As social distancing has become a big priority throughout the world, we have started to practice communicating without any interaction. As birthday parties, work happy hours, and dinners with friends have all gone virtual, many of us are looking for ways to give back to others to help lift the spirits of those around. Being there for each other, and showing random acts of kindness can be a mood booster for those you love, your neighbors, and yourself.
Sometimes life can get ahead of you. You can sometimes forget about the smallest things that make you or someone else smile. Showing support for your community, coworkers, family, and yourself can be easy — and cost effective. Little things like giving a positive review on your coworker’s LinkedIn profile, or donating your unused materials to a shelter can show kindness without you having to spend a dime.
Normally when you give back to those around you, you start to feel rich with love for your community — and these feelings may even be stronger during tough times. You can actually decrease your stress hormones by 23 percent and even live longer when you consistently give back to your community. Along with that, people over 55 who volunteer for two or more organizations are 44 percent less likely to die early. With Pay It Forward Day on April 28th, spread the love with our 70 acts of kindness you can do without breaking the bank. Who knows, these small actions may just leave you —and your wallet — at ease.
Start by Being Kind to Yourself
Giving back to yourself is just as rewarding and important as giving back to your community. To keep your mind and body healthy, incorporate a few acts of kindness here and there to lift your spirits. While these self-kindness ideas can be used at any time, it’s an extra fun idea to uplift your spirits while social distancing. Start your morning by writing down five things you’re grateful for or just smile more for an endorphin spike before starting your workday.
1. Give Back to Yourself
You are who you are and you can be thankful for that! Write messages on your bathroom and bedroom mirrors of everything you love about yourself. Even add your favorite quotes to put a smile on your face every time you wash your hands.
2. Always Assume the Best of Everyone
Treat others the way you want to be treated and always assume the best of people. You can even take it a step further and appreciate your loved ones by writing notes or sending thank you texts when others go out of their way for you.
3. Choose to Smile More
The human brain is hardwired to smile during pleasant situations, and it turns out you can hack it. Smiling even when something small happens in your day can send endorphins throughout your body, reducing stress. Put a sticky note with a positive affirmation on your computer monitor or door frame to remind you to smile every time you see it.
4. Introduce Yourself to Someone You See Frequently
As the majority of us are stuck in our routines, you most likely see the same employee at the grocery store, or even your favorite barista. The next time you see them at the grocery checkout counter, exchange names (without a handshake) to create connections throughout your community.
5. Write a Gratitude List in the Morning
When you just get out of bed or right after you have breakfast, write out five things you’re thankful for. It could be your morning coffee, your car that gets you from point A to point B, or your favorite meal. Putting pen to paper and recognizing what you’re thankful for can benefit those around you, increase your productivity, and lower your stress.
6. Shut Off Your Phone for a Morning
Increased cell phone use has shown an increase in cortisol levels. If you’re someone that instantly looks at your phone the second you wake up, turn it off before you go to bed the night before. Spend the first part of your morning getting ready for the day, reading a book, or cooking your breakfast as calm as can be.
7. Inspire and Encourage Others Online
We’re all passionate about something. Whether it’s your job or your side hustle, it can sometimes be intimidating to show people what you’ve worked really hard on. Next time you’re on social media, comment something nice on someone’s LinkedIn article or Instagram post to spark positive conversation.
8. Spread Good News
Put your time and energy towards topics that uplift you and your community. Consider reposting podcasts, articles, and even comments that shed light on the good things happening in the world, or for a simple motivational boost. It’s especially important to spread positivity to help you and your community stay positive and motivated when working from home.
9. Nourish Your Body When You Can
Eat healthy and clean food groups, when you can, that may help boost your mood. Take it a step further by checking out your local grocery store for produce rather than a big box grocery stores. Find a couple of healthy and simple meals that don’t require many ingredients to prep throughout the week. Even consider trying out food subscription boxes to have delivered right to your door.
