It’s Random Acts Of Kindness Week, so follow our guide to small ways you can make a big difference in the next seven days.
During these challenging times when many people are sacrificing so much, we look at ways that you can give back to others and sprinkle a bit of joy around you!
Reasons to be kind
Kindness not only helps others but can help you to have better relationships, feel happier, be more successful and improve both your mental and physical health:
- You’ll feel like you’ve done a workout! The feel-good rush you get from doing a good deed comes from endorphins in the same way you get a high after exercising
- You’ll feel better about your own problems. Focussing on other people’s needs can distract you from your own problems. In fact, studies have found that cancer patients who helped council other patients experienced fewer instances of distress and depression
- You could live longer. Research has shown that people who volunteer to help others tend to have longer lives and better physical health than those who don’t
- You’ll create a chain reaction. When we are kind to others, we inspire them to respond in a similar way creating a kindness ripple that heads out into the world!
- You will feel happier. The warm feeling that washes over you when you’ve done something kind releases hormones that can have a lasting impact on your mood. Doing six good deeds in one day can have positive effects that will last for up to six weeks.
The kindness mindset
Shifting your outlook and the way you react to people or situations can set you on the path for a more compassionate and understanding day. We all have our own struggles, so take a deep breath and think about…
- Giving people the benefit of the doubt. Who knows what kind of day they have had?
- Rising above negative comments, don’t get drawn into arguments and avoid fuelling dramas
- Not passing bad feelings on. If you’re having a terrible day try not to affect the mood of those around you
- Living in the moment, try not to be distracted by social media and focus on what is going on around you in real life
- Avoiding judging people. Everyone responds differently to situations – just because you don’t understand someone’s reaction doesn’t mean you can’t help them.
Let’s get started
Now you know the benefits of being kind and have shifted to the kindness mindset, let’s complete a random act of kindness to bring some unexpected joy to other people’s day! Acts of kindness don’t have to be grand gestures. Here are five ideas to make kindness the norm:
- Buy an extra ‘suspended’ coffee from your local cafe. The barista then logs the second coffee as ‘suspended’, and it can be redeemed at any time by someone who needs it
- Compliment the first three people you talk to today and smile at five strangers
- Let someone jump the queue in front of you
- Leave some money in the parking meter or vending machine
- Send a card saying thank you to your local hospital, police or fire station.
Get the kids on board
It’s half term, so try to nurture kindness in your kids and start them on a life of helping others:
- Send handmade cards to residents of your local care home. Age UK figures showed 1.9 million people over the age of 65 often feel invisible or ignored, 1.4 million feel cut off from society and 3.6 million admit that their television is their main form of company. One way to help ease the isolation is writing cards to lonely people in your community
- Put together gift bags for the homeless. Ideas of things to include are socks, gloves, water bottles, wet wipes, hand sanitiser, toothbrushes and toothpaste, nail clippers, plasters, tampons, lip balm, multivitamins and hand cream. Once you have them packed up take them to a local organisation or hostel
- Make some kindness rocks. Collect some stones and decorate each one with a positive message and leave them around your neighbourhood for people to find
- Feed the Birds. Put out food and water in your garden for the birds. Your child will be able to watch the birds arrive and could learn to identify them.
Seven days of kindness
Here are some great ideas for a week of spreading good vibes from RandomActsOfKindness.org
Monday: Reply To A Post You Enjoy
We all get in the habit of scrolling past content on social media, this week try to make the Internet a positive and constructive place. A simple thank you or piece of good feedback will show the person behind the post you appreciate their time and effort. Take an extra moment to show you are grateful for the inspiration, information and humour they provide in your life.
Tuesday: Send A Postcard
Getting a heartfelt note will make someone’s day – after all, who doesn’t love snail mail? It only takes a few minutes and a stamp and it’s such an easy way to make a person happy. It may even start a ripple effect – because if you didn’t already know, kindness is contagious.
Wednesday: Plant something
Make a difference in your environment and life! There are so many advantages to having more trees in your world! Most of you may know that trees improve air quality by producing oxygen. But what you might not know is they moderate the effects of sun and wind, and they clean the air by trapping dust, pollen and other pollutants.
Thursday: Knit One, Purl One, Give One
Are you a knitter? Why not use up some of your leftover wool to create a scarf or a pair of mittens for someone in need? Or create tiny hats for newborns in the NICU of your local hospital?
Friday: Text Someone Good Morning or Good Night
Kick-start someone’s day or make sure it ends on the right note. It’s a wonderful feeling to know someone is thinking about you. What’s better than starting or ending the day with that simple reminder?
Saturday: Gift an Inspirational Book
Perhaps an uplifting story you loved, a self-help book that changed your outlook or a cookbook containing the most delicious recipes.
Memories let you revisit special moments. Reach out to an old friend and reminisce about a time you both shared together. You could send or tag them in an old picture or call to say hello. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been – just let someone know you miss them!
So there you have it, how to sprinkle kindness through your week ahead. We hope that, as well as helping others, you find these random acts of kindness impoorove your own wellbeing too. Remember, in a world where you can be anything, always be kind ♡
Photos by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash and Freepik