Although Friday the 13th is often thought of as an unlucky day, this year you can make it a lucky one for others! This Friday, November 13 is World Kindness Day, which focuses on doing small kindnesses for others. When you do something kind for another person, everyone benefits! It can make you feel good to do something nice for someone else. And it can make the recipient of your kindness feel cared for, appreciated, and help lift their spirits.
This Friday, instead of trying to avoid black cats and making sure you don’t walk under ladders, try focusing on making someone smile through random acts of kindness. The best part: Your kindness doesn’t have to cost much except a little time! Consider these free and low-cost kindnesses:
For friends and family:
- Write a note to a friend, family member, or coworker telling them how much you appreciate them.
- Offer to watch a friend’s child for a few hours so they can do something for themselves.
- Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Find an old picture of you and a friend, write a note about the happy memory on the back of the photo, and mail it to them.
- Offer to rake your neighbor’s leaves or wash their car.
- Take your neighbors’ newspaper from the bottom of their driveway and leave it at their door.
- Offer to walk your neighbor’s dog during a week you know they’re really busy.
- Bring a homemade treat to work to share with your coworkers.
- Give someone a sincere compliment.
- Offer to take a project off a swamped coworker’s hands.
- Write a note complimenting someone who helped you, and send it to their supervisor.
- Load extra change into the vending machine to buy the next person a drink or snack.
For your community and local charitable organizations:
- Donate gently used clothing, shoes, or books to a local organization that accepts them.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
- Donate blood.
- Drop some canned goods off at your local food bank.
- Volunteer to read to children at a local library or an after-school program.
- Clean out your closet and donate any unwanted clothing and shoes.
- Send a note to your local police department or nurses at your local hospital and thank them for serving the people of your community.
- Offer your mail carrier a bottle of water or a cup of coffee or tea in a to-go cup.
- When you’re buying your coffee, also buy the coffee of the person in line behind you.
- When you’re on public transit, offer your seat to someone else.
- At the grocery store, leave your extra/unwanted coupons by the checkout so someone else can use them.
- Leave a book or magazine that you already read on public transit for someone else to pick up and enjoy.
- Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.
- Put coins in someone else’s parking meter.
- Let someone get in front of you in line at the grocery store, bank, etc.
- Who says random acts of kindness have to be limited to just what humans appreciate? Make a homemade feeder to help backyard birds stay well-fed in the colder weather.
- Be kind to the planet by gathering your plastic grocery bags and used batteries to places that collect and recycle them.
- Don’t forget to also be kind to yourself! For World Kindness Day, eliminate negative self-talk, start a gratitude journal, and take a little “you time” to do something relaxing that you enjoy, like reading a book, taking a hot bath, going for a walk, meditating, or cooking yourself a healthy meal.
For Health Advocate Members
If you are a Health Advocate member with access to the wellness coaching feature of our Wellness Program, call your coach for more ideas on how to stay healthy and well.