We’ve come to a month with a Friday the 13th and I’ve been hearing all about it. While most people are prepared to go about their business as usual, for most of us, every time we hear the expression our minds turn to dark things. So this Friday the 13th I’m trying to turn the tables. Here are 13 Ways to Share Love and Spread Joy on Friday the 13th!
- Check on your friends.
The ones who are having a hard time, the ones you haven’t heard form in a while, the ones you see every day. Say hello, pop in, send a funny message. Stickers on Telegram are my favorite way to let people know that I’m thinking about them. The hard thing about this is that you have to be willing to be the one reaching out. You may not always get a text back. It may be months or even years of you texting first before anyone returns the favor. I’ve decided it’s worth it.
- Plan something special for you and a loved one.
I think that the most fun way to spread love around is to create an Agenda of Amazing for someone you love and experience it together. Mornings in antique sales, treasure hunts through your hometown, video journals with fun locations, a date night flow chart, there are a ton of ways to plan and execute an excursion with minimal effort and financial resources. Bonus, I found the planning part to bring almost as much joy and love to my life as the actual doing of the activity!
- Bring your coworkers a special treat.
Let’s be honest, nothing brightens another random Monday quite like unexpected snacks. They don’t have to be baked goods, or even homemade; snacks show people that you care about them, that you want to make them happy and that today is a day for good things. Baked goods are of course, a workplace favorite, but I have gotten equal joy from fruit and yogurt, sliced watermelon or even a pitcher of lemonade.
- Contribute to a good cause.
There are a million and six charitable and non-profit organizations in the world and at least half of them are ethically sound and responsible places run by people who are truly making a difference in the social justice issues we see every day. When thinking about how much help and love the world needs, I’m inspired and encouraged by the projects being done around the world by places like Samaritan’s Purse, Body Image Movement, International Justice Mission, Water.org, Me to We, the Environmental Working Group, Public Broadcasting, heck, Wikipedia. Before you remind me that you have limited expendable income, don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that to share love and spread joy you have to give someone all your money. Look at the projects, feel hopeful, give if you can, share their missions, pray for the people doing the work, buy their t-shirt, add them to your Amazon Smiles account. Seeing the good others are doing in a surefire way to add love and joy to your own life and in turn, the lives of others.
- Do something for the animals of this world.
This is separate from the last one because there are just so any ways to share love in the animal world. Conservation is a huge mission, but so is making sure the birds in your neighborhood have enough food for the winter, and walking the dogs of people who can’t get out much, and petting kittens at the humane society. If you are remotely into animals finding a way to get some fauna in your life is such a good way to infuse your days with joy. Last night my husband and I spent 10 minutes watching a family of birds find food on the grassy banks of the lake near our house. We were fascinated and loved watching the dynamics. Take your pupper for an extra lap. Give the cat five more minutes of play time/cuddles. Find some wild creatures and feel the love! (Be careful about getting your nature fix from TV. Those docos get dark real fast.)
- Post something funny to your social media pages.
Anybody else collect funny images all week so you can spend the weekend sharing them with your partner? It can’t be just me. Keep sharing those funny posts! Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, keep the humor coming. Extra bonus points if its original content.
- Do something you used to love.
Remember that game you used to play, the song that used to make you dance like you had no cares? What about the pictures you used to draw or the funny stories you used to write? I would but that they are still just as much fun now. For me it was volleyball. I hadn’t played competitively in years, but always tried to join the games of strangers on the beach. Finally I decided to try out a pick-up game in my new neighborhood and surprised myself as the skills that had been lying dormant for years popped back into my mind and muscles. Reconnecting with something I used to love brightened up my week and my mindset.
- Read and share a good book, article or story.
Uplifting stories are best enjoyed when shared with others. Seek out the good news of the world and work it into conversation. Become the guy who’s always got a good story. Find interesting things to involve others in discussion about. The key is to not get discouraged if you don’t find the right audience right away. Keep sharing the good stuff and the audience will come! Combine this one with #3 for maximum goodness.
- Eat your favorite snack.
This is one of those “put on your own oxygen mask first” kind of things. Treating yourself is usually a good way to ensure that you have some goodness to share to others. Obviously if your favorite snack is shareable you have a double whammy, but your first hand enjoyment brings second hand joy.
- Go to your favorite place.
Trek the three miles out of the way to drive past the house you like. Fight traffic to spend the evening at the beach. Climb the mountain, go to the lake. I always hesitate and think it won’t be worth it, and it always is.
- Smile and say ‘hi’ to strangers.
It’s simple but effective. In all the times I’ve done this, I have yet to feel worse after sharing a smile with someone. People talk about how there’s such a lack of connection in the world, and you notice it after spending a day reaching out to people. It feels different. The world feels a little warmer.
- Take over someone else’s chore.
Yes, it’s tedious, no, it’s not your turn, but will it bring joy to someone else’s day? Yes. Fold the laundry, wash the dishes, feet the dog. It takes an extra five minutes from you but when thoughts fueled by kindness turn to actions joy is in the air.
- Give someone a hug!
My brother always used to tell me that humans need 7 loving touches a day. Seven separate interactions in which we are positively touched by someone else. Handshakes, hugs, pats on the back, we need healthy and affirmative human contact to thrive. Now I can’t speak to the validity of the number, but we could probably all use a few more high fives and fist bumps. When was the last time you got, or gave, seven “loving touches” in a day? I know I’m not always the best at it, but the days when I go out of my way to add platonic physical connection to my relationships they feel even more impactful, more fulfilling and more full of love.
Now that we all know our objective, let’s get out there and make this the most loving and joy filled Friday the 13th yet ❤