10. Participate in a Kindness Challenge
Challenge yourself to complete 30 days of kindness. Print out our kindness challenge and strive to check off each box for the next 30 days. From complimenting a stranger to leaving a nice note on someone’s car, this kindness challenge will put a smile on your face, too.
Brighten Your Workplace
As many employees are working remotely due to current social distancing measures, it’s especially important to go out of your way to show appreciation for your team! Give back to your coworkers even when you can’t see them in person. Show your appreciation by spreading your wealth of knowledge or taking the time to truly listen during your next meeting. Random acts of kindness can improve your work atmosphere and boost your motivation. Spread the love on your team by doing random acts of kindness (via the internet) to position yourself strongly within a company.
11. Become a Mentor
Whenever your coworkers have a question or want some advice, take the time to chat. If you can, consider hopping on a video chat to answer any questions they may have. To take this a step further, consider posting a message on your LinkedIn to share with your followers. Let them know you’re open to assisting those that may want it during this time.
12. Be Patient and Calm
Sometimes, your work projects depend on your coworkers. If you’re waiting on your team to complete something, ask if you’re able to help out or take this time to complete another task. Everyone out there is trying to do their job just like you, so be kind and patient with your team and tasks in the works.
13. Listen Attentively When People Are Talking
Pay attention to your team and really listen to what they have to say while on the phone or over video chat. If you have the opportunity, pay attention to your coworkers’ nonverbal cues to ensure everyone feels confident and comfortable while staying in. Ask open-ended questions and stay engaged to make accommodations when needed.
14. Lend a Helping Hand
If you know someone on your team is stressed, lend a helping hand. Go out of your way to complete little tasks you’re qualified for. Send them a ping once you’re done as a short and sweet surprise!
15. Pass on Your Favorite Reads
While you may have a little bit more time than normal at home, pass on your favorite books. Whether they may be work related or your favorite murder mystery to read after a long day working from home. This is the perfect time to kick your feet up and relax while drinking a coffee and reading something that you can’t seem to put down.
16. Write a Positive Linkedin Review for Your Coworker
Log on to your social media accounts to share how much you appreciate your team. Search each coworker, or even professional friend, to write a positive review and endorse skills you know they are remarkable at. There’s no better way to share your support for those in your industry than proving it to other professionals on social media.
17. Put Your Phone Away When Talking to Someone
It’s no doubt that our cell phones have made an impact in our work lives. Now that 87 percent of companies expect their teams to use their personal devices for work, it’s sometimes hard to put it away during meetings. Show your gratitude for your team by putting your devices away and staying engaged throughout every conversation, even if you’re meeting virtually.
18. Make Sure Everyone in Your Circle Feels Heard
Listening to everyone on your team builds your trust, and opens the door to new opportunities. When your coworkers feel comfortable, they’ll take risks and be more vulnerable and come together to build your company as a family. Ensure everybody on your team is being heard during group meetings and one on ones.
19. Compliment Someone That Deserves It
Putting all work things aside, compliment something about your coworker(s) when they deserve it. Point out a cool shirt, hairstyle, or a job well done on a recent project. This helps boost your company morale, and encourage those to feel proud about their work.
20. Post (or Send) Inspirational Notes
For those that are working in the same area as their team, write out your favorite inspirational quotes or things you like about each member of your group. If your team’s fully remote, send your team members a quick message of your appreciation and a motivational quote for a mood boost.
Print out our printable and cut out each kindness card to send out to your team. If you’re fully remote, download each page and cut out each card on your desktop. Save each cropped card separately and send them out to each team member you’re thankful for.
Be Extra Kind to Your Loved Ones
As the majority of us are always on the go, right now is the perfect time to show your family how much you care about them. While social distancing with the majority of your loved ones at home, do little things around the house to say thank you. Even by doing something as small as reminding them of how much they matter to you can make a world of a difference. Most of the time, when your family’s happy, you’re happy!
