Everybody has a bad day. For some, those days have a way of stringing themselves together into bad weeks, and months, and maybe even years.
It’s tough out there, and it’s impossible for you to know what kind of troubles someone has to carry with them wherever they go. While you can’t fix those problems, keeping what others are going through in mind and treating them with a little extra kindness can really boost someone’s spirits.
That’s the name of the game on Random Act of Kindness Day. This February 17th, do something kind and unexpected for another person. Just one small, personal act can do wonders to pick someone up when they really need it most.
So as you get ready to tackle the day, try to think of something nice you can do for someone else that will lift their spirits, and keep reading for a few of our favorite suggestions.
Buy coffee for a stranger
Image via Max Pixel
When you’re waiting ever so patiently in line for your morning pick-me-up, tack the phrase “and whatever they’re having” to the end of your order buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you. This small act of kindness may be worth doing just to see the stunned look on a stranger’s face.
Make a new, old(ish) friend
Imagine spending every day and night with someone for 50 years. How would you feel when they’re suddenly gone? That’s a pain that is hard to fathom, as is the loneliness that can set in along with it. It’s a reality many, many elderly people live with, and the health threat of this consuming loneliness can be as bad as picking up smoking. If you know someone who lives in your building or neighborhood who doesn’t get a lot of social contact, why not invite them over for dinner? Or out for a walk? Or to catch a ballgame? It might seem like a small kindness, but it will do more good than you realize.
Tip someone like you’re a rockstar
Image via Max Pixel
If you go to the same place for lunch everyday, and the same person serves you your meal, why not let them know how much you appreciate the service. Leave a $20 bill in a tip jar, or take that percentage tip to the extreme (>50%) to show your gratitude. Folks in the service industry work their tails off to keep us happy, so it’s only right to return the favor when you can.
Donate your gently loved books
Image via Bookshelf Porn
Are your bookshelves bowing under the weight of books you’ll never read again? Why not pass them on to people who will truly appreciate and can’t get their hands on them? Your local homeless shelter will make sure they find a good home, as will a women’s shelter. Women’s shelter in particular would appreciate children’s books. Here’s a fantastic resource to find where you can drop off books in some major cities, as well as nationwide.
Leave some change at the laundromat
How good does it feel when you pull an extra quarter of the change maker when you’re at the laundromat? If you can spare it, break an extra dollar or two and leave the change in the dispenser for someone else to use.
Thank a service man or woman
Image via Operation Gratitude
Help someone who has nothing
If you’re reading this right now, you have it pretty good, at least compared to many others. Some people risk life and limb to get to our country with literally nothing to their name. If you have it in you to donate to refugees in need, you can see the most needed items here, and how to find the nearest place to you that accepts donations here.
These are just a few ideas. Please, take them with you and try to share some kindness as often as you can.