The smile spread across my face as we slipped the envelope containing a hand-drawn picture of thanks into our neighbour’s letterbox.
How good does it feel when you do something kind for someone else? You know, I am not sure who benefits more, us or them. The transaction seems balanced to me, and so, doing kindness to others is also being kind to yourself.
Let’s face it, feeling good is really important as we are more isolated than ever, studying from home, working in stressful situations and trying to keep up with our assessments.
When asked to write about four random acts of kindness that we could do to help others, this was easy. My kids and I have been practicing this already, to help them stay active, keep perspective, practice gratefulness and remember that others out there are often experiencing more difficult situations than us.
So, practice with us, with these four easy ways you can express kindness today.
1. Check in with a neighbour
This one is super easy. You can write a note, leave a homemade treat or simply pop your head over the fence and check in. We have an elderly neighbour in our street, just around the corner who admires our dog as we walk. The kids decided to draw a picture and left it in his letter box thanking him for his rose garden and how it makes our street look better. The next time we walked past, he was teary happy to see us and he felt good, and we felt good.
2. Be kind to retail staff
This one is free, but priceless. Many of us as students work in retail, I have done it, I remember the sore legs at the end of a long standing shift, but I can’t begin to imagine the extra pressure working in such a public facing role would bring at the moment. Let’s be kind and ask them how they are, if they are going okay and have people been friendly today. Our groceries were delivered today, literally just now as I began to write this post, and I thanked the driver and said have a great weekend. He smiled, I smiled and we both felt good. It really isn’t hard to be kind!
3. Pick up the phone
Many of us have not been able to visit our grandparents, or older members of our family during this time. We have been having fun with my mum by chatting via video calls. It has been hilarious, but we are staying connected, even if I do spend half the time looking at my parents from awkward angles. Mum likes to answer the video chat no matter where she is, so far my favourite has been when she was out on a walk, sun shining on the screen and we watched her try and find a position where she could see it clearly – gold, pure gold!
4. Give an anonymous gift
Do you know someone who could do with a five dollar note left in their letterbox? It may just be the bread or milk they need this week. If you're not in a position to give money, you could offer your time instead which can be just as impactful. You could offer to mow a lawn or run an errand. I have been on the receiving end of a gift… remember when toilet paper was scarce? My sisters both sent us rolls via the post. My smile was broad, the relief was felt deeply, and a tear may have rolled down my cheek. My basic needs were being met and boy was I grateful.
So, there you have it, four random acts of kindness that are achievable, inexpensive, but priceless in value for both you and the receiver.
Discover more random acts of kindness here.