21. Revisit a Past Memory
Take out your photo album for a fun night at home with your family. Flip through each page to take you down memory lane. From the time your little ones were born to every first your family had growing up. Enjoy some ice cream or even chocolate milk to sit back and enjoy this time with your loved ones.
22. Let People Know They Matter
Sometimes, you may take for granted what you love the most. Let your family know how much they matter to you. Tell them how thankful you are for being able to spend this time with them, or tell them over a freshly cooked themed brunch on the weekend.
23. Try Out New Hobbies as a Family
This is the perfect time to start up hobbies you and your loved ones have been considering for a while. Encourage your family a little extra to try things they’ve never done before. From learning how to ride a bike, or investing in guitar lessons online, encourage them to focus on what they’re passionate about.
24. Go on a Family Nature Walk
Getting out of the house to go on walks or bike rides is a perfect way to get some fresh air. Go on a walk after dinner with your family, without cell phones. Talk about your day, and have everyone highlight the best part of their day. Getting outside can help alleviate stress and boost your mood for your whole family to end the night on the right foot.
25. Lend Things to Your Friends, Family, and Neighbors
Be kind to your neighbors, especially while social distancing as things may not be as easily accessible as they used to be. Lend equipment and cooking ingredients to those that may need a couple eggs to make cookies. Communicate over the phone, and wash your hands before and after dropping something off at your neighbors house or apartment.
26. Catch up on All Your Family’s Chores
Especially during social distancing, the dishes may build up, and the playroom may get a little out of control. Take some extra time to do all the chores around your house or apartment. Your family may be thrilled that you had time to clean up, or even start a project that may have been pushed off for a while.
27. Offer to Watch the Kids for the Night
Randomly offer to watch your kids for the night while your other half is able to catch up on some self-care. Whether they want to catch up with their friends over video chat, or just have a relaxing night with a bath and a book, hang out with the little ones.
28. Donate Clothing and Supplies You Don’t Use
For families that are looking to take up some extra projects, consider decluttering your house or apartment. Go through all your closets, cupboards, and drawers and create a pile of everything you don’t want anymore. Pack up everything you’d like to get rid of and leave them at donation warehouses, or to communities in need.
29. Surprise Your Family With Their Favorite Meal
Each week, cook a favorite meal for each member of your family. Surprise your family with a dinner table full of all their favorite appetizers, meals, or desserts to make this time even more special.
30. Add Positive Reminders Throughout Your Home
Give your family a boost with positive messages and encourage them to go out of their way to be kind, too. Print out our kindness messages to add to a frame and hang on your wall as a simple reminder to stay positive and spread positivity to those around you.
Go Out of Your Way for Your Community
During this time of social distancing, there’s no better time to enlighten the spirits in your community. Simply smiling at strangers rushing by you at the grocery store can make someone’s day. They may feel more encouraged to spread kindness as well. Sprinkle random acts of kindness throughout your personal and online communities to build support and kindness in communities all around you.
31. Donate Blood
Hospitals are always in need of blood. To help out, call your local doctor or blood bank to see how they go about this protocol during social distancing. Help those in your community that need it most to share positivity and love throughout your community.
32. Hand Out Baked Goods to Your Neighbors
Since you likely have more free time at home, you may be cooking up a storm. Baking cookies can be the perfect project to do as a family, too! Have a baking night with your loved ones and decorate cookie gift baskets to leave on the doorstep of your neighbors. Ensure you wash your hands, and leave a note so they know who it’s from.
33. Spark Conversation With Someone That May Be Lonely
Think about those that live alone and call them! There’s nothing better than catching up with someone you haven’t talked to in a while, especially when you’re stuck at home alone. Even spark conversation over social media by commenting on posts that catch your attention.
34. Let Someone With a Few Items Cut You in Line
As stores have been pretty busy, let someone cut you in line. This is especially meaningful for families that only have a couple items or look overwhelmed by the store’s influx of customers. That way, they’re able to get in and out without costing you anything but a couple extra minutes.
