notes for your family members with sweet messages (around the house, in lunches, etc.)
- Send out thoughtful good morning texts or voicemails to close friends or family members.
- Randomly call someone from your past that you care about and ask how there day is going?
- When at a drive-thru pay for the person behind you.
- Start a kindness club with your family or friends – make sure everyone has a buddy (like a Secret Santa) and once a week be sure to do something or say something nice to this person.
- Meditate or pray for other people in your life or people in the world who may need help.
- Plug the parking meter – pay for a number of hours.
- Think about someone who could use a pick-me-up, send them flowers or a homemade note – doctors, nurses, teachers, other essential workers.
- Write a silly poem or sing a song and leave it on someone’s voicemail.
- Leave something fun anonymously on a neighbor’s front door step to make them smile – flowers, food, a painted rock, a note, etc.
- Bring dog treats on a walk and share with the local dogs.
- Leave water and snacks for the delivery people at the end of your driveway.
- Leave a note on a friend or neighbor’s car.
- Leave a positive note on a stranger’s car in a store parking lot. “Someone in the world is wishing you a great day.”
- Babysit for free.
- Go through old photos and send to long lost friends to share a laugh and “warm, fuzzy” stories.
- Make a donation to your local homeless shelter.
- Make a donation to a research foundation.
- Hold the door open for someone…and teach your kids to do the same.
- Pick up groceries or goods for high risk individuals.
Do you have any other ideas? Please share below or connect on Instagram with us.
Check out some thoughtful small gift and gesture ideas to show love and kindness:
If you’re looking for inspirational love stories – check out Happiness through Hardship – The Podcast – episode 11 – Love, Loss and Moving Forward After 911 or Episode 19 – A Caregiver’s Perspective – Healing, Hope and Happiness.
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