We live in an increasingly stressed-out world, in which most of us are so busy juggling multiple obligations that it can be hard to find the time to look outward instead of inward. On top of that, spending more time “connecting” on our devices has ended up making us feel more alone than ever. But this isn’t cause for despair. Quite the opposite. It gives us all the more reason to perform an act of kindness.
Every year, Random Acts of Kindness Day is officially February 17, but when performing acts of kindness is so easy, there’s no reason not to make every day Random Acts of Kindness Day.
Even a small act of kindness can have immense repercussions. When you’re kind to someone, it changes their mood, their feelings, their life. It changes the way they interact with their friends, coworkers, families, and the way they feel about themselves. One small act of kindness can cause an endless ripple effect of kind acts.
Today, it’s never been easier to be kind. With computers and smartphones, we can be in touch with our friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers — even with our classmates from the second grade. And all it takes is a few seconds to make a positive impact on someone’s life.
Here are 10 acts of kindness that you can do online or from your phone right now:
1. Like Someone’s Post
It’s quite possibly the simplest action you can do on social media, but it can make someone so happy. When you like someone’s post, you can make their day. And so what if it’s the hundredth picture of their baby that they posted? Or a joke that you’ve heard a thousand times? Liking someone’s post doesn’t cost any money, takes less than a second, and can add joy to someone’s life. That is what’s called a win-win situation.
2. Pay a Compliment
It’s easy to scroll through our friends’ social media feeds, look at the pictures and read the posts, and just keep on scrolling. What most people don’t realize is that every post is an opportunity to perform an act of kindness. If someone posts something funny, instead of continuing to scroll, take two seconds and write, “So funny!,” “How clever!,” or “Well-done!” If someone posts that they got a new job, take two seconds and write, “Congrats!” If someone posts a picture of their child in a Halloween costume...you get the idea. While you don’t have to lie and write that you like something even if you don’t, if you see something that you do genuinely like, taking two seconds to acknowledge it is an easy act of kindness.
3. Send Flowers
Flowers aren’t only for sympathy. If you know someone who is going through a hard time, sending flowers is a lovely way to cheer them up. Flowers can be ordered online, and there are often coupons or sales so you don’t need to go broke. If a friend or family member lost their job, just broke up with a partner, or just had an all-out terrible day, flowers are a pick-me-up that can literally turn that awful day on its head.
4. Tell Someone You’re Thinking of Them
Once we finish college and move steadily into mid-adulthood, we have less and less time for friends. Even good friends that we used to see regularly now become a phone call every now and then. Sending one of these friends an email, message, or Whatsapp that you’re thinking of them is a great way to let them know you care. That despite life’s hecticness, they are still in your heart and you are there for them.
5. Sign up Someone for a Subscription Service
Sometimes the act of kindness you do doesn’t always need to be felt straight away. Signing up a loved one for a subscription service is an act that can last for months and only involves a few clicks for you at the time. For example, a subscription for a top meal kit delivery service will give the person a chance to learn all about cooking and and offer convenience well into the future.
6. Donate to a Worthwhile Cause
Spreading awareness is kind, and so is donating. When you find a cause that speaks to you, donate. The only reason organizations can do what they do is because kind people donate, so be that kind person and donate whatever you can. Of course, you can then share on your social media feeds that you donated and give more people the opportunity to perform an act of kindness.
7. Endorse Colleagues on LinkedIn
If you’re scrolling through Linkedin or looking for jobs, use it as an opportunity to do an act of kindness. If someone has a work anniversary, congratulate them. If a former colleague started a new job, wish them luck. You can also write a few words of recommendation to people you’ve worked with in the past. Not only is this an act of kindness, but it can have real-life repercussions when potential employers see their pages.
8. Write a Positive Review
Bought something online recently that you love? Take two minutes to write a positive review. Ate at a fabulous restaurant? Write a positive review. Used a handyman recently? You got it — write a positive review. These reviews can take just minutes to write and can make a big difference to the parties involved.
9. Send Photos to Your Parents and Grandparents
Many adult children don’t live near their parents, so when they have kids, it can be hard on the parents/grandparents who live so far away. If this is the case, send pictures. And more pictures. Because parents love seeing their kids and grandkids, and if they can’t see them in person, pictures are the next best thing. One picture a day, which takes approximately 30 seconds to snap and send, can so easily bring joy to someone. And how great when that someone is your parent or grandparent?
10. Say Thank You
It’s your husband’s job to mow the lawn, and it’s your wife’s job to pick up the kids from school. These are daily tasks that are done without complaint, but perhaps without too much joy. Saying “thank you” to someone can make their day. It acknowledges their efforts and makes it easier for them to continue doing what they need to do. So take a minute and think: Did your wife make you breakfast? Did your husband throw out the garbage? Did your kid clean his room? Did your friend send you a funny meme? When someone does something nice, send a quick thank you. Not only will they feel happy, but you’ll start feeling happier when you notice all the nice things that people around you are doing.
Kindness Goes Both Ways
When we perform acts of kindness, we don’t only affect others, but we affect ourselves. Studies have shown that when people perform acts of kindness, they are the ones who are transformed by those acts. Performing an act of kindness can increase self-esteem, self-worth, and boost your mood.