35. Give Someone Your Parking Space When Leaving a Crowded Lot
It can take a little while to find a spot in the parking lot, not to mention the ones closest to the front. If you see someone making loops around the lot, wave them down and point to your vehicle as you load up. Have them sit behind you until you’re able to back out and be on your way — they will be more than thankful!
36. Donate What You Can to a Local Food Bank
If you and your family have canned food that you know you won’t eat while social distancing, donate it to a shelter in need. Shelters always welcome donations, especially in this time of need. Show random acts of kindness to brighten the lives of those that are hungry.
37. Leave Unused Coupons at Checkout for Others
If you get a new coupon at checkout, or didn’t get to use all the ones you had in your wallet, leave them with that cashier to give to families that may want them. It will be a nice little surprise to end their shopping trip with a little more savings on groceries.
38. Leave a Note on Someone’s Car
Write your own cards or cut out our kindness cards above and leave them in your car or backpack. While you’re out and about, place these kindness cars on people’s cars, leave them in shopping carts, or hand one to your favorite cashier for a random act of kindness.
39. Smile at Strangers
Smiling is the perfect way to spread happiness without doing a thing. Set a challenge each day to smile at a few strangers when you’re ready to go to the grocery store, or come across someone new on your walk. See how many people you can get to smile back from (and at a distance).
40. Write a Positive Review
Go online and write thoughtful reviews for all of your favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and stores you’re missing the most. Not only will they be thankful for their amazing customers, they will be even more thankful and grateful to open their doors back up when we’re all able to.
Even print and cut out our Thank You For Being You downloadable to hand or send out to all the amazing people in your community.
Additional Random Acts of Kindness Ideas:
41. Pick up litter on the beach
42. Tell someone they dropped something when they did
43. Donate unused towels or blankets to a local shelter
44. Leave a gift card you got gifted for someone else
45. Throw a virtual party for someone that deserves it
46. Write a kind message on your mirror for yourself
47. Add body positive messages to the pockets of all your jeans
48. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to do a quick act of kindness
49. Spend at least 30 minutes a day towards something you love doing
50. Hang out positivity signs on the outside of your home for those driving by
51. Return extra shopping carts you see at the grocery store
52. Compliment a family on their amazing kids
53. When ordering takeout, give your server a thank you note
54. Learn the names of everyone you see while running your weekly errands
55. Send thank you cards to officers, nurses, doctors, and firefighters
56. Pick flowers for your family
57. Email a former teach of yours to say thank you
58. Mow your neighbors lawn for a complete surprise
59. Wash someone’s dishes when they least expect it
60. Answer a question in an online forum
61. Donate unused books to your local library
62. Let someone into your lane when driving
63. Bring your loved ones breakfast in bed
64. Tutor someone online for free
65. Take care of someone’s pet while they’re away
66. Ask for donations rather than birthday gifts
67. Wash your loved one’s car (inside and out)
68. Feed the birds your extra bread crumbs
69. Plant something to take care of
70. Write a poem for a family member
Like a smile, kindness is contagious! As our kindness impacts others, right now is the perfect time to show our support throughout the community while social distancing. Not only do random acts of kindness put a smile on others faces, it also sets ease on your stress levels. If you and your family have a little extra time this season, complete our 30-day kindness challenge and start feeling like a million bucks. There are many ways to give back to your community, loved ones, and yourself without having to break the bank.
Even though staying inside can get a little boring sometimes, consider brainstorming the perfect staycation for your family. Take a short weekend vacation in your hometown and explore the outdoors for a relaxing break. Check out our ultimate staycation printables to make this time even more special for you and your loved ones.
Sources: Marc & Angel Hack Life | Awaken the Greatness Within | Dartmouth Edu | Lifehack | Happify Daily | Commonwealth Financial Group | Gliffy | Perillon |