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If You Aren’t Sure What To Do Right Now, Start With This

It's free ... and it's contagious.

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The world, and all our lives, are undergoing so many changes right now. Every day we are waking up to a new reality and it’s no secret the uncertainty and feelings of hopelessness are breeding grounds for anxiety.

Sure, we can turn off the television and put down our phones, but that only takes us so far.

We’re all well aware that we can’t escape the reality that’s happening in the world. And we all want to do something that feels proactive, and makes a positive difference because it feels good to take action and try and relieve others (and ourselves) of these heavy emotions.

Living in rural Maine, I feel a bit like an outsider. I can’t even pretend to understand what some people are going through as I watch the news.

I know of one thing though that has always brought me peace and I’ve been practicing it as much as I can lately: kindness.

It’s something we were taught at such a young age you’d think it should be second nature by now. But it’s not.

I have to remind myself when I’m feeling cranky and irritable to not take it out on my children.

After all, what is that showing them?

We can be angry at the actions of others and still make a difference while being kind. Yes, there are days when doing anything beyond just getting out of bed feels like too much, but being kind isn’t taxing. It’s uplifting.

My favorite act of kindness these days is paying for the person behind me at the drive-through window of a restaurant. With three teenagers we’ve been known to do our share of takeout and fast food. With so many stressed and struggling, getting an unexpected meal or coffee is sure to put a smile on the recipient's face, and hopefully will lead them to pay it forward by also doing something kind.

Kindness isn’t being complacent.

Kindness doesn’t mean you are a doormat.

Kindness doesn’t mean you aren’t taking a stand.

Kindness reminds one of what's important in life.

Kindness shows compassion and empathy.

Kindness doesn’t take a lot of work.

If you ask me, the world needs that right now more than anything and we can all participate.

You don’t have to make a grand gesture. A little goes a long way. Check in on neighbors and family members with a text or phone call. Cook someone their favorite dessert. Make a donation to a worthy cause. Or just sit and listen to a friend who's feeling scared right now.

Your words and actions can touch more people than you know.

So, if you are in a dark place and feeling helpless and like you can’t carry the weight you have been given, try to start with being kind and gentle. And don’t forget that includes being kind and gentle to yourself.

It’s free, it’s contagious, and it’s what we are all craving more of right now.