We’ve all been there, the day that started off bad and just seemed to get worse. But then, a small kindness changes things. A compliment. A stranger paying for your morning coffee. Someone who lets you merge in that construction zone. October 5th is National Do Something Nice Day and a great reminder to be a day changer yourself. Here are a few ways we can all get in the act!
Become a Noticer
All it takes is some time and attention to make someone’s day. Notice anything- a piece of jewelry that’s personal or the attentive way that they help others. Look for the person who may be feeling left out in a class or meeting, sit by them and strike up a small conversation. This is something you can do in person with your cashier at the grocery store or online with a friend you haven’t chatted with in awhile. It can work in just about any situation you find yourself in. And in a world where we tend to move so fast, slowing down to truly notice the details of another’s life is a key way to show we care.
Scroll On By
The last couple years have almost offered more to divide us politically and socially than things that unite us. And yet, the people and groups who are in our social media feeds landed there for a reason. Rather than having the last word, scroll on by a post or two you disagree with. We promise you the world won’t end just because you don’t comment. And it may just be one less thing for you to be stressed by during the day too.
Help a Stranger
As simple as helping someone reach something on a high shelf at the store, pulling a cart out of the jammed up line at the store or giving food to the stranger you meet who is in need. Paying for the order behind you at the drive thru or at the gas station is another meaningful way to inject kindness in someone’s day.
Do Something Nice by Holding Your Tongue
In this mothering stage of life, sometimes the things we really want to say and don’t are the biggest kindnesses. Maybe our partners don’t need another reminder about where socks or towels or coffee cups go. Maybe our kids don’t need to hear another plea for them to pick up the pace (I know, I know…) What if, instead, you took a deep breath and suspended comments and gave them a hug or a kiss instead?
Reach Out to Family and Friends
Who do you know who could use a card? With the holidays coming, I’ve become more attuned to friends who have lost a parent or someone else close to them this year. But struggles aren’t the only reason to reach out. So many of us simply enjoy the surprise of a text, card or call from someone who isn’t a regular part of our week. If you have the bandwidth, take it a step farther by surprising them with a meal or flowers or something else that might delight them or meet a specific need.
You may be surprised to find that the day you make is your own. Doing something nice for someone else can provide a rush of happiness that can prompt a feel good rush and boost your own mood. Even beyond the chance to pay it forward, doing something nice reminds each of us of our own power to help create the world we want to live in, one kind word, action, or choice at a time.