5 Family-Friendly Acts of Kindness to Celebrate World Kindness Day (Nov 13)
2020 has been a rough year. Something we’ve learned is how to be more kind and compassionate to each other, which is a silver lining! And there’s no better time to celebrate this than on World Kindness Day!
In 2020, World Kindness Day falls on November 13, and is a perfect time to be grateful for all we have and all we’ve received and to go the extra mile to be kind to each other.
Although World Kindness Day is only one day of the year, you don’t need to stop there. There are many simple ways to show kindness anytime, and there are great benefits to being kind. Did you know that being kind helps you and others be happy and healthy?
- Releases dopamine to make us feel happy
- Helps us and others feel valued
- Increases our energy and confidence
- Releases oxytocin, which helps keep your heart healthy
- Improves mood stability
- Helps keep you healthy
- Slows your aging process
Some of the most common ways we show kindness may be harder to do right now with COVID-19, but we’ve compiled a list of ways you can help spread kindness (and maybe build new or stronger relationships in the process!). All are family friendly and COVID-19 safe.
- Offer to help a neighbor or stranger
During COVID-19 many people may not be able to get out of their house as much, or may get sick and need help. Helping neighbors is a great way to show kindness during these difficult times or even when COVID is over.
You might notice a neighbor having a bad day or needing help around their yard. You can show kindness by offering to walk their dog or help them with yard work, or you could bring them flowers to brighten their day.
During COVID-19 especially, it can be nice to offer to help your elderly neighbors or people who are going through a tough time. Even if you don’t see signs of someone needing a helping hand, if you have a thought to do something kind, take a chance and act on it. The person may not have asked, but it will most definitely make their day.
- Give a stranger a handwritten note
Although neighbors are an easy first step of kindness, you can also show kindness to strangers. A fun way to show kindness to strangers is something simple like a handwritten note or a flower. Who doesn’t love handwritten notes or flowers?
Taking the time to write notes for people takes a nice gesture to the next level. If you’re not sure what to write, try words of encouragement, like “You are owning it today!” or write a compliment, like “You have a beautiful smile!”
Or you can simply hand out flowers to people. In either situation, it’s a great way to spread kindness and brighten someone’s day.
During COVID-19, you can make this effective by wearing a mask and gloves. Write the notes at least 3 days before you plan to hand them out so there’s time for germs to die. Although it’s a little more effort, it means that much more to individuals who need a little pick-me-up during these hard times.
- Give compliments to people you see
If you don’t have time or money to spend on handwritten notes or flowers, you can also just give compliments to brighten someone’s day and spread kindness. This is also great during COVID-19, since you don’t need to worry about sanitization!
As you go about your day, if you see someone rocking an outfit you like, let them know. Or if you like the way someone styled their hair, give them a compliment. Likewise, if you see someone doing a great job or being a good person, thank them. These simple words can make someone’s day and make you happier as well.
One of my favorite things to do is notice people and compliment choices they’ve made, like their clothes, jewelry, or the way they did their nails, or on their laugh, smile, or way they handled a situation.
- Wave to people or give them a hug
Another great way to acknowledge other people and make them feel good is a simple smile and wave or a hug if they are open to it. This helps people feel connected and happy.
If it’s a stranger, a smile or wave can show them kindness and brighten their day. With masks this can be difficult though, so smiling with your eyes or waving can help them feel your joy and kindness.
If it’s someone you know, you can give them a hug if they are okay with that. During COVID-19, people aren’t touching as much, and it can be hard on our psyche to not have that physical touch. Hugs for longer than 10 seconds increase oxytocin, which helps with so many things including a person’s happiness. So if possible, offer people a hug when it is safe.
If someone’s not close by or has health risks, you can also do Zoom or Facetime calls. It can help them feel connected. One of my favorite things to do is connect with random people online who need assistance with something I’
m skilled in. These small connections mean even more right now and help give people the feeling of emotional warmth associated with oxytocin.
- Donate your time
Similar to Zoom chats with strangers, you can donate your time remotely or virtually or in person at nonprofits. Donating your time is a great way to help spread kindness on a larger level. It’s also great if you have a specific cause that is close to your heart.
Time is an easy thing to give, even if it’s just 15 minutes of your day to help deliver food or walk a dog. You can also spend your time mentoring or sharing skills online if you don’t want to be out and about as much during COVID.
Most nonprofits also have kid-friendly activities, so you can make it a whole family activity and teach your kids the importance of spreading kindness on World Kindness Day. No matter what day it is, but especially on World Kindness Day, take a few minutes to do something nice and spread kindness. If you’re not sure what to do, check out ways to volunteer with Activate Good!