Being kind is something you can – and should – try every day of the year. Read on for some inspiration….
It’s World Kindness Day on November 13, but being kind is something you can – and should – try every day of the year. Read on for some inspiration….
The majority of us like to think of ourselves as kind people, but when the stresses of life start to get to you, it can be easy to shut out the world and see everyone as “the enemy”.
But if you start consciously introducing random acts of kindness into your everyday life, not only will you make others smile, but you’ll feel great too.
Try one, two, or even all 20 of these ideas and feel the difference.
1. Say “good morning”
From your neighbour to the stranger you pass on the street to the coffee shop worker, make an effort to smile and say “good morning”, to set their day off on a positive note.
2. Surprise people with small generosities
Leave your pound in the trolley ready for the next person, pop a note in a tip jar, buy someone a coffee when they haven’t asked for one, and lend a stranger that extra 50p they need when they’re short on change.
3. Give someone a compliment
When you’re admiring someone’s dress/shoes/handbag, tell them! It’ll make them feel great – and you may be able to find out where it’s from and get it for yourself.
4. Pick up rubbish
If you see a plastic bag blowing away in the wind, pick it up and put it in the next bin you see. We need to be kind to the environment and animals as well as each other.
5. Give someone a hug
Not only do hugs feel great physically, but they also release feel-good hormones that make us feel safe, comforted and cared for. Hug your partner and kids every day that you see them, hug friends hello and goodbye – and even hug that woman who’s having a tearful moment in the ladies at work.
6. Save a life
Stop in to donate life-saving blood whenever they have a drive in your local area. Also sign up to be an organ donor; do this and your kindness will live on for another lifetime.
7. Keep a spare umbrella
There’s little worse than having to trudge home in the rain, so keep an extra umbrella at work so you can lend it out to any potentially soggy colleagues.
8. Start a conversation with someone new
Ask the name of the receptionists, cleaners and security guards at work. Always greet them by name and get to know them. Also if someone seems shy, strike up a conversation with them. You’ll be surprised at how chatty they might be once you give them the opportunity to open up.
9. Don’t be a gossip
If people are having a gossip at someone else’s expense, be the one to say something nice about them. Not only will it stop the negative conversation, but it might make the gossipers think twice about being mean again.
10. Help the homeless
Buy a homeless person a coffee, some food, or simply stop for a chat. If you walk past them regularly, find out their name and ask what food and drink they would like you to bring in future.
11. Look for the best in someone
If a person is getting on your nerves, take a deep breath and think about the good things about them. Can’t think of anything? Then realise that everyone is dealing with their own demons and you have no idea what theirs are. Cut them some slack.
12. Leave a positive note
Write something nice on a Post-It note and leave it somewhere unexpected. If it’s at home, leave it inside a cupboard door or on the window behind closed curtains, ready to be found in the morning. You could even leave a feel-good note for a stranger, perhaps in a toilet cubicle or a magazine in a doctor’s surgery. You’ll never know who you’ll make feel good, and how long it’s been since they last smiled.
13. Be patient
Allow a car out of a junction, pedestrians to cross the street and the person behind you in the queue with fewer items to go ahead of you. We’re all in too much of a rush. No harm will come from slowing down.
14. Offer your assistance
Help someone up the stairs with their bags, take a photo for a tourist couple or offer directions to someone who looks lost. It’ll make you feel good to know you did what you could.
15. Compliment a parent
If a child is well behaved or you’re impressed with how a parent is dealing with an upset child, let them know. So often parents feel judged by others, so they’ll be thrilled to hear they’re doing a good job.
16. Help someone in need
If you have a friend who is unwell or is going through a hard time, do something to help them. Lend them an ear and a shoulder to cry on, or help with practical tasks, like the shopping, laundry or cooking, which they may not be feeling up to.
17. Give up your seat
If you’re in good health, always give up your seat on public transport to anyone who is elderly or infirm, pregnant or with a young child.
18. Make a stressed colleague a cuppa
If your friend is working through lunch and doing late nights, make them a cup of tea, bring them a coffee in the mornings, and offer to pick them up some lunch. These small gestures will make a big difference to them.
19. Include everyone
If a group of you are going to lunch, pass the invite out so no one feels excluded. Also if a few of you are talking about something, make sure you involve everyone in the conversation. It can be so easy to overlook someone, but they’ll definitely notice if they’re the one who’s being overlooked.
20. Be kind to yourself
You shouldn’t forget yourself in all of this. Be kind to your body by eating well and exercising; be kind to your skin with rich, gorgeous-smelling lotions and using Fairy Non-Bio to make sure your clothes are soft and gentle on sensitive skin; and be kind to your mind with mindfulness or meditation and writing a mental gratitude list every night before bed.
How did you get on? Let us know in the comments section below ¬– and feel free to share any suggestions of your own.