Do you know that performing compassionate acts of kindness improves your mental health? Isn’t that incredible? Philanthropic acts stimulate the feel-good circuits in your brain. These acts of kindness examples are for you to help others and help yourself.
Additional health bonuses, acts of kindness, and charity include benefits for your physical health. For example:
- Lower Stress Levels
- Decreased Anxiety & Depression
- Lower Blood Pressure
Plus, giving inspires others to be giving. So it promotes social connection and good karma.
1. Real-Life Examples of Kindness
These real-life acts of kindness examples are perfect ways to say thank you or bless your neighbor, coworkers, and friends.
- Bake cookies from scratch and sprinkle some extra love into them by hand-delivering them to your neighbors. Additionally, visit the Dollar Tree for tinsels and tins. Also, thrift stores typically have great holiday tins. Updated for the pandemic, my daughter suggested delivering store-bought cookie dough for neighbors to bake themselves this holiday.
- Mow your neighbor’s yard. I’m not instructing you to trespass. But the next time you’ve got your mower out, offer (insist) on clipping their lawn.
- Deliver basic grocery staples to a single parent in your neighborhood, church, or community. Groceries always help.
- Does your neighbor have children? Offer to watch them and give your neighbors some time off. Do you know how many parents are dying for a date night?
- Make dinner for a friend or neighbor who will appreciate the helping hand.
- Respect social distancing.
- Deliver supplies to an animal shelter.
- Deliver supplies to a homeless shelter.
- Make dinner for your family and have a night around the table.
- Say hello to someone new.
- Give someone a break in traffic when they mess up. People have bad days.
- Take a care package of treats and goodies to your local fire station.
- Take care of a neighbor’s dog.
- Make someone’s day by paying it forward and buying their coffee for the person behind you.
- Do a 30-day random act kindness challenge.
- Give someone a hug.
- Make someone’s day with handpicked flowers.
- Let someone
- Help a friend mark something off their bucket list.
- Make someone a handmade gift or card.
- Let someone win.
2. Handwritten Acts of Kindness Examples
These handwritten acts of kindness examples are my favorite ways to be kind. They range from writing to sick children and saying thank you to our troops; to loving the elderly and foster youth.
- Sign-up with Love the Elderly and begin corresponding with seniors to give them the love and appreciation they deserve.
- Pen handwritten letters to strangers in need of love at More Love Letters. All recipients are nominated by friends or family and have a story attached to their name explaining their need for an act of kindness.
- Also, make mental health personal by writing Letters to Strangers. It’s a global youth-run nonprofit dedicated to removing the stigma attached to mental illness.
- Write letters to girls worldwide seeking to be empowered by your love and encouragement with The Letter Project, a faith-based nonprofit organization.
- Get involved with Operation Gratitude and write letters to new recruits, deployed troops, veterans, and first responders. Express gratitude, share a little about yourself, and talk about life and interests.
- Give A Million Thanks by sending handwritten encouragement and messages of prayer to our military. Past and present.
- Send hope and light to those affected by cancer at Joshua19Mission.
- Join the Rainbow Cards Project in the UK and send cards to spread kindness and cheer. Holiday cards are in need. UPDATED- they are not accepting cards now but will be and here is that information.
- Send cards and sunshine to kids fighting cancers and other severe illnesses with Sunshine Snail Mail.
- Uplift the spirits of hospitalized and traumatized people across the globe with Cardz for Kidz.
- Spread hope, joy, and magic to hospitalized kids across America by sending uplifting, handmade cards with Cards for Hospitalized Kids.
- Join Braid Mission and send cards of hope to foster youth. Send best birthday wishes or cards randomly.
3. Sending Postcard Random Acts of Kindness
Sending postcards is a fun way to share parts of your world with people worldwide.
- Read stories about people worldwide who would benefit from acts of kindness. And send them a postcard at Postcard Happiness.
- Send and receive postcards from random strangers worldwide at Postcrossing.
- Also, Postcards of Kindness is an initiative that asks people to write and send postcards to residents of care homes in the UK.
