Beat the Retirement Blues
by Serving Others: 
Random Acts of Kindness

Retirement Blues — Gratitude Works!

Showing your gratitude can be a great way to spread positive feelings in the world around you. 

How do you feel when someone sincerely expresses his or her gratitude to you for something you did? Doesn't it make you feel good about yourself? 

Feeling grateful for what you have can produce the same good feelings  throughout your retired life! has oodles of beautiful Gratitude Journals! Check them out. Just a few minutes a day recounting any goodness in life -- helps!

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Take time to reflect on what you have

If you ever get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, and I know you have, you know how out of touch you can get with the things that really matter. Then retirement steps in and sorts it all  out. You finally have time to really think about life again...

You actually have plenty to be grateful for, regardless of the circumstances in which you may find yourself. 

Each person has their own unique list of things that bring simple pleasure, feelings of pure joy, or just a sense of comfort each day. 

You can be grateful for physical blessings like where you live, the flower in the garden, your home, your dinner, and so many seemingly unseen things in life... things you know are there but don't feel grateful for. You might be thankful about certain people being in your life. 

The most important function of thankfulness is that it allows you to open your heart, mind, and soul to goodness, gratitude, and light.

Suggestions on Gratitude:

1. Take five. Allow yourself five minutes each morning to experience thankfulness. Take these moments to simply think about the past day. Say to yourself, "One thing I'm thankful for is___." Fill in the blank with something you noticed from the last 24 hours. Think on it for a minute or so. Smile about it. Then go on with your morning.

2. Appreciate your world openly. Share your gratitude with others. For example, if you're chatting on the phone with a friend, you could say something like, "I am so glad that I painted the living room that beautiful light sunny color. The sunlight reflects on it so nicely." 

When your verbal acknowledgements to others demonstrate the gratitude you feel, you'll develop a habit of recognizing what you're thankful for.

3. Notice the small stuff. Promise yourself you won't take little things for granted. Because life becomes crowded with people, tasks, and objects, you may feel challenged to notice small bits of wonder in your day. But if you put your mind to it, you'll be astounded at what you see. 

Just open your eyes to the wonders all around you. They won't cost a dime. A sunset, flower bouquet, mom's china, a warm cup of tea, or an ice-cold glass of water can be great reasons to feel gratitude. 

4. Learn to turn your thoughts around. When you discover you're thinking negative thoughts, imagine a big stop sign and say, "Stop" out loud. Saying it out loud breaks your thought pattern.  Then, replace the STOP with an image of something around you that you're grateful for right at that moment. Simple -- but it works!

5. Keep a Gratitude Journal. If you find you're having difficulty remembering to look for things that stir your inner thankfulness, perhaps starting a gratitude journal would help. 

Try just putting put the date on the page and jotting down what you're grateful for at that time. When times feel tough, read some of your previous gratitude pages! Your life is full of things, people, events, etc that you can be thankful for, if only you pay attention.

Being grateful is truly one of the things that makes retired life worth living! 

Each time you consciously decide to experience your thankfulness, you'll feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Open your eyes and mind to the people, places, things, and experiences you're grateful for. You'll feel so much better about your life.

Use Your Voice To Make A Difference

I dare you.  :) 

WOW, Wendy, kinda bold here, aren't you?

There are so many ways to reach out and be kind to others. We’ve discussed doing so in big ways and with the simplest of acts.

Today, I’d like to explore some of the ways you can use your voice to make a difference in the lives of those around you. 

We all have preferred communication methods. Using your preferred approach can make performing random acts of kindness less stressful or intimidating. 

Verbal Methods

Some of us are good at using our actual voices to convey meaning. Talking is the way we most like to communicate. If this sounds like you, try to capitalize on that fact.

Tell someone they’re doing a great job. Call your loved one up on the phone to let them know you’re thinking of them. Go visit your neighbor to check in and make sure they’re all right.

Those who are outgoing and love to talk have lots of ways they can engage in random acts of kindness. 

Written Options

Other folks might feel intimidated about actually speaking to those in a way that makes them feel vulnerable. You might deal with social anxiety or be more introverted by nature. (that's me!)

If that’s the case, there are still plenty of ways to show others you care and brighten their day. Maybe you’re a good written communicator. If so, send an email of thanks to a friend. Write a quick note on a post-it to surprise someone.

Submit a caring comment to someone who needs help here (yes, right here on this site). You can always leave a lovely blog comment for your favorite online personality. These ideas are all great... and YES, even a comment on a blog, assuming you are helping someone, giving a nice compliment, will help your own mood.

AND that link above is WHY I DARED YOU to jump in now. Use your written skills (nobody cares how you write, its the thoughts behind your kind words).

 Artistic Expression

You don’t actually have to use your voice at all if you prefer to be more creative in your good deeds.

You can volunteer to draw a mural for your neighborhood. Perhaps teaching an art class at the local community center or volunteering to paint with residents of a nursing home might be enjoyable for you.

Using your creative gifts are also fantastic ways to make your voice heard in a meaningful way for others. 

"Shine Your Light" with others, creatively, rocks your world and many others too!

Body Language

Finally, another example of a way to communicate good will is in the subtle art of body language. A smile, hug or simply being present can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

It’s okay to tell someone who’s going through a difficult time that you’d like to be there for them even if you don’t have the words or know-how to improve their life. Physically being near is a great comfort to many. That might be something you’re comfortable in doing. We can all give someone a smile or encouraging nod, at the very least. 

Consider these ways of giving back through your words or other forms of language. There are truly no limits to the ways we all can perform random acts of kindness. 

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