There is a long list of things you can’t control in your life. The range is wide. You can’t change the weather or reverse another person’s decision to honk at you. So, control what you can. Your decision to act out of kindness and compassion can extend well beyond your life and the lives of those you interact with regularly.

Be Kind to Yourself

Especially in recent years, you’ve likely heard people talk a lot about self-care. Though it is possible to have positive conversations and interactions with other people when you haven’t cared for yourself, it is likely much more difficult. How do you show care for others? Apply some of those same approaches to yourself. Self-care takes on different forms for different people. Perhaps for you, a cup of tea and a book is what you need to recharge. Maybe, an appointment with a therapist or a conversation with yourself in a notebook is how you check in with yourself and approach care. How can you support yourself?

Care for Others

You can’t always read a person’s needs. You can, however, spread kindness to individuals and groups in small, meaningful ways. Wave or smile at strangers you pass on a walk. These simple gestures could mean a lot to someone who feels isolated or invisible. When you see someone struggling with something, offer to help. If you can open a door for the person, do so. If you can’t assist, think of something you can do in the future to help the person in another way. Become involved with nonprofits in your area. Places, such as food pantries, appreciate volunteers. Working with organizations is also a good option if you know that you want to help your community, but don’t know how or don’t know people’s needs.

Take good care of yourself and others today. Be mindful of the acts of kindness and care you observe each day.