I hope your week thus far has been full of glorious weather and positive vibes. Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that I LOVE to give back. There’s just no better feeling than when you make someone ele’s day that much brighter.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of life. We’re so often in tunnel vision trying make it through the day, the week, even the month without forgetting to put that load of washing on or buy that birthday card for our cousins sisters kid, that we sometimes, okay a lot of the time, forget to think about those around us.
This year involved a lot of writing for me (surprise, surprise), starting a side business, dealing with health issues (surgery included), 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.
Because when we pay our kindness and positivity forward, it will not only make someone else’s 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 (some I did this year, some I’ve done previous years) that will leave you with a feel good feeling and a put a smile on someone’s beautiful face.
1. BRIGHTEN SOMEONES DAY WITH COMPLIMENTS
Compliments go a long way. Whether it’s on someones outfit, the work they’ve done, telling them how helpful they’ve been or even 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 can result in another persons day turning from ordinary to extraordinary.
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 books and travel) I’ll sell some of these items on eBay or Depop, donating a percentage of the sale to charity where I can.
3. SUPPORTING ANIMAL SHELTERS
During winter, a shelters blanket supply will often become dirty and damaged quite quickly (a result of the the wet weather conditions), so any donations they receive is extremely helpful. Similar to a clothing donation, collecting unused/unwanted blankets and towels to then be donated makes a huge difference. And animals are just as deserving as us for a wonderful life.
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, 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 were going to do the same and pass the ticket onto someone else. Now that’s paying it forward.
5. GIVING THANKS
When I was living in an apartment block, every day I would smile and say good morning to the cleaner, wishing her a lovely day ahead. I noticed a lot of my fellow residents would pass her by barely even noticing her but she worked hard and was always so cheerful, so I made it a point to acknowledge that and acknowledge her.
I volunteered quite a bit in Australia and then when I was travelling, I made sure to keep a few hours free to do some bucket collecting at my local train station. I raised £94 which doesn’t seem like a lot but in fact, equalled around four hours of nursing care. It took little effort on my part and will make a huge difference to those in need. This year I’m back in Australia and whilst physical volunteering is on hold due to COVID, it’s something to keep in mind for when things open back up.
7. PROVIDE ASSISTANCE
Whenever I see mothers with prams, or people struggling to lift their suitcases up stairs, if I’m able, I always offer my assistance. I mean, two hands are better than one and I’ve so been on the other end before, eternally grateful for a strangers help.
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. It’s just the decent thing to do!
9. GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK
Each year at Christmas time I buy gifts for various charities that will distribute them to people in need. I love Christmas and everyone should be able to bath in the warmth that Christmas giving brings.
10. COFFEE KINDNESS
When it comes to getting a morning coffee, everyone always seems to be in such a rush. And there are often times when it’s hard to keep track who was in line first, etc, 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.
12. HOTEL TOILETRIES
Relaying my blog post ‘how your hotel toiletries can help others’, I always like to collect the shampoo, soap, shower gel and toothbrushes from my stays, and then when I have a small bag full, donate them to a local shelter. A little extra weight in my bag on the way home is nothing compared to the good these items will do.
At the end of the day, whatever it is you do, never underestimate your ability to make someone else’s life better. To be beautiful on the outside, we must truly be beautiful on the inside.
Love and kindness, Nerissa x