4. Environmental Acts of Kindness Examples
Some of these environmental acts of kindness ideas are simple ways to do your part. Others are more extreme but are of service to the environment.
- Pick up litter and other garbage in your neighborhood or local areas and join the global movement called the #trashtag challenge.
- Eat less meat, or go vegan. Animal agriculture is a leading contributor to climate change. Furthermore, it depletes other resources like water and land. The Mediterranean Diet is a phenomenal diet to begin changing your eating habits and embracing health.
- Walk when you can to minimize your carbon footprint. Additionally, consider riding a bike for longer distances. Especially when the weather permits!
- Plant a tree for environmental kindness.
- Turn off lights, fans, and heaters when not in use. Or any other household appliances.
- Recycle food with food compost and use the compost in your garden!
- Reduce your shower time to conserve water. Each minute the water is running is about five gallons of water.
5. Donating Acts of Kindness Examples
Donating is a fabulous way to bless other people while also eliminating unwanted clutter. Clutter is chaos and linked to anxiety and depression.
- Visit Children With Hair Loss or Hair We Share and donate your locks to women and children battling cancers and other illnesses.
- Make a difference and support individuals or charities at Just Giving. Sign-up to participate in a charity fundraising event.
- Inspire philanthropy by trusting Charity Navigator to guide you to charity organizations you can support and trust. Donate time or money.
- Sponsor a child in a foreign country and assist in basic needs like food, shelter, medical, and education. Research organizations like Compassion and Save the Children.
- Donate food to your local food drive during the holidays. But don’t neglect the rest of the year! Food banks across the states are always in need of food. Especially during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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6. Donating Clothes Acts of Kindness Ideas
Donating clothes is an easy way to get rid of things that don’t serve you anymore but are necessities for less fortunate people. Or moms on a budget!
- Donate shoes that no longer serve you and help change the life of someone in need. The Soles4 Souls program delivers your shoes to the less fortunate. Additionally, for only $30 a month, you can ensure a pair of shoes for a soul in need.
- The Salvation Army is an international charity that allows you to drop off clothes. Or schedule a pick-up.
- While most operations only accept gently-used clothing, Planet Aid recycles all of your unwanted clothing. Regardless of their condition.
- Do you have lightly-worn jackets that are cluttering your closet? Donate them to One Warm Coat to provide jackets for people in need.
- Bring economic opportunity to survivors of sex trafficking by donating old bras at Free the Girls. An organization dedicated to empowering survivors of sex trafficking.
- Economically empower women worldwide by donating professional attire to the Dress for Success organization.
7. Volunteering Acts of Kindness Examples
I’ve only found a few volunteering acts of kindness examples, but I’m sure there are more. If you know of any, please add them to the comments below.
- Volunteer to walk dogs, socialize cats, and help with cleaning and feeding at your local animal shelter.
- Volunteer at your local food pantry.
- Call your local hospital, doctor’s office, or nursing home and ask about their volunteer services.
- Volunteer your services at church. Often, churches require childcare volunteering work, janitorial work, and outside maintenance.
- Volunteer at your local youth center and children’s organizations. Check out your local YMCA branch for opportunities.
8. Life-Saving Acts Of Kindness Examples
Save somebody with one of these life-saving acts of kindness. There is always a need for donated blood.
- Sign-up to donate your blood and begin saving lives. Visit the Red Cross to find a blood drive and schedule your donation.
- Volunteer to be listed as a potential blood stem cell donor to people dying of cancer. Be the cure and save a life at Be the Match.
- Almost 100,000 people are on the kidney transplant waiting list. Become a living kidney donor and enhance or save someone’s life.
- Sign-up to be an organ donor in the unlikely event of your demise and give the ultimate gift in your death by breathing new life into others.
9. Random Acts of Kindness Examples
This handful of random acts of kindness ideas includes several common blessings.
- Collect the box tops of the General Mill products and give them to the local school district.
- Leave encouraging notes and inspirational quotes inside books and movies you’ve checked out and returned.
- Return a shopper’s cart to go into the grocery store and save them a trip.
- Let someone go ahead of you in line at the grocery store, gas pump, or coffee stand.
- Hold open a door for a stranger. And say thank you when someone holds open the door for you!
