One of my new year resolutions was to be more kind. I know, its pretty vague… what does being more kind even mean? I wanted to show kindness in an attainable way, no grand (hugely time and money consuming) gestures, just a little more kindness throughout the day to make a more positive impact. The following is a list of the things that I’ve been doing for the past couple of months, and will continue to do. I would 100% recommend introducing proactive ways of showing more kindness to anyone who is looking to set themselves little life challenges or to generally improve on themselves. Doing so involves such little effort but its super rewarding. These tips are all really small and easy ways of showing kindness, promise.
Donate to your local food bank
No, you don’t have to drive all the way there or spend a fortune. I’ve been picking up a little something each time I do a supermarket shop, and I simply drop it off in one of the food-bank collection points. The majority of medium/large supermarkets have one, so you’re more than likely walking right by it on your way out of the store anyway. I rarely spend any more than a pound each time I shop on things like soup, rice, pasta or cereal. I can certainly go without a packet of biscuits or sweets so that someone else can have a meal.
Everyone loves to be Fed
You know I’m a foodie. Everyone loves the work colleague who brings in surprise treats for the office (my office is pretty small, this may not be so easy for someone who works with hundreds of people!). Bake some cupcakes (I usually enlist the help of Betty Crocker) or even just pick up some cookies from the shop, it will definitely brighten up everyones coffee break!
Be aware of others
Be polite. I’m always so shocked when someone doesn’t hold the door for me or put their hand up in thanks after I’ve consciously stopped to let them out of a junction. If a waiter has done a good job then tip well, and if you receive excellent service anywhere then let a manager know! Being more aware of other people and their needs is basically just having some manners. I’m sure the majority of people already live by this tip, but there are definitely a few who are ruining common curtesy for the rest of us!
Donate to animal shelters
This tip is as easy as the food bank one, so many supermarkets have collection points for animal shelters. When you’re picking out food for your own pet then grab some extra food if you can afford to. There are a lot of cute little animals out there who will appreciate it. I got my kitty after volunteering at Cats Protection for a couple of days and I wish I could have helped them all more!
You don’t have to be the first one to initiate kindness. When someone is kind to you, then show them that you appreciate it. Thank people who hold the door open for you or let you out of a junction (yes I’ll stop going on about it now). Sending thank you cards for gifts and the like is a really simple way of showing appreciation. It seems to be a rarity nowadays no, a thank you text or Facebook message is not the same thing.
One Mans Trash Is Another Mans Treasure
Donating unwanted things to charity shops is something which most of us do, but most of us can donate more. I’m not talking about giving away things that you still use and love, but of donating literal rubbish. Cats Protection (yes I’m on about kitties again) are always in need of old towels that a lot of people throw away, they also (along with a few other charities) collect biscuit wrappers which earn them money through the TerraCycle program. Get a lot of mail? Many charities collect used postage stamps, which they can also trade in for money, you can read more about how to support Macmillan with stamps here.
Look after your loved ones (even when you’re busy)
Sometimes we all tell ourselves that we’re too busy to visit our parents and grandparents. Too busy to actually catch up with friends rather than just talking about it. Make time. Buy your other half flowers or make them their favourite dinner. Offer to pick up a few groceries for someone (especially if you know they’re busy) … making time shows people that you care.
Spread the love
Got some spare time? You know you’re going to spend it scrolling through social media anyways, so drop some nice comments here and there. People put a lot of time and effort into taking pictures for Instagram or thinking of ideas for blog posts. A little love won’t go unnoticed, especially on the smaller accounts. I’m currently loving Becca Hargate’s (from Nude, Pink or Black) Instagram, so do your good deed for the day (and brighten up your feed) by checking her out!
Become an Organ Donor
This one takes five minutes of your time and you could literally save lives at the end of your own. Register here, if you haven’t already.
Save some kindness for home too
I can’t be the only one who manages to exhaust my kindness supply right in time for getting home? I spend all day (even the bad ones) smiling at strangers and making small talk with acquaintances. By home time I’ve completely run out of niceties and am super grouchy towards the people that I actually love. If this sounds familiar, then try to be upbeat when your partner walks through the door. They may have had a bad day too and grouchy people together is a recipe for disaster.
Please let me know of any other ways you try and show kindness in you day to day life! There’s always room for more!