Ten Tiny Ways to Grow Hope

As I mentioned in “The Courage to be Playful“, human beings cannot thrive without play. They also wilt without the knowledge that they are valued, appreciated and wanted.

As we enter the home stretch of the school year, we may find ourselves swinging between extremes of exhaustion and discouragement one day, and “too busy to smile – getting it done” another. We may find it hard to find hope or enthusiasm and feel ourselves slipping into resignation or “just making it.”

That’s why April is a great month to remember that micro-connection, celebration, gratitude and fun are like vitamins for our soul. They give us energy and hope and remind us that in the end – what we need is to be seen by each other.


Try a different one every day, or choose a few to try DAILY.

  1. Stop and say a small kind word about someone’s work, art, or cooking.
  2. Let someone know you are happy for them (we all need to work on our vicarious joy muscles!)
  3. Write something positive on social media.
  4. Schedule in a tiny celebration of someone you care about (birthday? 5k? kid got license? doesn’t need to be a big reason for a tiny celebration).
  5. Compliment someone in front of others OR in a group email.
  6. Bring a snack to share to that thing you are dreading (you know which one).
  7. Begin a 21-day Gratitude Challenge if your appreciation cup is low (I am beginning one today with a long-distance friend from Portland. Such a nicer way to hear about her day for 3 weeks!).
  8. Make time for coffee or muffins with someone you’re worried about OR someone who makes you smile (kid OR adult).
  9. Express empathy or gratitude to someone in a position of relative power. Empathy does not flow uphill easily (Kit Miller).
  10. Do something playful you wouldn’t usually do (splash in the rain, slide down a stair rail, eat with no silverware, see other ideas my family tried in Courage to Be Playful).

How are you growing hope this month? 
I’d love to know.

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