The world can always use more kindness…and these days, it feels like some extra is in order. As if being nice to friends and neighbors wasn’t reward enough, multiple studies show that being nice is good for your health, too. Here are 10 nice things you can do to start a cool day off with some warm thoughts.
10 nice things to do for friends, family, and neighbors
You know those gorgeous mums you see everywhere this time of year? When you grab some to brighten up your yard, pick up an extra pot. There are plenty of people around you—receptionists, administrative assistants, harried coworkers, nurses, teachers, busy neighbors—who would appreciate some fall flowers.
Round up the family and rake some leaves. You can stick to your neighborhood or head to the grandparents’ house. Or look for a project like Christmas in October that does yard work and winterizes homes for folks who need a hand.
HELP A CAREGIVER
Being a family caregiver is one of the toughest gigs around—and those who take it on are often the types who forget to take care of themselves, too. Offer to help out in a specific way: running errands, fixing meals, making calls, doing pick-ups or drop-offs. (More ideas here.)
Double up the recipe when you bake something yummy. It’s easy to make an extra pie, loaf of zucchini bread, or a few dozen more cookies. Wrap them up and take them to work, Sunday school, or a local hospice.
Check in with someone who’s struggling with something. It might be a stressed-out college student, or an over-worked friend, or your mom, who has become a caregiver for older relatives. Call or text or invite them for a beverage and listen. You don’t have to solve problems or fix anything—just make it all about them for a bit. (And make some notes in your calendar to do it again soon.) Here are more ideas like this.
WRITE A NOTE
Play is good for the spirit—and as adults, we don’t get enough of it. Find reasons to get a game going: tag football with neighbors, board games at lunch with coworkers, or cards or dominoes at a local nursing home.
Good Neighbor Day is September 28, and it’s a perfect excuse for a block party. It could be a chili cook-off, a potluck in someone’s driveway or back yard, or a progressive dinner through all the units in your condo.
There is a thing called a “crappy dinner party” and it. Is. Ah. Mazing. Friends come over, you serve whatever is in the fridge or pantry, and nobody worries about whether the house is clean or the wine goes with the entree. You just enjoy each other.
MAKE A CARE PACKAGE
Create care packages for people experiencing homelessness. You can keep them in your car, or donate some to a homeless shelter. Some items to include: gloves, thermal or wool socks, feminine hygiene products, rain ponchos, bandages, lip balm, sunscreen, tissues, and food like beef jerky, soft breakfast or cereal bars, chocolate, peanut butter crackers, dried fruit, snack cups, and tuna or chicken salad cracker kits.
This one isn’t so much an act of kindness, but it’s something that might help you be more thoughtful. It’s easy to find ourselves isolated by social media—trapped in our own curated bubble of opinions and ideas. So pick a platform, and intentionally follow some folks with different perspectives than yours. Listen for what makes them laugh, inspires them, troubles them, and gives them strength. See how these extra doses of empathy affect your thinking.
At Hallmark, we believe if you care enough, you can change the world. From the biggest acts to the smallest, they all make a difference. Join our #CareEnough challenge and share your story with us!