Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

It’s so easy to say something special, but gestures are a more tangible way to express your appreciation. Here are some simple acts of friendship, love and neighborliness that will leave a lasting impression for years to come.

Put it in writing: In modern times, mailing a handwritten note to someone you care about is a brief inconvenience that becomes a rare memento for the recipient. With just a handful of cards, a few stamps and a bit of time to craft simple messages, you can truly brighten the day of friends or family.

Leave it better than you found it: Respecting the spaces and objects around you is an easy way to reinforce your place in your community. Opportunities to leave things better than you found them are everywhere: Picking up a bit of litter on the neighbor’s lawn as you pass, offering to help a relative with yard work and enhancing an errand you’re running for a friend (such as adding a book they’d like to their bag of groceries) are small but meaningful ways to show you care.

Foster connection: Look for opportunities to connect acquaintances with similar interests or backgrounds. Making friends can be difficult for many people, especially today with social distancing, and your introduction could pave the way for a new friendship while strengthening your own network.

Be good for your word: If you accept an invitation or volunteer to do something, keep your commitment. Like going to gym, showing up is half the challenge. These days, when cancelling due to social anxiety is the norm for many, your participation is an undeniable vote of support. If it’s difficult to find the motivation to join that Zoom happy hour or pick up the phone when you’ve said you’d call, tell yourself you’ll make it happen and give it at least 15 minutes before allowing yourself to bow out… chances are, you’ll be in for the long haul once you settle.

Don’t forget yourself: Collect cards and notes in a scrapbook or journal about them to remind yourself of your place in the community. In times of solitude, sentiments from people who care about you can offer comfort. Hanging meaningful notes on your fridge or the mantel also works.