Beat the Retirement Blues
by Serving Others:
Random Acts of Kindness
Retirement Blues, Kick them to the Curb!
We all have blue moods from time to time — that's entirely normal. After all, very few feel happy-happy with life all the time.
However, when you have the Retirement blues, it can be difficult to shake it off. I think it's different than when you were busy working. We are alone more (even if married). We don't have employment to rush off to or to take our mind off our life.
There is little to get our mind off our blue mood — which can make it go even deeper.
The good news is you have plenty of choices of things you can do to lift that nasty blue mood.
This 7-day challenge is starting with the very simplest of ideas — help someone else. I know — you are thinking: Yeah, Wendy, you know I'm feeling down and out and you think holding the door open for someone is going to make ME feel normal again?
Yes, I do. Not just one door, one day, but daily small baby steps designed to make you think about others — and less about this sad phase of life called retirement.
Let me stop right here — Retirement is NOT a sad phase of life. Retirement can be a contented time of life when you do things you really enjoy doing, at a slower pace than the rest of society — because you can!
Retirement can be purposeful, fulfilling and full of personal growth opportunities. Retirement can also be a contented lifestyle — satisfied with what you have and living a peaceful existence full of the small joys in life.
In retirement, you have choices.
Make the RIGHT choice today -- go outside -- do just ONE Random Act of Kindness. Please. Visit the Facebook group and share your experience with others!
Examples of Random Acts of Kindness
Guaranteed To Inspire You
Performing random acts of kindness may be new to you, so it’s possible you have no idea how to begin. That’s okay.
Coming up with ideas can be tough. That’s why today’s blog post is packed full of things you can do to make someone else’s day a little brighter.
Some of the activities will cost you nothing and take only a moment of your time. Others will be more in-depth.
Choose whatever fits your comfort level. Enjoy these examples of random acts of kindness to inspire you.
Let's Take Action - Today! Let's Do This!
- Hold the door open for the person behind you whose hands are full.
- Allow the shopper in the grocery line move ahead of you if you only have a few items and their cart is full.
- Check on an elderly neighbor or shut-in. Pick up the phone, one simple call will make their day!
- Donate your old clothes to charity. DeClutter works wonders for you and benefits others too!
- Chat with the person behind the counter, even only briefly. Compliment their style, sincerely thank them for helping you, whatever. Brief interactions seriously help your mood. I wrote about talking to strangers here.
- Give the new employee a tour of your work area or offer to sit with them at lunch.
- Volunteer. At a nursing home, a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, your kid’s school, anywhere. Ideas here.
- Send a get-well card to someone, or even a "Thinking of You" card for no reason whatsoever. My mother has a gift with card sending, her friends living in other states love her caring cards! Send Cards!
- Smile at someone on the street. Yep -- just a smile. It's ok if they don't return the smile, they might be deep in thought, but know it hit their heart whether reciprocated or not.
- Give an unsolicited compliment. Just do it, it's easy!
- Pay for the person behind you in line at the fast food restaurant or drive through. Many of us have done this, it's a great surprise for the recipient and you leave feeling top-of-the-world too.
- Leave kind notes in the dressing room to encourage body positivity. I recently watched a webinar where a Coach writes "You are Enough" on mirrors everywhere. Some of the audience wrote it on all their mirrors at home -- that one phrase changes lives. I loved that!
You Are Enough.
- Send a positive text message to five different people right now. Tell them "You are Enough"...
- Offer to babysit for parents-- let a neighborhood mom go grocery shopping (alone) while you stay with the kids, or to help with the nightly feedings for a new mother.
- Clean up the trash in your neighborhood or at your favorite outdoor recreation spot like a park or beach.
- Visit a nursing home just to spend time with those who rarely receive visitors or to bring treats for the residents.
- Mail a note of thanks to someone who’s made a big difference in your life. They will love it! Gratitude galore here.
- Watch for stranded seniors in parking lots, especially in the winter months. We "lose" our cars. Help them find the car -- the more anxious we get, we aren't thinking logically. It only takes minutes.
- Shovel the driveway for elderly neighbors or those who may otherwise have trouble doing the job themselves. Mowing lawns and raking leaves are also good ideas.
- Serve at a homeless shelter (churches here host a shelter for a week). A few hours in the morning or evening is all they need.
- Serve at a animal rescue and hug those animals.
- Serve at a hospital and be a Baby Hugger!
- Take the time to listen to someone who is having a bad day. Let them simply be heard.
- Post inspirational sticky notes around your community.
- Tell someone they dropped a dollar (even though they didn’t). Then give them a dollar.
- Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter.
- Send dessert to another table.
- Surprise a neighbor with freshly baked cookies or treats! It's ok to sneak a few. :)
- Have a LinkedIn account? Write a recommendation for coworker or connection. Sometimes, those recommendations help people when we least expect it! (Happened for me recently!)
- Leave unused coupons next to corresponding products in the grocery store. I love this idea! If you have it in your hand, and decide not to use it, just leave it for someone!
- Try to make sure every person in a group conversation feels included. Please do this -- for introverts like me!
- Write a kind message on your mirror with a dry erase marker for yourself, your significant other or a family member.
- Set an alarm on your phone to go off at three different times during the day. In those moments, do something kind for someone else.
- Practice self-kindness and spend 30 minutes doing something YOU love today.
- Give away stuff for free on Facebook Marketplace. What you no longer need, someone wants!
- Buy a plant. Put it in a terracotta pot. Write positive words that describe a friend on the pot. Give it to that friend!
- Write a positive comment on your favorite blog, website, or a friend’s social media account. Pay it forward.
- Coming out of a restaurant with food? Give it to a homeless person.
- Getting a stroller or wheelchair out of a trunk isn't easy -- help someone pull it out.
- Purchase extra dog or cat food and bring it to an animal shelter.
- Leave a treat in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
- When you hear that discouraging voice in your head, tell yourself something positive — you deserve kindness too!
Be Kind! Hopefully, this quick list will inspire you to begin sharing random acts of kindness with those around you.
Pick one from the list or come up with an idea of your own, then just do it. See how you feel. Chances are you’ll be ready to do another one tomorrow.
Wendy's other site... because Aging Matters!