In Episode 31 of this podcast, I talked to you about the Overburdened No More Playbook and gave you 12 ideas of how to feel less burdened.
I’d like to focus on #8 from that list today.
If you’d like that list, I’ll leave you the link in the show notes to have that sent to you. There really are some great ideas on it. I’ll probably be spending more episodes to dive in deeper with most of them.
Tip number 8 was to Serve.
Here’s a bit of what I said before:
Sometimes you just gotta stop thinking about yourself!
Let’s be honest. We can get overrun with all the things we’re dealing with and forget to look outside of our own troubles.
Instead of focusing on what is burdening you, look around.
There is always someone who needs something.
What’s something simple you can do for them?
Could you bring them a drink?
Could you give them a call and listen more than you talk?
Could you offer to pick up some groceries for them when you’re at the store?
Could you send some flowers?
There’s an endless list of things you can do for someone else. And, they’re usually really simple to do. This is a great one that we don’t try often enough!
It’s kind of strange how when we get stuck in that place of feeling overburdened, that we forget the easiest things that make the biggest changes.
Here’s a few more ideas of ways you can serve someone:
#1: Give sincere compliments:
Compliments don’t cost a dime and they are so easy to give.
One morning as I got ready for church, I put on a dress that just didn’t make me feel my best that day. The last time I’d worn it to a wedding reception, I felt kinda frumpy in it. That feeling was lingering that morning.
Imagine how my feelings about how I looked changed as a lady in my congregation, who I don’t actually even talk to very often said to me in passing, “You look really pretty in that dress.”
That was all she said. A quick little compliment changed how I thought about myself right in that moment. Was it something that I could have said to myself and tried to believe it? Sure, but it hadn’t been working so it felt so good to have someone else compliment me.
#2: Write a note of encouragement:
It doesn’t have to be super long and wordy, just share a few things that you love about a person and share some encouragement, maybe even a quote you love. There’s just something about a handwritten note. Of course, sending a quick text can be powerful and thoughtful as well.
#3: Give a small gift:
Pay attention to little things they enjoy so you can surprise them with it when they’re not expecting it.
Keep a note on your phone when you hear someone mention their favorite drink or candy.
Even knowing your friends favorite color can add to a gift.
This is such a fun thing to do. It’s like you’re an undercover agent trying to find out little secrets about people.
How could you help someone that’s carrying a burden?
Could you volunteer to babysit for an hour?
Could you go out and weed with a neighbor?
What about running errands together?
Painting a room is always more fun when you’re not doing it alone.
Bring in a meal for a family that both parents’ work.
What could you come up with to do for someone else that would truly help?
#5: Remember hospitality?
How long has it been since you invited someone into your home?
Covid changed a lot of that for us, but let’s open up the idea of trying it again.
There’s a lot of goodness that can be shared between people when they are invited into your home. That’s a very meaningful gesture. There’s a connection that happens that different than going out to lunch or chatting in passing at the grocery store. You’re inviting someone into your personal space and that’s very intimate. It also gets them out of their normal environment which can help them forget about whatever is burdening them.
Hospitality among people is kind of turning into a lost art.
Maybe host a book club or have a little dessert buffet. Doesn’t have to be a big deal.
Just invite them over for an hour.
See what happens to the depth of your friendship.
What this all comes down to is that we’re all prone to think about ourselves way too much (which is why when we think others are thinking about us, usually in a negative way, it’s just not true. We’re all too busy thinking about what’s going on with us.).
We can make a conscious effort to think about others just a little bit more, don’t you think? Just think of what 10% more could do for those around you!!
I think you know by now that I enjoy a good definition, so I thought I’d look up a few that have to deal with what we’re talking about today.
If you describe a problem or a responsibility as a burden, you mean that it causes someone a lot of difficulty, worry, or hard work.
If you lift something, you move it to another position, especially upwards.
So, if I was to put these two definitions together, I’d say that lifting a burden is to move a difficulty, or worry, upwards.
Burdens usually feel very heavy, like a bag of rocks you carry in a backpack.
When someone else comes and lifts that backpack up from behind you, you automatically feel less strain on your shoulders.
The number of rocks you were carrying doesn’t change, it just feels lighter as another is there with you.
Most of the time the burdens we feel can’t be erased by a kind note, a little gift, or a compliment, BUT they can feel lighter as we help each other.
Another way to define lifting anothers burden is being compassionate.
What does it mean to have compassion?
Compassion is simply seeing someone’s need and wanting to help.
Acting on that desire of wanting to help leads us to do what we can for that person.
It can be pretty fun finding creative ways to show compassion.
It doesn’t always have to be a hug.
Try thinking outside the box and do something for the other person in a way that serves them best.
Let’s get out there and serve one another in simple, love felt ways.
I’m willing to bet that the burden you’re carrying will feel lighter too.