February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day! We're all for celebrating kindness, because everyone could use a little more kindness in their lives these days. Did you know that there is scientific evidence that demonstrates the positive effects of doing kind acts for others as well as receiving or even witnessing kindness? That's right! Even the smallest act of kindness can change a life. This year, we're encouraging everyone to Explore the Good by incorporating conscious acts of kindness into their lives.
Here are 10 ways you can start making kindness a priority!
1. Write a letter—and actually mail it!
When is the last time you received a handwritten letter? Taking the time to write out a note or letter and mailing it to someone you care about shows you cherish a relationship and want to invest in it. Also, letter writing is linked to increased happiness, because telling someone how much you appreciate them helps you count your blessings and notice some of the beauty in your own life.
Take the time and write a friend, family member, or loved one a letter and let them know that you're thinking of them!
2. Go shopping for someone else
These are challenging times for everyone. Help out your elderly or immunocompromised friends and loved ones and offer to do their shopping for them. This is a great way to show someone you care that won't overload you because you can do it while you get your own shopping done.
3. Start a gratitude journal
Have you ever heard of a gratitude journal? Keeping a gratitude journal is easy—you simply make a note of the things that you are grateful for each day. You get to decide how long your list is each day and how much detail you want to include. The great thing is that it’s an easy and healthy habit to form. The best part is that after a while you will have your very own collection of inspiring material to look back on whenever you might need a pick-me-up!
What are you grateful for? Write it down—now is the perfect time to start!
4. Make your very own "Love Bombs"
Love Bombs are like business cards—for kindness!
Love Bombs are a great way to express sincere emotions and create lasting feelings and memories. You can make your own love bombs using cue cards or cut up scraps of paper. All you have to do is write a sincere message of kindness (think messages like: "You've changed my life," "I admire your strength," "My life is better with you in it," "Many of my favourite memories are with you") on each card. Keep them handy and when the moment strikes, hand out a card to a friend or loved one!
5. Start a daily habit of kindness
Make kindness an everyday priority with a calendar that has daily kindness prompts and reminders.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has free downloadable calendars that offer daily kindness ideas that you can complete in a few minutes or less. Their Kindness at Work calendar also offers team-based activities that can be used to celebrate kindness each month as a team, a small group or the whole company!
Download the Kindness at Home calendar HERE
Download the Kindness at Work calendar HERE
6. Help out around the house
Looking for a way to show your family that you care? Try helping out around the house!
Cleaning and household chores are often "invisible work" (ie: work you don't see being done, or don't actively engage in is work you don't tend to notice happening). There is no cleaning fairy, but you can make someone's life a little bit more magical by picking up the slack and helping out around the house.Here are some ideas to get you started, try (without being asked):
- Do the laundry
- Do the dishes or load the dishwasher
- Cook dinner
7. Show appreciation with a compliment
We're all busy, and sometimes when we're busy we forget to show appreciation. Show appreciation to the people in your life (coworkers, family, friends) with a compliment!
Giving a genuine compliment not only shows people you appreciate and care about them and their work, it's also good for the people who give them. When you go out of your way to say something nice and give thoughtful praise to another person, it amplifies your self-confidence and nourishes your own self-esteem.
Small acts of kindness go a long way these days. So, next time you think something nice about someone or their work, don't keep it to yourself—share it!
8. Practice self-care
We've all heard it: "don't forget to practice self-care!" or "self-care is important!."
...Well, it's true! It is important to practice acts of self-care every day. Incorporating a daily practice of self-care into your life can improve your overall health and wellness. When life gets busy, it's easy to put self-care on the backburner, but self-care helps you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself because it increases positive feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Self-care is also helpful to remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important too.
Here are some ways you can start practicing self-care today:
- Make space for creativity! (get crafty, or put on some music and dance around the house)
- Read a book!
- Go for a walk!
- Order take-out from your favourite local restaurant!
9. Praise a local business online
Online reviews have an immediate impact on a restaurant. Positive reviews can directly help a restaurant grow and attract more business, while negative reviews can drive people away for good.
Have a local restaurant you love? Show some local love and write them a positive review online!
Another way to show some local love is to try (as much as you are able) to do your shopping at local businesses. Get inspired and visit MPL's Shop Local page!
10. Text someone "Good Morning!"
Picture this: you've just woken up to your alarm, you're still feeling a little groggy from the night's sleep, but through the fog you see a notification at the top of your screen, it's a text message from a loved one that simply says "Good Morning!"
Doesn't that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Everyone knows just how sweet a good morning text can be. Showing someone you care doesn't have to be a big to-do. It’s the little acts of kindness that people do every single day that add up and create a solid foundation for long-term happiness.
Show someone you're thinking about them, and send a friend, family member or loved one a "Good Morning!" text. It’s simple, easy, and lets them know you care about them.