No matter how old I get, September will always feel like new beginnings for me. It goes back to the days when summer was over and you were getting ready for school… wondering what classes you had, wondering if you’d meet new friends…
September gives me a feeling that I can start again. Try something new. Start over. So as I go forward with that attitude, I wanted to share some ideas for spreading kindness, specifically for this month. These don’t take a lot of time or money, just some simple, mindful action.
Share a Favorite Picture of Your Friend on Facebook or Instagram
Sometimes a public shout out that celebrates your friendship can help make a friend’s day. Be sure when you post any picture that you have your pal’s permission to do so and that your picture is flattering. Never post a picture that will make your friend feel bad.
Celebrate Your Female Friendships
September is Women’s Friendship Month, which is the perfect time to pause and reflect on the blessings of your female friends. Your women friends can help support you and care for you like no one else.
Your female friendships have probably made you feel more loved and at the same time, challenged, than other relationships. Our women friends can help us grow and realize our best self. Do something to honor one of your friend this month.
Encourage a Lonely Friend
It’s tough to admit we’re lonely today. We shouldn’t be embarrassed by this, but society still doesn’t make it easy for us to tell others that we’re feeling lonely. If you know or suspect one of your friends might be struggling, take a moment this month just to call them up, invite them to dinner, or get them to join a new class with you. Don’t judge a friend who is lonely. Understand where they’re coming from and help them instead.
Become More Self-Aware
Does self-awareness seem like an odd kindness suggestion to you? Since September is the month for “International Self-Awareness,” it’s a good time to examine your own actions and how you come off to others. We’re often told in society to do whatever we feel, but the reality is that if we want to make friends and get along better with people, we have to exercise self-awareness.
Consider it this way: being self-aware can help you more easily treat others as you would like to be treated, which is often the first step to kindness. It also helps you put forth a positive impression to others, which means attracting better friends and maintaining the ones you have. In a sense, self-awareness is an act of kindness to yourself.
Make a Donation for a Service Dog
Dogs do more than just help us to meet new people or teach us about friendship. They also perform a value service to members of society who need extra care. That’s why September is National Service Dog month. It reminds us of the importance of maintaining service dog programs and getting the animals to the people who need them the most. Programs like these are often challenged financially, so a donation of any amount is a welcome kindness act.
Here are some places to check out this month: