BY DR. DANIELLE DOWLING APRIL 20, 2014
Life, as you know, is incredibly busy these days.
Return emails, do laundry, pay bills, make dinner, buy an anniversary gift, call your mother and go to the gym.
And then lather, rinse and repeat tomorrow.
It’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to think of others. Small gestures of kindness can make someone else’s entire day, make you feel good, and spread love near and far.
Here are 35 easy ways to radiate kindness:
1. Smile at people more! Start with your neighbor or your barista.
2. Let a car merge in front of you and do it with a smile. I’m looking at you, Los Angeles.
3 Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give it to a co-worker.
4. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
5. Leave a nice note in the morning for your honey saying, “I know you’ll do a great job today!”
6. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve made. Today’s a new day — let’s get on with it.
7. Drink from a reusable water bottle or cup to help the environment.
8. Give a generous tip to your waiter and leave a kind note on the bill!
9. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. (That’s why they invented Facebook!)
10. Plan a vacation for your parents or someone near and dear to you.
11. Eat and buy local.
12. Compliment a stranger. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I tell them I love their hair, or shoes, or the way they pulled themselves together. They usually light up with a smile and I’m so happy I helped to make their day a good one!
13. Pay for the coffee for the person behind you.
14. Donate clothes and shoes to the needy.
15. Pay for your friend’s portion of the dinner tab without them knowing! They’ll be so surprised when the receipt comes for you to sign!
16. Hold the elevator door for others.
17. Offer to babysit your friend’s kids for free.
18. Resist the urge to honk at other cars on the road.
19. Be kind to someone you dislike. (I know this is a tough one! I struggle with it, too.)
20. Make a donation to a charity you care about.
21. Send a care package to your friends or coworkers in your field. This is so much fun! I’ll put together small boxes of stationery, cards, pens, candles, lip gloss and send it off to someone special!)
22. Let someone with just a few items go ahead of you at the cashier.
23. Practice being truly proud of all your accomplishments. It helps to start a gratitude list!
24. Adopt an animal from the shelter.
25. Let someone take your parking spot.
26. Donate books to the local library or bookstore. Clears out clutter and gives your books a new and deserving home!
27. Tell your honey how particularly ravishing he or she looks today!
28. Leave extra time on a parking meter.
29. Fill the refrigerator with your roommate’s or partner’s favorite foods.
30. Offer to cover a shift for a coworker who needs to leave early.
31. Open the door for someone.
32. Sit with someone who is eating alone.
33. Tell someone you had a disagreement with that you’re sorry.
34. Offer to pick up your friend’s children after school.
35. Write notes of appreciation and love to three people who have changed your life for the better.
So easy! Imagine how much better the world would be
if we all took a little time to make it a sweeter, warmer place.
I’m starting now — are you with me?