Giving Tuesday started in 2012 as a simple idea - a day that encourages people to do good. It has spread internationally over the years as a day to volunteer, give to others, or honor a favorite charity. It could be a simple act of kindness or generosity to help a neighbor, or a complete stranger. Giving Tuesday was established as the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States, which is December 3 this year.
One particular way to give is to share the gift of kindness. It could be as simple as smiling at a stranger at the grocery store, or as involved as inviting the neighbors for a potluck dinner. Any small or grand act of kindness counts.
The research is in: doing, receiving, or even witnessing acts of kindness improves our lives both physically and mentally. Acts of kindness lower blood pressure and release the love hormone that just might let you live longer. Mentally, kindness reduces stress, fights against depression, and just plain makes you feel good!
So, how will you spend this Giving Tuesday? Here are some very simple, yet very powerful ways:
* Let someone go ahead of you in line while shopping
* Go visit the elderly in a nursing home
* Join a community cleanup campaign
* Cook or bake something for a neighbor
* Help someone in their yard
* Volunteer at an animal shelter
* Give a simple smile and/or share some kind words with a stranger
* Babysit for someone for free
* Send a kind text or email to someone letting them know you are thinking about them
* Hug someone
No matter what the gesture is, the intent behind it is simple: show kindness, give to others. When we can move past our own self-interests and actually give to others in whatever way we can, the world becomes a little softer and kinder.