Kindness is a practice, not an occasion. An act that brings so much joy to both the giver and receiver, must be celebrated daily. In this blog, I’m going to discuss all the reasons to make everyday Kindness Day and show you some practical ways to keep your kindness flowing!
Social media can often relegate the most beautiful moments to a select day or ‘trending hashtag’. In a day or two, the fad passes and everyone has moved on to a new trend.
Being a kind person, however, has little to do with which day it is or being the most on-trend person around. It’s a conscious choice that requires your commitment and authenticity.
With World Kindness Day around the corner, you must ask yourself an important question – ‘How often do I practice being kind?’
Incorporating kindness into your everyday life would rarely be a priority. However, on personal reflection, I have found that being kind is crucial to developing your personality, communication skills, and relationships.
What’s more, is that it can be very easy to add just one act of kindness to your day. With some insights from my own experiences, I will be sharing some easy, super practical ways to make everyday Kindness Day.
Why Not Make Everyday Kindness Day? 17 Simple Ideas to be Kind Everyday
World Kindness Day, celebrated on November 13, is an observance day introduced by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of kindness-focused NGOs from around the world.
Instituted in 1998 to celebrate good deeds and encourage a common thread of kindness across the world, Kindness Day has over the years become a popular occasion in several countries and organizations adopting it.
Yet, the question remains, do we need an exclusive kindness day in the year to practice it? The answer, of course, is not really.
Ancient Roman philosopher Lucius Seneca, once said, “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness”. People all around you are struggling with loneliness, fear, and pain. An act of kindness can often be the drink of water they’re thirsting for.
On the opposite end, kindness-givers themselves experience several benefits. A study published by the American Psychological Association confirms a link between being kind and well-being. Participants who were kind, not only experienced higher well-being but also higher ‘eudaimonic happiness’, which is a sense of meaning and purpose in life.
According to another article published by The Mayo Clinic, kindness can also impact you physiologically by boosting levels of serotonin and dopamine, igniting the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. Endorphins, another hormone responsible for managing pain could also be released when you show kindness.
The reasons to make everyday Kindness Day are plenty. It’s only up to you to start!
17 Simple Ideas to Make Everyday Kindness Day
Over the years, I have made it a practice to include kindness in everyday situations and interactions. The more I practiced it, the more naturally it came to me, bringing with it the immeasurable joy of making another person happy.
I’m thrilled to be sharing my top 17 ideas to make everyday Kindness Day. I hope these make your day a little kinder and better too!
1. Start with a ‘Good morning, how are you today?’
One of the most underrated forms of kindness is the humble greeting.
From the moment you wake up, you are surrounded by the people you love the most. A simple ‘good morning’, along with a smile and a quick hug can brighten up your loved one’s morning, almost instantly.
Try and follow this up with a question about their plans for the day or an upcoming project.
This little acknowledgment is a big way to let your loved ones know they’re important to you. This is a great way to start your kindness day with small gestures that lead to a big impact in the long run.
2. Add it to your daily tasks
How many times has kindness featured on your daily to-do list? The chances are, rarely.
An excellent way to incorporate kindness into your day is by simply adding it along with your other chores and tasks. You could take it a step further by planning exactly what you want to do or just let it come to you spontaneously. This one task is a great way to add meaning and joy to the daily grind.
Ticking off my own ‘kind act of the day’ is possibly one of my favorite daily moments, the perfect way to say is ‘Thank you, Universe’ before signing off.
3. Be kind to a stranger
Growing up, we’ve all heard about ‘stranger danger’ but not so much about stranger kindness. It’s time to change that!
If you’re a working professional, there are likely to be several moments in a day when you encounter a stranger. This could be a security guard, a barista, a fellow traveler, or even someone you share the elevator with.
A brief greeting, a compliment, a simple smile or even offering to help someone with a heavy bag, can add a little spark of joy to someone’s day.
I often carry a small bag of chocolates with me wherever I go. Seeing the smiles that appear when offered to a homeless person or a public system worker is the two-second slice of happiness that makes my day.
4. Call a friend
Remember back in school when you could chat for hours with your best friend over the classic phone call? Social media with all its bazillion memes, emoticons, and high-tech integrations still has nothing over the pure, undiluted joy of a good conversation.
Start by just texting a friend to check if they’re free and meet them to spend some time having a good old chat over the phone. Ask about their family, work, health, and most importantly if they’re doing alright.
By following this, I found myself reconnecting with some dear friends I met less. And just like that, we were able to pick up where we left off!
This is your reminder to move past likes and comments to pick up the phone and speak to a friend you haven’t caught up with, in a long while.
5. Compliment Someone!
Nothing touches someone more than a genuine, heartfelt compliment.
According to a study published by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people who received compliments felt happier than the compliment-giver predicted.
In other words, the compliment affected their mood beyond the immediate pleasure of praise. Also, the compliment-givers themselves experience a better mood after giving the compliment.
On a busy day, it can be easy to focus on the hustle, forgetting to appreciate the people you live and work with. But remember, your compliment has the potential to transform another person’s as well as your own day.
Start with a family member, and compliment them on a meal they’ve cooked or another skill. At work, drop short, informal emails to your subordinates applauding a task done well or for a timely submission.
Go a step further, and extend compliments to strangers! Thank a traffic policeman for managing a traffic jam or your building manager for handling maintenance efficiently. This practice is possibly the easiest way to make everyday kindness day. Here are 10 smart ways you can use to compliment someone in your daily life.
6. Random Hugs
Smiles and hugs are free, so there’s all the more reason to keep giving them away!
Surprise your mom with a tight hug in the middle of the day or your partner when they’ve just arrived home.
When their expression of surprise turns into a smile, you’ll know you’ve made their day brighter.
