Here are inspiring ideas to brighten someone’s day in 120 seconds or less. Pass it on!
An act of kindness, no matter how small, can go a long way. Take a tiny portion of your day to put a smile on someone’s face or give someone an unexpected surprise with these kind gestures. If you’re on a budget, these random acts of kindness do not cost a cent.
Pay it forward
If you’re not in a rush while grabbing your morning coffee, offer to pay for the person behind you as well. This simple act of kindness might inspire them to pass along some good in the world as well.
Leave a letter
Carry around a stack of sticky notes with you, and if you’re feeling inspired write an encouraging note and leave it on the mirror in a public bathroom or on the window of someone’s car. You never know who might need some inspiring words to put a smile on their face.
Plant a tree
Say thank you to the earth by planting a few saplings in your local park or in your yard. If everyone took the time to do this think of all the greenery we could enjoy.
Help an elderly neighbor
If you notice an elderly person struggling with their groceries or to bring their trash can in from the curb, offer to help them. Chances are, they will be very appreciative, and this act of kindness will take less than two minutes.
Bring in treats for your co-workers
Pick up a few extra goodies with your morning bagel and bring them in for your co-workers to enjoy. This can be a great mood booster during a stressful time a work. Take a few minutes to chat about your day and eat with them to take some of the pressure off.
Help someone find loose change
Pass on some luck
Leave a stack of quarters on a laundromat washing machine with a note saying they’re free for the taking.It is super frustrating to arrive at the laundromat and realize that you’ve forgotten your bag of change. This super simple act of kindness will prevent tired moms and dads from having a breakdown.
Give a lottery ticket to a stranger on the street.Win or lose, just receiving the ticket will surely brighten someone’s day. And who knows, your kind action may have just created a new millionaire!
Help clear off a car
When you’re cleaning snow and ice off your car in a parking lot, clean off the next car as well. Not only are you helping out another driver, but you’re also making the roads safer for everyone.
Help a friend practice self-care
Slip an envelope containing a tea bag into a friend’s purse with a note inviting her to take some relaxing time for herself. Your kind action is now causing another—your friend can now be kind to herself.
Help a child in a time of stress
Buy coloring books and crayons and donate them to your local police department. When the police are called to a home where there are children, one officer can engage the kids while the other handles the situation. This is a great way to calm and distract children during what can be a very frightening experience.
Praise a parent
Tell a parent they’re doing a good job. (They probably rarely hear that!) You are almost guaranteed to be rewarded with a shy but bright smile in return.
Offer to take a photo
Whenever you see someone taking a family photo, offer to snap the shot so everyone can be included in the moment. You never know—that photo could be featured on their holiday card that year or become a treasured memento. And folks almost always offer to return the favor!
Leave a welcome note
When a new family moves into the neighborhood, use chalk to leave welcome messages on the sidewalk in front of their home. It can be hard to settle into a new area. Chalk messages are great ways to show how warm and friendly the neighborhood is and how excited everyone is to meet the new residents.
Make someone’s rainy day
Buy extra umbrellas and keep them in your car. When you see someone caught in a downpour, hand one over. You could be saving someone from walking into an interview or important meeting drenched.
Put the earth first
Be kind to the earth! Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, switch to paperless billing, recycle, use energy-efficient light bulbs, use a refillable water bottle, and bring cloth bags to the supermarket. We only have one planet, we need to keep it clean and protected!
Help a new homeowner
Moving? Tape a list with the names and numbers of local plumbers, electricians, and dry cleaners, along with other helpful information, on a kitchen cabinet for the new owners. The last thing a new homeowner has time for is researching reputable repair companies. Your list will eliminate a lot of hassle and stress.
Take the time to learn the name of someone who regularly helps you out— whether it’s a security guard, a doorman, or a cashier at your grocery store. Greet them by name. This seemingly small gesture will demonstrate how greatly you value your local service people and your interactions with them.
Leave reading material behind
Read magazines on a plane? Don’t dump them when you’re done—offer them to the flight attendants for their reading pleasure. These magazines can be great distractions for travel workers when they’re off far away from their loved ones.
Make someone laugh
If you know someone who is having a hard time, text them a pun or a joke. You’ll brighten up their day and take their mind off difficult thoughts, even if it’s just for a moment. You can also text suggestions of funny podcasts for an added dose of comedy medicine.
Forgive a debt
Money is so often the root of stress and shame. Canceling a debt can easily eliminate these feelings from a friendship and create a kinder, more loving relationship.
Bring extra bags
Besides remembering everything on your grocery list make it your mission to bring extra bags to the supermarket to share with people who’ve forgotten to bring their own. Shoppers, as well as Mother Earth, will thank you!
Invent your own holiday
You don’t have to wait until December to have fun! If you notice a pal is feeling down or your sister is stressed, create your own special occasion, like National Big Sister Day. Shower her with flowers and small gifts. Invite family and friends to get in on it too.
Bubbles for all
The next time the kids want to go to the playground bring bottles of bubbles, large pieces of chalk, and stickers, and leave them in a central location for kids to help themselves. The kids will have a blast, you will get some well-needed rest and relaxation and other mothers and fathers on the playground will appreciate the kind gesture.
Leave it behind
Do you want an easy way to pay it forward? When you’re finished reading a newspaper or magazine on a bus or train, leave it in the seat pocket so the next person who boards can read it for free.What an easy way to put a smile on someone’s face and cure commuter boredom with free entertainment!
Treat a long-distance friend
If you know someone special who is celebrating a birthday or promotion, send them money via Venmo to buy coffee or lunch for themselves. This small act will demonstrate that you are thinking of them from afar and as the old saying goes, “the best ship of all is friendship.”
Help a class stay healthy
On the first day of school, send your kid in with a bag of tissues, antibacterial wipes, and paper towels, which will help keep everyone healthy, safe, and clean.
Call your parents and grandparents regularly
The days are slow but the years are fast, which means you should check in with the people who matter to you most. Picking up the phone for a check-in is a nice departure from a quick text message.
Send a pizza from far away
Order a pizza and have it delivered to out-of-town friends dealing with a birth, death, or another major life event. A heartfelt and delicious food delivery will put a smile on the faces of people dealing with a major life event who often don’t have time to sit down for a nice meal during the hectic period in their lives.
Is your household the home to more arts and crafts tools than it can hold? Donate arts and crafts supplies to your local library for after-school fun. After a whole day spent at school, there is nothing more relaxing for some children than drawing away the afternoon!
Pay for a student’s lunch
Call your local school’s social worker and offer to anonymously cover the cost of a needy student’s school breakfast or lunch, or their books for the year. Besides taking the burden off of a family in need just thinking about the smile on this child’s face is sure to brighten your day.
Keep your word
It’s simple: if you say you’re going to do something, do it. Although this sounds straightforward many people simply forget to keep their word. Keeping a promise shows that you took the time to think about someone.
Be the best boss you can be
If you run a business, go the extra mile for your employees by giving everyone the day off on their birthday. By leading by example, you will foster an environment of both generosity and kindness.
Be a coupon fairy
The next time you are at the supermarket, leave a coupon on a grocery store item. The person finding it won’t expect it and it is a quick and delicious way to brighten their day.
Donate baby clothes
You know those infant clothes that your baby outgrew in weeks? Pass them along to a new mom who will be grateful for the worn-in and heartfelt present. She can then pass it along to another new mother who can continue to pay it forward within the mom circle.
Be a professional matchmaker
Think about two people whose professional skills complement each other and introduce them over dinner at your house.This is a nice way to introduce people who may not have met otherwise. And who knows, maybe the next best-selling business will be born right under your nose!