As the pandemic stretches and challenges us, one way to provide yourself some focused relief is to reach out to support others. Knowing you have needs, seek to recognize this in others. Then, with this in mind, try this exercise that is intended to be of benefit to someone else AND you (and can actually be useful any time you are feeling low).
The idea is to identify someone you know, a friend, and do something kind for them.
As simple as that may sound, I caution you to be careful as you consider the exercise. It can be presumptuous to think we know that another is “in need” and in our attempts to assist it is possible to come across as judgmental. To get at the intent of this exercise, and to get the most from it, you must strike a balance between believing you know that someone else is in need (and that you can assist) with the fact that everyone has needs.
It’s useful to choose someone and spend some time thinking about them before settling on an action. Then spend a few minutes each morning for a couple of days simply holding this person in mind. As you consider them, work hard to suspend judgment. Simply appreciate your friend, for in being alive they are worthy of being appreciated.
After a day or two (or three) of appreciating your friend, consider what kind thing you can do for them, noting that the purpose of this exercise is NOT to fill what you think is their need.
The purpose is simply to do something kind.
Use your inner wisdom to determine what would be truly kind, making sure that what you choose to do resonates within you. I encourage you to choose something that may seem small to you, perhaps providing dinner or sending a card. The critical thing here is that the gesture be genuine and come from a loving place inside you.
After you’ve completed your action, reflect on how YOU feel. In doing something kind for another, do you feel a bit better?
I hope so.