Kindness is contagious! Practicing kindness feels good, spreads joy, sparks hope, and is even good for our health. When we are kind, we release the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which not only feels great, but is also good for our heart health and mental health.
We could all use a little extra comfort and kindness is our lives. Here are some simple ways to spread comfort and kindness to the world.
1. Write a card or letter
When was the last time you received a handwritten letter? The days since snail mail was common practice are long gone, but the feeling of opening your mailbox to find a thoughtful note is heartwarming. Spend a few minutes writing a letter or send a card to someone you love.
2. Bake cookies
Nothing says love like a fresh batch of homemade treats. If you have a favorite family recipe, now’s a great time to get in the kitchen. Consider making a large batch so you can send out cookies to multiple friends (or keep some for yourself!). Cookies are fairly easy to ship through the mail as they have a long shelf life and aren’t too messy.
3. Send flowers
A bouquet of flowers will brighten anyone’s day. If you know someone who tends to collect houseplants, a potted plant would be delightful as well. There are companies that take online orders and will ship straight to your loved one’s door.
4. Make dinner for your neighbor
We all need to eat, and sometimes it can be hard to find the time or energy. If you know someone who’s going through a difficult time, give them some relief by making a meal for them.
5. Offer free services to your community
Do you own a business or have skills in something useful? Consider how you can help your local community by offering free services to people in need of them.
6. Donate goods, clothes, or products
If you don’t have a service to provide, you probably have something you no longer need that someone else would appreciate. Take a good look around your home and get rid of anything you’re no longer using. Clothes, toys, furniture, and kitchenware are some examples of items that people always need.
7. Share an article or podcast that someone needs to read/hear
There’s a lot of great content out there these days. Anytime you find yourself thinking that someone you know would benefit from what you’re reading or listening to, stop for a minute to send it along their way. It will give them something to look forward to as well as lets them know you’re thinking of them.
8. Make a good old fashioned phone call
Texting can get the job done for little things, but actually having a conversation with someone is special. We humans thrive off of connection, and getting that through a screen just isn’t enough! Carve out some time to have a phone date with someone you need to catch up with or someone who could use your support right now.
9. Leave quarters at the laundromat
Everyone needs to do laundry, and for those people who don’t have access to laundry inside their homes, the cost can start to add up. The next time you’re at the laundromat, leave a handful of quarters to “sponsor” the next person’s load.
10. Send an encouraging email
If you’re someone who has a way with written communication, write an email. It’s much quicker to write an email than to write by hand, so it’s an easier way to write when you have a lot to say or want to share a story. On the receiving side, it’s always nice to read encouraging words from a friend.
11. Write positive comments on social media and blogs
If you feel a reaction to something someone has shared on their social media or website, let them know what you’re thinking! It’s difficult and vulnerable for all of us to put our thoughts, feelings, and opinions out in the world. Hearing that someone loves what you’ve shared or took value from it is always appreciated.
12. Gift an inspirational book
We’ve all read books that have changed our lives, whether because they taught us something, altered our views, or just imprinted a beautiful story in our hearts forever. Uplifting words have the power to ease anxiety and reframe our mindset. If there’s a book that has held special meaning to you, send a copy to someone that you know will benefit from it as well.
13. Thank somebody
Is there someone that has done something for you recently that you haven’t thanked yet? Or maybe a person or business in your community that has done something inspiring lately? Spread your gratitude and let people know that you acknowledge their efforts.
14. Share comforting messages
If you own a brick and mortar business that has public-facing features, spread messages of comfort. Write inspiring quotes on your windows, bulletin boards, or marquee. If you live in a neighborhood, write kind words on the sidewalk with chalk.
Take the time to practice active listening with the people closest to you. Whether it’s in person, on the phone, or on a video call, allow them to share their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, we don’t need advice or a solution to our problems - we just need to get something off our chest.
16. Support a local business
Small businesses rely on the support of their community in order to thrive. Wherever possible, choose to purchase from the businesses in your area over box stores. Connect with the people who are a part of the business and let them know you appreciate what they do.
17. Smile at strangers
One of the simplest ways we can spread comfort and kindness is simply to smile at everyone we come in contact with!