Nothing warms you up from the inside out like simple kind acts, done with good intentions (though we admit that a sweet, hot, preferably boozy, beverage can also do wonders). To put it simply, kindness makes the world a better place.
If you didn’t already know, February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day. Yep, it’s one day a year dedicated to reminding you that little kind acts can make big ripples. So why not take the excuse to spread a little warmth?
Bonus: Doing good for others can make us feel good too. As if making someone else’s day wasn’t awesome enough, you might just end up making your own. Win-win.
11 Kind Acts to Try This Random Acts of Kindness Day
Try one of these 11 easy kind acts to spread a smile today and every day. They don’t take up much time, energy, or money, but the returns for both you and the recipient are more than worth it.
1. Give out compliments
What gift can you give that costs absolutely nothing, can’t be wrapped up, and yet is guaranteed to instantly lift someone’s spirits? You got it: A compliment. Tell someone how much they inspire you, how great a job they did at work, or how awesome their hair looks today. Giving out some sincere compliments is one of those kind acts you can do anywhere, any time.
2. Cook a meal for someone
Not everyone has the time or ability to make home-cooked meals every day. Maybe there’s an elderly person or single parent in your neighborhood who’d welcome a batch of your best bolognese. Drop ’round with a dish to give them a night off cooking.
3. Share your skills
If you’re good at something, give it away for free. Musician? Host a free concert. Accountant? Help your neighbor with their finances. Handy with a comb and a pair of scissors? Offer to give someone a haircut.
We’re willing to bet that have more skills than you think. So what are you good at?
4. Speak up
Kindness isn’t just doing right; it can also be preventing wrongs. If someone makes a sexist or racist remark, call them out on it. If co-workers are gossiping about someone, step in and say something positive about that person. Speaking up or taking a stand against negativity or injustice is a small kindness that can make a big difference.
5. Warm up an outdoor worker
You know what makes the cold even worse? Having to work outdoors in it. Your mailperson, garbage collector, or food delivery driver might love a hot cup of tea. Or grab an extra to-go coffee and give it to someone stationed out in the cold, like a security guard or policeman. Way to warm their hands, their belly, and their heart.
6. Donate to your local food bank
Next time you’re doing the grocery shopping, throw a few extra things in the basket and pass them on to your local food bank. You’ll never know who benefits from your kindness, and they’ll never know that you helped keep them from hunger while they were going through a rough patch. But that’s all the more reason to feel good about this small and simple act of kindness.
7. Leave a kind note on the check when you pay for your meal
A little note of thanks or a friendly message is a ray of light that can brighten someone’s day. Leave one for the wait staff when you pay for your meal—even if the person who served you wasn’t very friendly. Hey, they’re probably just having a bad day, and maybe your note will bring a smile to their face.
8. Leave some loose change
Just imagine if you dragged your basket of dirty sheets all the way to the laundromat, realized you forgot to bring change, then noticed, as if by magic, a little bag of coins on the bench with a note saying “use me” stuck to the front. Wouldn’t you be low-key blissed out on a mix of relief and gratitude? Well, you could give that gift to someone else. So why not do it?
9. Give blood
It may not be the most fun weekend activity, but donating blood is one of those simple kind acts that will make you feel good—and may well save someone’s life. If you want to go one step further, put your name down on a bone marrow registry.
10. Deepen your connections
If you think about it, there are probably people you see or talk to all the time—and yet you don’t even know their names. The woman who makes your morning coffee, the lobby security guard, the convenience store clerk… You can generate kindness and warmth just by deepening your connections with those people. It’s as simple as introducing yourself, finding out their names, and making your interactions with them a little friendlier. Human connection is powerful, so this is one of those kind acts can have a big impact—on both of you.
11. Create magic for someone
This one is a little harder to define. What is magic? You’ll know it when you think of it. It might be recreating someone’s favorite meal. Or singing them a song that reminds them of childhood. Perhaps it’s asking an elderly person to share stories of their life, and lending your ear and your company as they tell them. Or giving your spouse a completely unexpected gift, surprising your mom by cleaning her house while she’s out, calling up an old friend just to tell them you miss them.
These small, simple kind acts are tailored to someone in your life to create a magic moment just for them. So think of someone you know and then ask yourself: What would make their day truly special?
To sum it all up…
We hope these kind acts inspire you to show a little warmth this Random Acts of Kindness Day—and all of the other days too. You might just find that giving to others is a quick way to give to yourself. And just like that, you spread a little magic to your community and yourself too.
Your turn: What are your favorite kind acts to brighten someone’s day? Tell us in the comments.
Need more ideas? Check out these simple acts of kindness to get into the habit.
Author: Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper is an Australian-born writer and photographer. She believes in curiosity, kindness, and adventure as a state of mind.