This article is in collaboration with Mint.
Though life looks a little different right now, the most important things are still right at our fingertips: The people that matter to us and the moments we share with them. Even if only long-distance, or for a few minutes, putting a smile on someone else’s face can out both of you in a great mood.
Not only does doing something kind feel good, but it can actually be good for you, too. Research shows that being kind to others can help speed recovery from illness and even lengthen your lifespan. However, additional research has found that repeated acts of kindness are necessary to sustain the oxytocin boost you get from doing something nice for another person. That’s why creating a habit of compassion and kindness can be incredibly beneficial to your mental and physical health.
Whether you sign up for weekly volunteer sessions, or go out of your way to smile at passers-by, the intention and consistency is more important than what exactly you do, so don’t stress about making the biggest impact. Small acts can go a long way.
To jump-start your kindness habit, here’s a list of small acts of kindness you can do. Try completing all 30 in the month, and you’re sure to feel especially happy.
1. Bake something for your neighbor. What’s better than a homemade banana bread to brighten someone’s day?
2. Volunteer at a local shelter.
3. Compliment a stranger.
4. Express gratitude. Whether you say grace over dinner or write down 3 things you’re thankful for each night, practicing gratitude proves to be one of the most effective ways to boost your own happiness – and someone else’s!
5. Hand out 5 kindness cards.
6. Give someone your favorite book.
7. Text someone a friendly message. It’s always nice to know someone is thinking of you.
8. Pick up trash on the ground.
9. Smile at 5 strangers.
10. Put your phone away all day. That way, you can give the people around you your full attention – and calm your own mind too.
11. Thank someone. Saying “thank you” is more than good manners, it’s a sign of appreciation for who they are and all the things they do .
12. Let someone know they matter.
13. Send an appreciation card in the mail.
14. Comment something nice on another’s post.
15. Write a good review for your friend on LinkedIn.
16. Leave a nice note on a car.
17. Shop local. Especially the small business owners in your area will appreciate the support.
18. Spread good news – its’ contagious!
19. Inspire someone. You don’t have to do big, memorable things to give a good example.
20. Let someone check out before you at the store.
21. Don’t look at your phone during meetings. Instead, make an effort to really listen and understand their point of view. We all long to be heard.
22. Hand deliver 2 kindness notes.
23. Compliment a coworker.
24. Add a motivational sticky note on your mirror. A positive reminder can set the tone for your entire day.
25. Run an errand for someone. There are lots of elderly and chronically ill people who could use a helping hand.
26. Give blood.
27. Leave an unused coupon at checkout.
28. Turn off your phone for a morning. Don’t feel like you’re missing out – you’re actually tuning in.
29. Have a self-care day. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
30. Stay calm and patient all day. That’s easier said than done, but a relaxed mindset will make all your interactions much more agreeable.
You can also download these 30 ideas as a calendar, to check off your progress each day.
To make spreading kindness even easier, Mint created these helpful kindness printables. There are cute and complimentary cards to send to friends, family, or coworkers, or even leave for a stranger to find. To brighten up your space, there’s also kindness reminder posters that remind you the most important thing is to be kind. Check out all the kindness printables here.
No matter where you choose to spread kindness — whether that’s with your family, your coworkers, or even among strangers — being compassionate and helpful is sure to bring you and those around you happiness.
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