7. Visit your Loved Ones!
Before video calls were around, the good old-fashioned visit was the only way to check in on your loved ones. Bringing back this beautiful activity is the ultimate expression of kindness.
On festive occasions, visiting relatives who are elderly and housebound is a wonderful way to make them feel seen and loved. Happen to be in the same area as a friend’s home? Give them a call to check if you can come over.
Sometimes, you don’t even have to go too far. Try getting to know a neighbor by dropping by with food or a festive card. Know of someone in your neighborhood who is unwell? Visit them with some soup and spark up a conversation.
Adding a visit to your weekly calendar is the perfect way to hit your kindness goals. Imagine touching 52 people’s lives in one year!
8. Acknowledge a former mentor
Much of your personality and successes can be traced back to people who impacted you, throughout your lifetime. This could be a teacher, a friend, or a neighbor who shared their own experiences or lent a strong piece of advice.
Send them a picture of you with an achievement or a message thanking them for advice that yielded great outcomes. As I entered my professional life, I would frequently write to professors whose teachings helped me accomplish certain projects. They would often write back saying my email had made their day.
Acknowledging their contributions is a kind, humble way to return the kindness they extended to you.
Sometimes all someone needs is a listening ear and a kind shoulder.
Many people go through their day battling personal issues and emotional struggles that can simmer to the surface at random points in time. At such moments, having someone listen with compassion and empathy could be a source of strength.
The next time you meet that elderly neighbor with arthritis, stop to say hello and ask about her health. When your co-worker seems stressed and overwhelmed, take them out for a little coffee break and conversation.
Often, you may want to jump in and offer a solution but remember, at such moments, kind listening is the solution.
10. Engage with the people you meet
It can be easy to forget that the people around you are just, people. In a culture increasingly caught up with consumerism, transactions, and quick turnarounds, I find it ever so important to pause, breathe, and get to know the people I encounter in the day.
From the Uber driver you travel with to your local grocer, your day is full of moments where you can engage with people beyond an immediate purpose. Greeting them, asking them about their day, and complimenting their work are quick ways to acknowledge their presence.
A simple practice I follow is asking the staff at a restaurant their names before proceeding with an order. This brief, kind act of respect is always appreciated.
11. Drop your local small business a review
Contributing to someone’s growth can be the kindest act to practice.
A two-minute review on Instagram or Google can transform a small business owner’s day. Positive feedback or even feedback in general can help a business grow, better its offerings, and take comfort in a supportive community.
You could help a local business even more by recommending it to a neighbor or friend.
12. Drop a surprise LinkedIn recommendation
Imagine opening your LinkedIn account to find a great recommendation just waiting in your inbox. You’d probably be on top of the world!
In the professional world, we often wait for a recommendation request from a colleague to highlight their good work. But, why not just give your co-worker an early Christmas gift?
If you’ve truly enjoyed working with someone and appreciate their contributions, then go ahead and write them that review.
This practice could also be a great way to bid farewell to a colleague who is changing organizations or to acknowledge them on a work anniversary!
13. Food is kindness. Kindness is food.
Food has the power to heal, express, connect and so much more. Here are some ways you can make hearts (and tummies!) happy:
- Celebrate a coworker’s wins with a small cake
- Offer to cook a meal for a family member who usually does the cooking.
- Take your grandparents who are usually housebound for a meal at a restaurant
- Send your friend in another city some cookies to let them know you’re thinking of them
Trust me, when I say, you can never go wrong with some ‘food kindness’!
14. Treat yourself
Yes, this one’s for you! If charity begins at home, so should kindness.
We often wait for occasions and achievements to treat ourselves to something special. Yet sometimes, getting through the day can be your biggest accomplishment.
The next time you’ve had a long day, give yourself a little gift. Enjoy a bowl of your favorite ice cream, rewatch a favorite movie, or have a leisurely evening out. Remember, it’s always the right day to be kind to yourself!
15. Give yourself a high-five!
While this may sound a little strange, science shows that acts of self-kindness, practiced daily can boost confidence, esteem, and energy levels.
Using science-based techniques, popular motivational speaker and coach Mel Robbins authored a best-selling book called The High 5 Habit, where she encourages people to give themselves a high-five in the mirror, first thing in the morning. Countless readers who tried this habit reported feeling more confident, joyful, and motivated.
Remember you can’t ever pour from an empty cup so make sure you keep filling yours.
16. Make plans with a ‘newbie’
People are constantly moving homes, cities, and jobs. In such moments, seeing a welcoming face can dissipate some of the anxiety and stress of change.
New neighbor? Knock on the door, introduce yourself, and invite them over. Someone’s just joined your team at work? Give them a tour of the office and take them out for a coffee.
Being a point of familiarity in a new space can be the biggest source of relief for someone who’s just getting the hang of things.
17. Offer help when you know it is needed
While ‘independence’ is the new buzzword, being part of a community is just as important.
If you look around you, you’re likely to find someone struggling with a problem. Instead of waiting for them to reach out, hop on over and offer your assistance.
Your friend just had a baby? Offer to watch the baby so she has a chance to sleep. Live next door to elderly neighbors? Try to do a grocery run for them once a week.
People might often shy away from asking for help. However, the opportunities to be kind are abundant, all you need to do is reach out and grab them.
Over time I’ve realized that one doesn’t need to wait till Christmas for the act of gifting.
Kindness is a little gift shop you have inside of you. All you need to do is give freely and you will find you have the power to make everyday kindness day.
Holocaust victim, Anne Frank, once said “You can always give something, even if it is only kindness”. In a world constantly torn apart by war and hatred, one small act of kindness can be the ray of hope someone needs to keep going in life.
I believe you can transform the world with one act of kindness at a time.