Montagu Kindness and Care Blog
Love is all around this month and we’re all for it! There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to spread that stuff everywhere, like thick, melty peanut butter on hot toast.

But why limit the love to just one month? These are crazy times we’re living in, there’s no doubt about it. We believe that there’s no such thing as showing too much love – to ourselves and others – and we should intentionally look for ways to show that we care! 

WE SHARE 10 IDEAS TO HELP YOU SPREAD A LITTLE LOVE

LOVE YOURSELF

Before we can share the love, we need to receive it. Self-care will always be the best way to keep your tank full and overflowing. And just because the word has “self” in it, it actually has very little to do with selfishness. The best way we can care for others is from a place of care for ourselves. Our recent healthy habits blog explains why.

Here are 5 simple ways to nurture self-care:

  1.  Me-Time
Basic daily routines like taking a long shower or using the bathroom without a toddler hanging on your leg might feel like self-care (any moms out there?), but it isn’t. Me-Time is about doing something that injects life into you, something that refreshes and revitalises your body, mind and soul.

Prioritise time for yourself every week, no matter what:
  • Get into nature – a walk on the beach, a solo hike in a beautiful forest or an early morning run
  • Get pampered - a relaxing facial, manicure or massage
  • Get refreshed – a (hot) cup of coffee and a good book, a motivating podcast, a long soak in the tub with your favourite playlist
Your family deserves the best version of you – and that version of you takes time to create. Whatever fills you up, do it every chance you get.
  
  1. Have a hobby
Surely life is about more than your 9 – 5, right? It has to be! It’s so important to have something that’s just yours and no one else’s. Something you can pour yourself into. Something that will allow you to use and explore your gifts, talents and interests.

You don’t even have to be good at it to enjoy it – that’s the point!

Don’t have a hobby? Here are some ideas:
  • Draw, paint or journal
  • Take a photography course or just go out and take some photos
  • Start a blog
  • Learn an instrument
  • Write poetry or a short story
  • Restore old furniture
  • Join a running club
  • Start a veggie or herb garden
  • Cook or bake something new
    
  1. Detox
When we think of a “detox”, most of us probably think of an awful food fast with a handful of veggies thrown in just to keep us from passing out. Thank goodness that’s not what we’re talking about at all!

In this case, we simply mean: take stock of every area of your life, cut out the junk and add in the good stuff. A life detox will look different to each person.
  • Physical detox: Eat lean and clean. Cut down on sugar and processed foods. Low carbs, high protein. Drink lots of water. Snack on nutrient-dense foods. Exercise.
  • Mental detox: Go phone-free when you can. Delete those soul-sapping apps. Limit social media and news. Turn off the TV. Read. Meditate.
  • Social detox: Re-evaluate the people in your life. Choose your friends wisely. Is there someone you should distance yourself from? Where should you put up emotional boundaries? Is there a hard conversation you need to have? Is there someone you need to forgive?
  • Emotional detox: Journal. Laugh. Show yourself grace. Embrace and express your emotions. Have a good cry. Go to therapy. Forgive yourself. Meet a life-giving friend for a good, long talk about life.
    
  1. Say “No”
Saying “yes” to self-care sometimes means saying “no” to something else.

Giving your schedule some breathing room could be one of the best things you do this year. Saying “no” every now and again gives you the space to prioritise yourself and your time. You don’t have to have plans every single weekend. Your kids don’t have to attend every birthday party. You don’t have to allow so-and-so’s negativity to dampen your day.

Boundaries are sometimes hard to implement but they’re vital to your wellbeing, your health, your family, your time, your budget, everything. Not everyone will understand and that’s ok. You decide what’s right for you.
   
  1. Spoil yourself
It goes without saying and you deserve it. When last did you treat yourself… just because? Even if you need to work a little spoil into your budget, do it. Life’s short. Have the dessert. Go see that movie on your own. Watch just one more episode of your favourite series. Get an ice cream cone when you go to the beach. Get a decent coffee. Order a pizza.
  
Spoil yourself every now and again – your soul needs it.  

LOVE PEOPLE

Loving yourself always has a ripple effect – it will flow out to those around you, friends and strangers alike.

Here are 5 ways to care for those around you

  1. Make kindness your default
It’s the one thing that doesn’t cost a thing. You really never know what the people you encounter are going through, including the grumpy shop assistant or the telemarketer who calls at an awkward time. When we make kindness our first response, we can diffuse anger and irritability. Not to mention restore people’s faith in humanity!
  
  1. Express your appreciation
It doesn’t matter who you are, we all need to know that we are appreciated. Who in your world could do with a little appreciation and care? Perhaps someone in your life hasn’t received some affirmation in a while. Maybe someone who tends to fly below the radar could do with a lift.
Why not be that person today? Tell someone you’re grateful for their friendship. Compliment someone’s smile. Tell your employees how much you value their hard work and commitment. When we’re appreciated, we will pay it forward.
 
  1. Share a picnic with a friend
Why not treat a friend or family member to a little picnic in the park? Gather all your favourite goodies and while away the hours under a tree with someone you care about. Talk about the good things in life, your hopes and your dreams. It could be the soul boost you both need.
  
  1. Random acts of kindness
When you actively look for ways to show kindness towards others, you’ll find that opportunities to show people you care are around every corner. A random act of kindness can change the course of someone’s day, even their life.
Here are some simple acts that could mean the world to another person:
  • Pay for the coffee of the person in the queue behind you
  • Leave an extra generous tip
  • Write an anonymous note of encouragement
  • Pay a stranger a genuine compliment
  • Buy a bunch of flowers and leave individual stems on car windscreens
  • Leave coins at the parking pay station
  • Give a rave review for great service
  • Teach someone something new
  • Cook extra food and take a meal over to a neighbour
     
  1. Celebrate with a Snackbox
Have the people at the office made it through another hectic month-end? Does your team deserve a pat on the back for a job well done? Did your kids bring home awesome term reports? Celebrate with a Montagu Snackbox! Filled with everyone’s favourites, a box of goodies is the perfect way to show you care.

   
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