It’s Valentine’s day and while it would be great to spend the whole day in bed being pampered by that hot guy that dreamed about last night and eating your weight in chocolate, most of us actually have to get up and be productive.
Sure it is a commercialized day of love and candy and I do hope you get your share of both but there are so many people out there that will spend today wishing it was February 15th. Why not show them some love as well. Yes it is great when your sweetheart, kids, significant other, etc showers you with kindness but why not pass it on. As the saying goes, “It’s better to give…”
As planners we love to go into the community and bless others with extra stickers, washi, post-it’s and happy mail. We share every time that lovely package arrives in the mail but what about those around you in your real life. Do you ever share with them as freely as you share with those from around the world? Here are some ideas to bring your Random Acts of Kindness into your real world and make some of the people around you smile.
- Bake some sweets for your child’s class or the break room at work. We all love a good sweet and what better way to make someone’s day then with a surprise treat. You don’t have to do it on Valentine’s day but just a day when you think everyone might need a pick me up. Not a baker? Try bringing in donuts or cookies.
- Do a little yard work for your neighbor. True story. My uncle went to cut my aunt’s grass one day and accidentally cut her neighbors cause he couldn’t remember which house it was. Now while the rest of the family teased him mercilessly for not knowing where is sister lived you know who thought he was the best thing since sliced bread? That would be the neighbor. Sometimes it night to do a little extra for those around us. Maybe shovel their driveway or offer to pick up their mail when they go out of town. Not only will you help them out but you might make a new friend.
- Send a random person a card. We all know someone that seems to always be having a hard time. Even if you don’t I’m sure there is someone that you could find that might need a little pick me up. Why not send them a card to brighten their day. You could even make some little note cards and when you are out and about leave one on a few cars just to wish others a wonderful day.
- Volunteer at a nursing home, church, shelter, etc. This is an oldie but always needed. So often we turn a blind eye to those that need help the most but we shouldn’t. My church does an outreach program where they take toiletries into the homeless areas to help as much as possible. We do pictures for events at nursing homes. I offer my photography services to military families separated during the holidays. Don’t be afraid to reach out these places and share your time. Sometimes that your most precious gift.
- Offer to babysit for a friend or family member so they can have a date night or just some time to themselves. I don’t have children myself but I have friends and family that do and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how excited they get for a night off yet some of them can’t afford to hire a babysitter too often. Offering your services gives them piece of mind with someone they know and trust as well as not having to worry about the hit to the budget. I have one friend whose family rotates who watches the kids every month so that the mom’s and dad’s can have a night to just enjoy being free.
- Write a hand-written letter to an old friend. My cousin and I use to write each other letters all the time. Yet with cellphones, email, Facebook and so forth we barely keep in contact even though we have so many more options then before. Why not take it back to old school and pull out your paper and pen and drop a note to someone that you haven’t really talked to in awhile but would love to catch up with. It’s such a keepsake and a wonderful way to communicate and it’s an art that we are loosing. Let’s bring it back.
- Plan a girl’s day so you can have fun and reminisce. Can you say par-tay!! I don’t know about you but when me and my girlfriends get together it is hours of laughs, jokes, and stories that stay with you for days. It’s refreshing and it brings you back to why we need those friends that know us sometimes better than we know ourselves. Plan a potluck or night in or just some time to really connect with those lovely ladies and don’t forget the drinks.
- Help someone out in the store. I was in the store one time and this woman had a question about flour. She was baking for the first time and wasn’t sure about the difference between cake flour and regular flour. It was a simple thing to answer but I’m sure that it helped her. If you see someone struggling to get something off the top shelf give them a hand. If you have the means pay for part groceries of the person behind you. You could even cover someone’s dinner when you go out or their movie ticket.
- Read to children at schools, libraries, or bookstores. I absolutely love to read! It is one of my favorite pastimes and I truly believe it’s the best way to open up children’s imagination and let them believe they can accomplish anything. However, there are so many reading programs that are being cut due to lack of funding. The same is true of art program across the country. If you have these skills this is a wonderful way to give into the next generation. To show them that imagination and fun go hand in hand and to give them a gift that will keep on giving.
- Give someone a ride to work, running errands, church. Believe it or not, my godmother never drove a day in her life. Neither I believe did my grandmother. They were of an older generation where women just didn’t drive. While that statistic is few and far between now that doesn’t mean that their aren’t still people that don’t drive in our country. What about someone that just had surgery or is home bound? Running errands for them when you are already going out would be easy for you and such a help for them.
And a bonus one:
Organize a garage sale, bake sale, book drive and give all the proceeds to charity. We all have things we could easily get rid of and how many time to we all say we need to have a garage sale. How about getting together with some family and friends and making it happen but this time giving to your favorite charity. People are more inclined to spend a little extra if they think the money is going to a good cause and it’s a wonderful way to raise awareness for a cause that might not get the spotlight that it needs.
These are just a few ideas but there are ways to share kindness all around us. A small word, a easy task, a giving heart. These things will have you being a blessing to those around not only on Valentines but every day of the year.
How do you show kindness to others in your life? Do you have any tips to add to this list? Keep the conversation going in the comments section below.