- Give up your seat on the bus. Or, offer your carless friend a ride in your vehicle.
- Speak up and defend others when they aren’t around to protect themselves against slander and gossip.
- Tip people in tipping professions generously, regardless of their service. Sometimes receiving a nice tip on a bad day is what it takes to turn the day entirely around. Services that work for tips include restaurant employees, baristas, hairdressers, and delivery drivers.
- Take a care package of school supplies to your local school.
- Get a gift card for a teacher.
- Say please and thank you to people in your retail shopping and dining out experiences. They have a difficult job constantly dealing with the public. Don’t be the speak to the manager person.
- Feed a parking meter and spare someone the ticket that comes with not feeding a parking meter, and the headache.
- Leave an encouraging note in a library book. Tell the new reader how awesome they’re.
- Drop socks off at the homeless shelter. Some even take all your mismatched.
- Leave money in a vending machine and pay it forward.
- Offer to take pictures of people when you find them out enjoying their tourist moments. Nobody wants to be singled out of group and family photo fun!
- Leave an encouraging note on someone’s car.
- Hold the door open for another person.
- Say hello to people instead of avoiding their eyes in passing.
- Deliver coloring books to the children’s hospital.
- Wash someone’s car provided that someone would appreciate that act of kindness.
- Give your mail carrier a gift card.
- Send care packages to soldiers overseas.
10. Self-Care Acts of Kindness Examples
Self-care is essential and something that you shouldn’t neglect. So here are some self-care acts of kindness examples to get you started.
- Take yourself on a lunch date. Or grab your favorite take-out and treat yourself to that sushi roll calling your name!
- Indulge in an aromatherapy bath with these Vegan Bath Bombs and your favorite Luxury Candles.
- Forgive yourself and others. Forgiveness is the ultimate act of kindness, the most imperative act of self-care.
- Treat yourself to a day at the spa. Sometimes getting a Mani/Pedi is the best self-care!
- Start a Gratitude Journal, and practice being grateful each day.
- Get all dressed up with no place to go. The coronavirus has kept many of us in pajamas. Do your hair and make-up and feel fabulous for the day.
- Take a hiatus from social media. Or delete social media from your life altogether. Did you know it’s linked to depression, anxiety, and narcissism? Deactivating my Facebook for a year was a life-changing experience. I became more productive and less depressed.
- Learn something new.
- Similarly, stop watching the news. That’s right! Turn the news off. Nothing but anxiety and depression leave you feeling hopeless and distraught. You don’t need to know every story of the world. Especially knowing they only share the bad news. No one can handle or process all that turmoil and pain.
- Check items off of your bucket list.
11. Acts of Kindness for Students
These acts of kindness ideas for students are a mere handful of suggestions to get them started. Here are 40 acts of kindness for kids. If you are looking to encourage your children.
- Hold the door open for a teacher or classmate.
- Help someone in class with their homework.
- Help the teacher when they ask for a helper.
- Show a new student around.
- Include the new student at the table.
- Write thank you notes to teachers, crossing guards, and lunch staff.
12. Online Random Acts of Kindness Ideas
These online acts of kindness examples are the easiest to do every day. Feed your karma bank by influencing the internet in a positive way.
- If you don’t like what someone posts on their social media feed, keep scrolling. Or delete them from your feed. Don’t leave nasty comments. Just keep scrolling.
- Support your friend’s business. Are they your friend and trying to make money? So why wouldn’t you support them? Especially during this pandemic.
- Share your friend’s blog, service, and product posts within your social media circles. It takes two seconds to click share, and you may open opportunities for their success. Help your friend’s business grow. They depend on social media shares.
- Also, leave a positive comment on a blog article. Or a YouTube video tutorial that taught you something today. They’re little boosts of confidence to the content creator. I cherish every one of mine. Thank you.
And thanks for reading! Remember that each random act has an impact. Do you have any acts of kindness ideas that didn’t make this list? Please add your favorite random act to the comments below. You’re awesome! I sincerely mean it 🙂
This post originally appeared on Waking Mom, and I’m permitted to republish it.
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.