8 Free Acts Of Kindness That Are Worth Your Time
We often hear how a single act of kindness has the power to turn a bad day into a good one. Simply making someone laugh is enough to relieve an entire morning stuck in traffic, or a hectic afternoon of long meetings.
When the day gets difficult, we get caught up wishing someone would come in and save it. Perhaps it's worth spending our mind's time on watching out for others who could use a pick-me-up. If people paid more attention to one another and did a little something to help a stranger or friend, we would increase the chances of having more good days than bad.
The kicker is that we don't have to spend money to do it. Here are __ things that we can spend not money, but time on, and make someone's life a little easier.
1. Be mindful of people trying to move furniture.
Unless they're doing some weird task on Amazing Race, they're probably moving. If not, acquiring furniture is stressful enough without having to haul it to an apartment. Offering a ride or an extra hand could mean more than you'd think. You might save someone from carrying a recliner half a mile from the store to his house like this woman did.
2. Thank a man or woman in uniform.
Strangers are difficult to approach, and believe me, I empathize with the inclination to reaaaally not want to do that. The obvious, humbling truth is that risking your life is a bigger challenge. Soldiers, police officers and firefighters wake up knowing that their means of living might cut their lives short. No one with that kind of stress will scowl at a stranger saying thanks.
3. Stay connected with a daily/weekly message.
Take the idea of sharing a good article on Facebook and shrink it down. Maybe you've got a friend in the hospital, or a cousin going through a rough break up. Send a text with a joke, or something really smart and inspirational you heard. A few privy lines that made you smile will probably make someone else smile too. Send a daily or a weekly message to your friends who need it--pain is shooed away when you prick it with a little joy.
4. Listen to someone's problems.
The misconception with listening is that you have to provide a solution. You don't. Unless you're being paid by someone to guide him through a tough time, you don't have to heal the wound completely. Not all pain needs a prescription to go away. As he talks about the issue, he pushes it off his chest; knowing that someone else knows what he's going through will provide comfort, which might be what he needed to get through the day.
5. Relieve someone sick of an important responsibility.
The flu doesn't discriminate based on how much it will interrupt your life. Germs and viruses don't care whether you've got two toddlers and a dog to feed, and keep away from sharp objects. Your fever will sky-rocket and you still have to take care of your kids. When a friend or neighbor falls ill, offer to take over the things that cannot be ignored. Have the kids over for a weekend sleep over, or do some chores so your friend can find time to rest and heal.
6. Use your rewards card on someone else.
When you've finally reached that free coffee/frozen yogurt slot on your loyalty card, consider giving it to someone else. Technically, you've spent money to get to the free item, but it's not like you're buying a stranger anything. The store is rewarding you for your loyalty, and you might make someone's day by passing on the gift to someone else. You'll make someone smile; you might even make a friend.
7. Offer someone the same advice you used when you were in his position.
When we start something, the excitement can get overshadowed by doubt and fear of failure. The one remedy to this is when someone more experienced (in whatever it is we're about to begin) relates and says things will be okay. That kind of reassurance is the difference between a restful night of sleep and a struggle to shut our eyes.
8. Tell your role models they're role models.
Just as young people need role models to give them peace of mind, role models need young people to assure them they've done right. Insecurity may lessen with time, but it doesn't end at a certain age. We're human until the day we die, and that means as long as we're here, we'll be thankful when people say we've done right by them.
If you want more ways to be kind for free, check out Shari Elyse's latest video on committing random acts of kindness without spending a cent!