There’s just something about warmer weather that makes me happier.
I want to spread that happiness, especially in the springtime.
Here are 15 ways to spread a little love this season (and all year ‘round!) with random acts of kindness.
1. Send a greeting card
This is my absolute favorite thing to do to make people happy. I especially love Target’s greeting card section. I sometimes have a special place in my heart for naughty or ridiculous cards—they’re the things that make my loved ones laugh the hardest. Knowing that they enjoy getting mail like a funny greeting card makes me feel happy and fulfilled.
2. Buy the person in line behind you a cup of coffee
I’ve thought about doing this little act of kindness forever and I have never remembered to do it while in line at Starbucks. It is my goal to do it this spring to make someone smile on a typically busy and hurried morning.
3. Bake cookies for your elderly neighbor or friend
I am friends (and a fellow church usher, believe it or not!) with two 80-somethings. I love baking them a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies and bringing them to church as a thank you for always giving me rides and being so nice to me! It was the two of them who helped me feel involved in my church so I love returning the kindness they showed me.
4. Take a rescue dog out for an adventure
Many local animal shelters allow volunteers to take their rescue dogs out for an afternoon “adventure.” Showing a dog whose been in some tough times a day of fun with an ice cream jaunt or trip to the local dog park is a great way to make them feel loved.
5. Offer to take a friend’s kids out for the afternoon
As I rapidly continue approaching the age my peers start having children, I know many soon become tired, overworked parents. By offering to take their children out to the movies or to the park for a few hours is a welcome, you are committing a selfless act of kindness many parents would appreciate.
6. Surprise your apartment floor with candy
I love doing this on my apartment’s floor. I think it stems from me being Sunshine Chair of my dorm floor in college. Over the holidays, I used red, green and silver Hershey’s kisses and left them in little Ziploc bags taped to everyone’s doors. I included a little note thanking them for being such great neighbors. This is a simple way to get to know your neighbors and make them (particularly lonely ones) feel welcomed.
7. Slip a love note in your significant other’s lunch
My boyfriend likes to make believe he haaaates this but every time I ask him if he got the note I left him in his lunch he smiles from ear to ear. There’s a reason we loved mom’s lunch notes growing up—they made us feel special. Why not do the same for your partner?
8. Send a thank you note
My closest friends and family know I absolutely adore writing thank you notes. The written word is often lost these days and I always joke it’s my own personal goal to bring it back. Sending a written thank you is a special way to make someone feel happy about their original gesture that warranted the note in the first place. Not to mention, it’s fun buying cute stationery!
9. Do a 5K for a cause close to your heart
My boyfriend suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, an eye-related disease that can eventually blind him. A few years ago, I signed up for a 5K to benefit the programs and services of a local organization specializing in the blind, low vision and deafblind. It was the first 5K I ever ran and not only was I proud I did it in a respectable time, I was happy to be helping those like my boyfriend.
10. Let someone go ahead of you in line
This one is a tough one, particularly when you’re pressed for time. I have yet to do it myself, but boy does it make someone’s day, particularly a mom struggling multiple children or an elderly person.
11. Mentor a child
Children from underserved communities in your area always appreciate stability in their life. Organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of America provide that consistency and are always looking for volunteers.
12. Offer a cold drink to those working outside on a hot day
D.C. summers are often oppressively hot—that’s part of the reason I make sure to ask our apartment’s maintenance team any time they come to do repairs for us if they need a glass of water. Many in construction or maintenance type jobs get minimal breaks and are often overworked. A small gesture like a glass of ice water could got a long way!
13. Leave a small gift for your mail carrier
I’ve always lived by the thought that if you befriend your mail carrier, your mail will always be delivered on time. In the six years we’ve lived in our building, I’ve gotten to know our mail carrier Mimi. I admire her so much, she came to the U.S. from Korea, married, had kids and has been working tirelessly for USPS for decades. We’ve become friendly and every Christmas and times throughout the year, I make sure to give her a small gift of gratitude for the countless hours she spends sorting our mail.
14. Donate to those less fortunate
This one is a typical one I know, but there are so many places you don’t even think about. There are plenty of animal shelters in need of blankets for shelter pets and children’s hospitals who would love a homemade card for one of their sick children.
15. Be kind to yourself!
Parks and Recreation fans out there will know Donna Meagle’s (aka Retta) iconic catchphrase “Treat yo self.” Some days, it’s important to do just take a personal day and literally treat yourself! I love deciding in the morning that I’m going to treat myself in some way and just going for it. Yesterday, I decided to take myself to the movies for a solo outing—one of my favorite ways to unwind.