Chances are you have experienced both the acts of giving and receiving kindness. If you have, you know the feeling that comes with it. That feeling is palpable. It adds an extra pep in the step of both involved parties. Life can be tough. It can be filled with challenges. And that is why it is up to each and every person to do what they can, where they are, and with what they have to brighten up the day of those around them. This Friday is an opportunity to be extra mindful of the importance of just that.

“Kindness is doing what you can, where you are, with what you have.” -Unknown

National Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated annually on February 17, and is an opportunity to spread joy and goodwill. This idea was developed to encourage making kindness the norm, in schools, workplaces, and communities. Spreading joy and kindness does not need to be some elaborate activity, in fact the simpler the action the better.

To help you embrace the opportunity here are some ways that you can participate Friday (and every other day) that are simple, effective, and free:

Kindness at home:

  • Make a loved one’s lunch and include a note of encouragement
  • Tell a loved one specifically what you appreciate about them
  • Hide uplifting notes for friends and family to find
  • Offer to do someone else’s chore
  • Participate fully in a loved one’s hobby

Kindness at work:

  • Offer support to a colleague whenever appropriate
  • Celebrate others workplace successes
  • Have a “no complaints” day
  • Leave a note of appreciation for a colleague/boss that has supported you
  • Bring in a treat to share with others

Kindness at school:

  • Encourage others to follow the rules
  • Invite someone to join you at lunch
  • Offer to study with someone who is having a hard time
  • Volunteer to help the teacher clean the classroom
  • Promote a no bullying environment

Kindness to neighbors:

  • Shovel your neighbor’s walkway
  • Bring over a plate of food
  • Share your favorite book with them
  • Organize a neighborhood clean up
  • Donate bottles to a youth group

Kindness in the community:

  • Hold doors open for people
  • Let someone go in front of you in a line
  • Give compliments freely and genuinely
  • Share a smile with anyone you come in to contact with
  • Leave a note of encouragement somewhere for a stranger to find

Kindness in the form of time:

  • Volunteer at a food bank or other local nonprofit organization
  • Visit a nursing home to talk and spend time with residents
  • Read a story to a child or classroom
  • Join a community committee/group
  • Offer to babysit or care for a friend or loved one

Be a patron of kindness:

  • Leave a positive online review for a business
  • Clean up litter in a parking lot
  • Donate items to charity
  • Donate blood or plasma
  • Tell a worker what a good job they are doing

Using your voice for kindness:

  • Speak up for someone being mistreated
  • Be a voice of reason and resolution during a conflict
  • Sign a petition for those in need
  • Be an advocate for a mission that you care about
  • Write a thank you letter to someone that has made an impact in your life

These are just a few of the ways you can spread kindness, so get creative and sprinkle it around like glitter so it sticks to everything!

Happy National Random Acts of Kindness Day!