Our lives are busy. In this season of parenthood, working and running around, we can often forget to take those little moments that all add up to big things. I've compiled 5 things I do on a regular basis to help myself feel grateful and hopefully encourage those around me. Maybe something in here will be a new way you can incorporate gratitude or happiness into your life.
1. I have my routines and my regular stopping places. I love seeing the same faces each day/week. I've made it a priority to learn peoples names that work at these places. Greeting them when I walk in the door and when I leave with their own name makes them feel valued. I also sometimes learn their family members names, so I can ask about them later on. I know the joy I feel when someone takes the time to go a bit deeper or when someone remembers my name, so I try to do the same.
2. Handwritten notes - sometimes these are mailed off and sometimes they are just ones I leave for my kiddos and husband to find. When I owned my businesses, I made it a priority to write personalized, handwritten letters to my clients or potential clients. I can't tell you how much that impacted my business and how many times I heard from people that it was what drew them to me and made them want to work with me.
3. Small acts of kindness...sometimes this is buying someone's coffee or coke, sometimes it's leaving a quarter in the buggy at Aldi and sometimes it's sending anonymous money to a friend in need or groceries on a doorstep. These don't have to be grand and oftentimes I've found doing it without recognition gives me the best feeling.
4. Ice cream - drumsticks are a favorite around here and even in my "not eating sweets much" lifestyle, breaking out a pack of those for family and friends brings immediate smiles. When I owned my business in Nashville, I had one customer that I brought ice cream to almost every Friday. She had a few other ladies that worked for her, but when I showed up, we took the time to sit together and talk over the week almost behind us and our plans for the weekend. It was one of my favorite times and memories of my business. Thankfully, there's vegan ice cream or just dairy free ice cream and endless combinations of flavors for all those potential friends and customers. If I could bottle up those conversations and those times to replay now, it would be on replay every few months. Those ladies were not only my clients, but my friends and I cherished that time.
5. Surprise gifts - Pay attention to what your friends comment on while you're out with them or talking on the phone. Those tidbits they leave for you are great ideas for gifts for birthdays, Christmas and "just because" surprises. Those "just because" gifts are my favorite to give! Sometimes it's strawberry cupcakes and sometimes it's a small gift card to a store they don't usually splurge on, but in paying attention to the details or someones desires, we can often give them something they truly love. Remembering someone's favorite ice cream flavor or how they like their coffee is an easy way to invest in a friendship and also a great way to love on them!
Happiness is easy to share! I hope you've found something helpful in my suggestions, but I'd love to know how you spread happiness to others as well!!