It’s Friday the 13th, but WAIT, it’s also World Kindness Day! In today’s current state, it seems like no better time to be practicing kindness as much as possible. So let today simply be an EXTRA reminder to practice small acts of kindness – starting from yourself and your relationships, to your community and beyond.
Why bother? Well, research shows that altruistic behaviours are not only felt positively by the receiver, but that those giving will also experience pleasure responses in our brain. It’s a Win-Win!
So, here are 12 simple acts of kindness you can do right away or any day!
Be Kind To Yourself
It starts with you! And though for some this is obvious, there are definitely those out there that need this reminder! Martyrs, am I right?!
1. Be Kind To Yourself. What is something simple you can do that fills you up? Take an extra long tea break. Opt to spend some quiet time to yourself, or spend an extra 15 min to connect with an old friend.
2. Get Moving. Whether this is going for a walk, or playing some tennis with a friend, push a bit harder and sweat a little! You’ll be rewarded with an endorphin kick!
3. Get Extra Rest. Self care has been tossed around even more lately. Sometimes as simple as giving yourself a good nights rest is the best form of self care. Head to bed a little earlier than usual or review the conditions of your bedroom to ensure you have optimum rest.
Be Kind In Your Relationships
4. Express gratitude. To your partner, family member or friend. Or do something nice for them. Saying “I appreciate you” or picking up on a chore can be a simple way to make the other person happy. If you know their love language, make sure it speaks to them!
5. Connect or check in with a relative. Visiting may be challenging this time around, but that doesn’t stop us from picking up the phone! I’m sure that call to someone who you haven’t spoken to in awhile will light up their day!
6. Treat someone. From picking up their favourite chocolate bar, to taking someone out for a meal. Whatever fits your budget or occasion!
Be Kind In Your Community
7. Share your baking/cooking. Sourdough bread, cookies, pasta… we’ve been seeing a surge in home cooking and baking. Why not share some of your goodies with a neighbour? I’m sure this will be a nice change from their usual go to items!
8. Practice respect. Sometimes your actions are about what’s best for the other person, and not yourself. You’d go out of your way to give a friend a hand at least once in awhile, right? Well, in pandemic times, wearing a mask (even if you don’t want to), is also showing kindness to a stranger. Since it’s hard to know if you’ve been exposed or not, protect a stranger who might be going home to a vulnerable family member.
9. Buy local and pick up. Support a local small business and if the options available, do curbside pickup. It’s a tough time for many right now and though food delivery for example, is very convenient, help a business earn a bit more by not paying the fees they’d owe to delivery services.
Be Kind To Your Planet
10. Second guess something you’re about to throw out or replace. Can it be used for a different purpose? Can it be fixed? Or even sell it if you really don’t think you will have a need for it. Someone’s garbage is another’s treasure! The target is to take one step closer to reaching a circular economy instead of straight to the recycle bin.
11. Turn off your lights and conserve energy. Simple and straightforward. Swapping old bulbs for LED energy saving bulbs is also a good one here!
12. Purchase Green. If you’re about to make some new purchases on something, do a little extra research and opt for the one that is better for the planet. Nowadays, most of us have a search engine in our pocket. (Be cautious of green washing, but if that itself overwhelms you, don’t stress about it right now).
Writing this alone brings a big smile to my face as I brainstorm all the little acts of kindness that one can do. I hope taking action today or any day, makes you smile and may it lead to the only thing we want to be contagious, smiles and laughter. Happy World Kindness Day!