As we’ve come out the other side of what I hope was the final lockdown and crossed the ‘freedom day’ milestone, I’ve realised that over the past year there are a number of people who have made life bearable; at times even enjoyable. People without whom I’d probably now be a gibbering wreck on the floor. I also realised that many of these people probably don’t even realise what an important role their texts, regular calls, creative Zoom games and yoga classes have played in cocooning my physical and mental wellbeing during the crazy year we’ve had. This, I would imagine, is the case for most of us.
If you’re rolling your eyes reading this, just ask yourself why? What is it about opening up positively to someone who’s helped you that makes you squirm?
Now, expressing gratitude to people and giving genuine compliments can feel very uncomfortable if you’re not used to it, pushing us well out of our comfort zone. It makes us feel vulnerable, and there are some more old-fashioned sectors of British society who may even sneer at it. However, it’s one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal to connect with people we care about, boost their confidence and happiness and as an added bonus it’s shown to give us a nice rush of endorphins too.
If you feel nervous about it, remember this: the likeliest outcome is that you get a really positive response that reinforces your bond with that person. If, for some reason, they respond negatively or with cynicism, it might be a good indicator that you should examine that relationship, or that there’s something going on in their lives that they may need support with.
If you’re rolling your eyes reading this, just ask yourself why? What is it about opening up positively to someone who’s helped you that makes you squirm? Is it fear of being perceived as weak? Or because you think it’s the sort of nonsense that only snowflake millennials engage in? It might be that you’ve actually had a really tough lockdown and felt let down by the people around you. If that’s the case, my heart goes out to you and I hope you’re able to find a better support network in future.
So, if you’re feeling brave and like it’s something you want to try, here’s a simple step-by-step guide to spreading a bit of post-lockdown joy (this can be done in normal times too of course):
Make a list of everyone who had a positive impact on you
Be really specific about what it was they did that helped, and the benefits of their actions for you
Send your message via card/email/text/sky writing (!)
Enjoy the happy vibes!
It really couldn’t be simpler, but it has an enormous impact on the recipient. Let us know if you decided to spread the joy by dropping us a line at email@example.com, we’d love to hear how it goes!