With everything going on in the world lately, it’s important to try and lift the spirits of those around us. It’s not hard to be a philanthropist; here’s a list of 15 things you can do to get started!
1. Make flyers
The morale at my work over the past few months has been so bad because of budget cuts that a friend and I decided to make some flyers to hang up around the building. I sometimes hear people talking about them in the hallways and it makes me happy to see our flyers are actually brightening some people’s days.
So simple, right?! Smiling at a passing stranger in the street can really perk them up or turn a bad mood into a good one. So, go ahead! Smile!
3. Send anonymous cards
Know a colleague who deserves some praise or appreciation? Send them an anonymous card or note to let them know their hard work isn’t going unnoticed. It only takes a few minutes and but it can make a huge impact on somebody’s life.
4. Leave positive reinforcement notes in the bathroom
We all know what it’s like to doubt ourselves. An easy way to lift somebody’s spirits is to leave an inspiring post-it note in a public bathroom (or elevator or stairway). Don’t underestimate the power of a compliment.
5. Pay for the person behind you
Even picking up the bill for a $2 coffee can lighten somebody’s mood. If you’re in a drive-thru, ask the server what the person behind you ordered and take care of all or part of their order. Pay it forward!
6. Leave small gifts in random places
It could be candy, money, or even toys (if you’re in an area where a child is likely to pass by). Make sure you leave a note with it letting the recipient know it’s theirs to take!
7. Write a letter to a friend
It could be someone you haven’t spoken to in a while or someone you see every day. Let them know how much you miss them and/or how much they mean to you. Nothing beats the feeling of receiving a handwritten note in the mail.
8. Mow your neighbour’s lawn.
Or your grandmother’s lawn. Or shovel her driveway. Even if you only do it once, she’ll appreciate it for a long time.
9. Leave your mail carrier a present
Stick a little note and something special in your mail box for your mail carrier. It could be a hand warmer on a cold day or a bottle of lemonade on a hot day.
10. Put a quarter in an expired meter
We’ve all got extra change. Why not use it to help out a stranger? If you see somebody parked next to an expired meter, stick a quarter or two in there. Fifty cents from you could save someone from a $30 parking ticket!
11. Talk to a shy person
Maybe they’re standing in the corner at a party or just sitting alone in class. Either way, make an effort to make them feel comfortable and included. That’s how life-long friendships start.
12. Pass along a compliment
Receive good service at McDonald’s? Let the manager know or fill out a comment card. The managers are used to being contacted about their staff only when there’s a problem, so giving praise about the service will make both the manager’s and the employee’s days.
13. Forgive a debt
Maybe your friend owes you for dinner last week because she forgot her wallet. As long as it wasn’t a $70 steak, forget about it and never bring it up again.
14. Send flowers for no reason
There’s no better occasion to receive flowers than for no occasion at all. Let your friend know that you’re thinking about them and you wanted to thank them for simply being who they are.
15. Be kinder to yourself
This is perhaps the most important one. You deserve acts of kindness too. Smile at yourself in the mirror; tell yourself you’re beautiful; treat yourself. After all, you are wonderful.