Today is Valentine's Day - the one day of the year when public displays of love abound!
But if you ask me, Valentine's Day is a little overrated and gimmicky. Ron Swanson once said that "birthdays were invented by Hallmark to sell cards." Well, Valentine's Day just might've been invented by Russell Stover to sell chocolate! But even though all the focus of Valentine's Day tends to fall on romantic love, it's also the perfect day to show you care through simple acts of kindness.
Isn't it ironic that a day meant to celebrate love in all its beautiful forms is often so exclusive? Many people end up feeling more alone and depressed than ever - but it doesn't have to be that way! On a day all about love, one thing is clear - we live in a world that needs a lot more of it.
I don't know about you, but I love hearing stories on the news of people who go out of their way to be kind to strangers. Every time I hear those stories, I feel a little burst of inspiration to do some small act of kindness in my own capacity. So with the help of some personal experience and inspiration from real-life stories, I've put together a list of 20 sweet & simple ways to show kindness.
Whether you're reading this on Valentine's Day and want to spread some extra love, or you're just looking for small ways to show your loved ones you care at any time of the year, I hope you'll find at least one way to show kindness to someone you love!
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20 Simple Ways to Show Kindness
1. Complete a chore for your spouse, family member, or roommate - especially the ones they hate!
2. Start a kindness fund! Collect your loose change and at the end of the year, turn that cash into a sweet surprise for a friend in need or a local charity.
3. Offer to watch a friend’s kids for a few hours so she can get some rest, do some work, or go on a date!
4. Write an anonymous note of encouragement to a friend at work.
5. Return or replace a lost item.
6. Buy the drive-through order for the car behind you.
7. Tell someone you’re praying for them. It’s encouraging to hear it out loud!
8. Surprise your significant other with flowers, candy, or a sweet note after a hard day.
9. Send your child’s teacher an email or a handwritten note saying how much you appreciate his/her work. (Trust me, this encouragement keeps teachers afloat!)
10. Offer to help a struggling mom in the grocery store by loading her groceries for her or paying for small treats for her kids.
11. If you know someone who has recently moved to your city, invite them to dinner! Being new to a city is overwhelming and lonely, especially when you don’t have any connections.
12. Give away an item you no longer use to someone that needs it, rather than selling it or throwing it away.
13. Leave a surprise note (or cash!) inside a meaningful page of your favorite library book to bless the reader. (This happened to me years ago, and I never forgot it!)
14. Pack a lunch for your spouse the night before an early morning. Surprise him/her with a sweet encouraging note and snacks they love!
15. Send a care package or unique gift to a friend or family member that lives far away to let them know you still think about them.
16. Surprise a friend at work with their favorite coffee order. (Starbucks often does BOGO Happy Hour on Thursdays from 2-7 pm!)
17. Double your recipe when you’re cooking and bring the extra meal to someone struggling with grief, sickness, depression, or even a busy schedule.
18. Carry sticky notes and a pen or marker in your purse. When you go to a public place, you can post an encouraging note, inspiring quote, or scripture passage to encourage strangers that see it!
19. Call (don’t text!) an old friend you haven’t chatted with in a while.
20. Stop to help someone having car trouble, or offer to wait with them until help arrives.
Not so great with words? Check out these note cards & sticky notes - perfect for spreading kindness wherever you go!
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