The world could use a lot more kindness right about now, don’t you think? That’s why we got psychologists to share the most impactful—yet still simple—ways you can make others feel loved, cherished, and appreciated.
Stepping in for a stranger, a best friend, or a coworker in their time of need may be a no-brainer for you, but it doesn’t only benefit them; it can do wonders for you and for the universe. So here’s a list of possible things you could do today!
1. Help a friend practice self-care
Slip an envelope containing a small packet of tea bags or bath salts into a friend’s handbag with a note inviting her to take some relaxing time for herself. Your kind action is now causing another – your friend can now be kind to herself.
2. Praise a parent
Tell a parent they’re doing a good job. ( They probably rarely hear that!) You are almost guaranteed to be rewarded with a shy but bright smile in return. Sometimes the simplest things mean the most.
3. Offer to take a photo
Whenever you see someone taking a family photo, offer to snap the shot so everyone can be included in the moment. You never know – that photo could be featured on their holiday card that year or become a treasured memento. And people almost always offer to return the favour.
4. Put the Earth first
Be kind to the Earth. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, switch to paperless billing, recycle, use energy-efficient light bulbs, use a refillable water bottle, and bring
cloth bags to the supermarket. We only have one planet, and we need to keep it clean and protected.
5. Help a new homeowner
Moving? Tape a list with the names and numbers of local tradespeople such as plumbers and electricians, along with other helpful information, on a kitchen bench for the new owners. The last thing a new homeowner has time for is researching reputable repair companies. Your list will eliminate a lot of hassle and stress.
6. Introduce yourself
Take the time to learn the name of someone who regularly helps you out – whether it’s a security guard, a doorman, or a cashier at the supermarket. Greet them by name. This seemingly small gesture will demonstrate how greatly you value your local service people and your interactions with them.
7. Make someone laugh
If you know someone who is having a hard time, text them a pun or a joke. You’ll brighten up their day and take their mind off difficult thoughts, even if it’s just for a moment. You can also text appropriate suggestions of funny podcasts for an added dose of comedy medicine.
8. Bubbles and fun for all the children
The next time the kids want to go to the playground bring along bottles of bubbles and large pieces of washable chalk, and leave them in a central location for kids to help themselves. The kids will have a blast, you will get some well-needed rest and relaxation and other mothers and fathers at the playground will appreciate the kind gesture.
9. Leave it behind
Do you want an easy way to pay it forward? When you’re finished reading a newspaper, magazine or paperback book on a bus or train, leave it in the seat pocket so the next person who boards can read it for free. What an easy way to put a smile on someone’s face and cure commuter boredom with free entertainment. Better still, it won’t be cluttering up your own home.
10. Treat a long-distance friend
If you know someone special who is celebrating a birthday or promotion, send them money to buy coffee or lunch for themselves. This small act will demonstrate that you are thinking of them from afar and as the old saying goes, ‘the best ship of all is friendship’.
11. Call your parents and grandparents regularly
The days are slow but the years are fast, which means you should check in with the people who matter to you most. Picking up the phone for a check-in and a chat is a nice departure from a quick text message.
12. Send a pizza from far away
Order a boutique pizza or favourite take-away and have it delivered to outof-town friends dealing with a birth, death or another major life event. A delicious food delivery will put a smile on the faces of people dealing with a major life event who often don’t have time to sit down for a nice meal during a hectic period in their lives.
13. Donate baby clothes
You know those infant clothes that your baby outgrew in weeks? Pass them along to a new mum or dad who will be grateful for the worn-in and heartfelt present. They can then pass it along to another new mother or father who can continue to pay it forward within the new parent circle.
14. Be a job skills matchmaker
Think about two people whose professional or job ski l ls may complement each other and introduce them over dinner at your house. This is a nice way to introduce people who may not have met otherwise. And who knows, maybe the next best-selling business venture will be born right under your nose.
15. Swap seats on public transportation
If you’re on a crowded bus or train, and you see a family get on board and start looking for adjacent seats, offer to move so that parents and kids can sit together. They might be too shy to ask outright, but chances are, they won’t turn down the opportunity to sit together.
Check out my related post: How to surround yourself with positive people?