When was the last time you did something kind? Maybe you baked some cupcakes for your colleagues, or bought a homeless person a cup of tea? Whether big or small, acts of kindness are incredibly important, to yourself as well as other people. Doing something kind can even improve our well-being, according to the Mental Health Foundation.
With World Kindness Day taking today, there is no better opportunity to show your softer side and give yourself – and those around you – a rush of happiness. To get you started, here are 24 little acts of kindness you can try to fit into the 24 hours of Kindness Day.
1. Leave a note for a loved one to find. It could thank them for something they have done for you, tell them how wonderful they are, or just wish them a good day.
2. Give up your seat on public transport, whether it is to somebody who is elderly, disabled, pregnant, or to somebody who just looks like they could do with a sit down.
3. Buy a homeless person a hot drink and a spot of breakfast to warm them up in the chilly autumn weather.
4. Put your change in a charity box, or give it to a charity collector.
5. Leave something somewhere for a stranger to pick up, to make them smile. It could be something as small as a short poem, or a used book with a note in it.
6. Bring in a tasty treat for you and your colleagues. There is nothing like a biscuit to boost morale!
7. If a colleague looks stressed or a little down, ask them if they’re okay and make them a cuppa.
8. Hold the door open for someone. It might seem like a small gesture, but it could be just what they need to brighten up their day.
9. Remember your manners. We’re so busy nowadays that we don’t think about saying thank you when we grab a free paper from a vendor, for example. As you take one, acknowledge them – smile and say thank you.
10. Answer one of those all-staff emails that come round, asking for help. Whether it’s lending a hand with some heavy lifting or committing to a works charity event, offer your services.
11. Smile at a stranger. You’ll be surprised by just how great it’ll make you both feel.
12. Pay someone a compliment, no matter how small. Perhaps you love your workmate’s new top or a cashier’s up-do.
13. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to for a while, whether because of a fall-out or life simply getting in the way. You never know, it could end up like you’ve never been apart.
14. Take unwanted goods to a charity shop. Perhaps your wardrobe is full of clothes that you haven’t worn for months, or you are hoarding books you have read from cover to cover?
15. Help a colleague who is stretched for time, especially if your own calendar looks miraculously calm.
16. Pay for lunch for you and a friend (this is also a great way to follow up suggestion number 13!)
17. Next time you see a child throw something out of their pram, pick it up and hand it back to them or their parents. Even if the child is too busy crying to show their appreciation, their parents will definitely be grateful for the helpful gesture.
18. Sign up to volunteer for a cause that is close to your heart. A quick online search will uncover countless local charities in need of help, from animal rescue centres to homeless shelters.
19. Clean up after yourself. You could stack up your used crockery in a café, ready for someone to take away, wash up your breakfast bits rather than leave them in the sink, or just keep your desk tidy at work. Every little act helps the person who would have had to do it in your place.
20. Donate blood. It only takes about an hour at the most, and the only pain comes from the prick of the needle as it goes into your arm. Why not donate on your lunch break?
21. Let someone go in front of you at the supermarket checkout, especially if they have more shopping than you.
22. Make tea for your family, whether you live with a partner or with your parents. If you already do most of the cooking, why not add an extra something special, like a homemade pudding?
23. Let someone into your lane. When another car is trying to edge its way in front of you, put the brakes on and let them in – they are probably in just as much of a rush as you are!
24. Have some me-time, even if it’s just a half an hour soak in the bath. Kindness Day isn’t just about being kind to others, it’s about being kind to yourself, too.
Are you planning on carrying out some little acts of kindness this Kindness Day? Tell us all about them below!
Image credit: Tambako the Jaguar / Flickr.com