With so much ugliness in our world, we all just need to share and receive some love right now. I know it’s not always easy to find the time or funds to truly acknowledge those close to you, but it is still super important, so I’ve compiled some small acts of kindness that will make life sweeter.
Kindness isn’t limited to romantic partners, friends, or family. You can have a connection with your school librarian, the mail carrier, or even the coworker who holds the door for you every day on the way into work!
None of these tips require a huge amount of time or money, and hopefully you can begin to implement them into your own life starting today! Remember Long Distance Love Bombs’ Jeremy Goldberg’s goal of making kindness cool? More of that please.
Genuinely compliment as many people as possible
Be a cheerleader to every person in your life! Your friends are actual rockstars and should be treated as such! For how easy compliments are to give, we as humans don’t do it nearly enough. I talk all about the benefits of genuine complimenting people, but honestly, this rule doesn’t just apply to the strong women in your life. Share some love with the men, too! I try to give at least one genuine compliment a day and it’s honestly changed my life. It may seem silly but people appreciate being acknowledged!
Send a quick text
If you’re feeling especially lovey-dovey toward your friends or family, you can express your gratitude in a simple way that will make anyone’s day: send a text telling said person how much they mean to you. There shouldn’t need to be an occasion to text your best friend thanking them for everything they do.
Feel free to write as many threads as you have time for. I tend to limit myself to 5 people at a time so I don’t find myself getting sucked in and writing “I love you” texts at 3am. But that’s just me.
Pen an actual thank-you note (yes, people still write these!)
People still sit down and write paper thank-you notes?! Not very many people do it anymore, but I still firmly believe in the art of a good thank-you note. This is a super quick way to show someone that you took the time to think about them. Actual thank-you notes tend to be more personal than a text message but should take about the same amount of time. Also, it’s scientifically proven that people who write out thank-you notes live happier lives overall!
According to Woman’s Day, a study by Steven M. Toepfer, PhD, associate professor of human development and family studies at Kent State University, found that those who write three thank-you letters over a three-week period reported greater life satisfaction, more happy feelings and fewer symptoms of depression.
Leave a note for someone to find
If you don’t have time to write a full fledged thank-you note with a heading, body, and signature, you can achieve the desired effect by leaving a short note for somebody to find. My dad leaves a note by my water bottle every single day before school with a message on it.
Even a simple “I love you” makes my morning and provides a positive outlook to take on the day. These little notes mean so much to me that I’ve been collecting them since he started leaving them years ago. They probably take him no time at all to write, but they still leave a huge impact.
Share something that reminds you of a friend or family member
One of the nicest things you can do for someone that takes less than a minute is to send a quote, photo, article, etc. that reminds you of a person in your life. It seems very elementary but again, these are not huge gestures but rather small acts that remind people that you care about them and treasure their presence.
I love when a friend sends me a funny meme or a link to a thought-provoking article I might find interesting. My mom is constantly sending me media and it makes me feel good to know that she cares enough to take the time to share posts with me.
Participate in the You Matter Marathon
The You Matter Marathon is a project that revolves around normal people handing out business cards that tell people that they matter. The marathon takes place for the entire month of November, and participants agree to give out one card a day and keep one for themselves.
It’s too late to sign up to participate for the full month of the official organization (they send official cards in the mail), but you can modify this idea by simply writing “you matter” on slips of paper and handing them out instead of business cards.
I’ll share in December my experience with this project. I’m excited to use this platform to not only encourage strangers, but my own friends as well. I plan to equally divide my affirmations between the two groups. This project is a simple way to pass on a powerful message to those closest to us that they matter.2