• the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

In honor of National Random Acts Of Kindness Day on February 17th, I thought I’d share some easy ways that we can be kind to others.  Some are free, some take a bit of time, some a smidge of planning.  All are made more lovely because it’s *you* doing them.

Write A Note Of Appreciation

I think i’ts safe to say that everyone likes to feel appreciated.  I know I do.  Think of someone you know who should know just how much you appreciate all that they do, and then let them know!  Don’t feel like writing them a note to share your feelings?  Then just tell them.  And maybe not just like, “Hey, man, thanks.”  Be specific and heartfelt so they can feel just how grateful you are to have them in your life.

Grab Something From The Store For Your Neighbor

Headed out shopping?  Offer to pick up things for your neighbor, too.  It can be a drag to have to run to the market for just a couple of things, right?  Help out your neighbor (or friend) by taking this little thing off of their to do list.

Take Someone Some Food

Speaking of neighbors and friends, what if you make a little extra dinner or dessert and then swing it by their house?  I’ve had friends who’ve made extra dinner, then reached out to me to see if we’d like it.  I can’t tell you how grateful I was — my fairy godmother had just solved that nightly what’s-for-dinner dilemma.  Just check first to see if the recipients have any food allergies or sensitivities, because it would be a bummer if they couldn’t enjoy your gift.

Give Flowers

It doesn’t have to be a special day to bring someone flowers.  And forget any sort of gender questions about this.  I know my boyfriend likes getting flowers as much as I do — though admittedly he brings me lots more than I bring to him.  Something I’ll be changing as of now.  This doesn’t mean that you have to spend a ton of money on flowers, either.  Go out to your garden, pick a few flowers from the bushes, add in some greenery, and you’re set.  Don’t have any growing?  No problem.  Ask someone in your neighborhood who does and see if they wouldn’t mind if you pick some.  Bonus points if you bring them a treat while asking. 

Pay It Forward

Have a bit of extra cash to help someone?  What if you bought a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line?  How about you pick up the tab at lunch, or Venmo your kids some cash to help out with life?  Every little bit helps and is always appreciated, whether it’s for someone you know or a random stranger.

Give Out Cold Drinks

I know that we’re still in the early part of the year and the weather hasn’t started to heat up too much quite yet.  But once it does, handing out a nice cold drink to someone on a hot day won’t only boost someone’s mood but will also help them fight dehydration.  Think about those who are in the sun a lot, such as your mail person, trash collector, gardeners, and someone who’s homeless.  The next time the temperatures warm up, break out the ice chest and start passing out some cold ones.

The Gift Of Time

I think one of the kindest things you can do is to give someone your undivided attention — whether it’s your kids, your partner, or a complete stranger.  Put your phone away and just be present with them.  They’ll leave the interaction feeling seen and grateful for your time.