Good morning everyone and happy Saturday! I hope your weekend has been full of nice weather and positive vibes. Those of you who are regular readers of my blog will know that I love to give back. And there’s no better feeling than when you make someone else day. It’s just so easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life and we’re so often in tunnel vision trying making it through the day, the week, without forgetting to put that load of washing on, or buy that birthday card for our cousins sisters kid, that we sometimes forget to think about those around us.
This year involved a lot of travel for me (surprise, surprise), starting a new job, moving house (twice), and everyday was go, go, go. But making time to gift kindness to others when I had the opportunity, was always a priority for me. In my opinion, when we pay our kindness and positivity forward, it will not only make someone else day, but it will encourage them to do the same. And it’s so easy to do!
Below I have listed my favourite acts of kindness that will leave you with a feel good feeling and a put a smile on someone else face.
1. BRIGHTEN SOMEONES DAY WITH COMPLIMENTS
Compliments go a long way. Whether it’s on someones outfit, the work they’ve done or even just telling them how helpful they’ve been, or how good of a friend they are, there’s no mistaking the smile that appears after a compliment has been received. And it always amazes me how a few simple words from me, results in another persons day being a that much brighter.
2. CLOTHING DONATION
Every few months I do a wardrobe clean out and donate my unwanted/unused clothes to various charities in need. When I’m a bit stopped for cash (because I spend all my money on travel) I’ll sell some of these items on eBay, donating a percentage of the sale to charity.
3. SUPPORTING ANIMAL SHELTERS
During winter, a shelters blanket supply can often become dirty and damaged quite quickly (a result of the the wet weather conditions), so any donations they recieve is extremely helpful. Similar to a clothing donation, collecting unused/unwanted blankets and towels to then be donated makes a huge difference.
4. THE UNEXPECTED
A lot of large shopping centres (depending what country you’re in) now charge for parking. This is quite common in Australia and I often find myself paying for 0-3 hours when I’m only going to be a maximum of twenty minutes. So after obtaining what I need, as I’m leaving the parking lot, I always hand my ticket over to someone else. The last time I did this, the person was so appreciative, that if they were done shopping before the time was up, they would pass the ticket onto someone else. Now that’s paying it forward.
5. GIVING THANKS
Every day I smile and say good morning to the cleaner in my apartment block, wishing her a good day. I notice a lot of my fellow residents pass her by barely even noticing her, but she works hard and is always so cheerful, so I make it a point to acknowledge that and acknowledge her.
I volunteered quite a bit in Australia but as I’m travelling, I’m finding that I’m having less time to do so. This Christmas though, I made sure to keep a few hours free and I ended up bucket collecting at my local train station for the charity Marie Curie. I raised £94 which equals around four hours of nursing care. It took little effort on my part and will make a huge difference to those in need.
7. PROVIDE ASSISTANCE
Whenever I see mothers with prams, or people struggling to lift their suitcases up stairs in train stations, I offer my assistance where possible. I mean, two hands are better than one right? And I’ve so been there before.
8. HOLD THE LIFT
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been in a lift with others at the end of a workday, the doors are closing and I see someone running towards it, only to miss it by a second because nobody has has the decency to hold the lift for them. I always think that the person running for the lift is obviously in a rush, so whenever I’m near the front of the lift, if I see this happening, I always hold the door open for them.
9. GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK
Each year at Christmas time I buy gifts for various charities that will distribute them to people in need.
10. COFFEE KINDNESS
When it comes to getting a morning coffee, everyone always seems to be in a rush. And there are often times when it’s hard to keep track who was in line first, whose pushing in etc. A lot of people need their morning pick me up before they can get on with their day, so letting someone go in front of you in the queue will not only help them out, but will help to ease a stressful situation. Especially during rush hour at your local Starbucks.
11. GIVE SOMEONE THE NIGHT OFF
Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a housemate or your partner. Cooking a meal for someone and giving them the night off to enjoy a few extra hours of “me time” is such a great gift. Especially if you’re already cooking for yourself.
12. HOTEL TOILETRIES
Relaying my blog post ‘how your hotel toiletries can help others’, I always like to collect the shampoos, shower gels, etc., from my hotel stays when I travel and donate them to a local shelter upon my return.
At the end of the day, whatever it is you do, never underestimate your ability to make someone else’s life better. Some of you may already be doing these without even realising it, or if you have any of your own acts of kindness, I’d love to hear them!