There are days when it might feel like you will never make it home to your bed, and you have nothing extra to give to anyone, including yourself. Being a good person can often feel like extra effort, but in truth, doing acts of kindness for those around you will probably provide you with more positive emotions and energy than if you hadn't done anything at all. The most important thing to remember is that it's often the little things that can make someone's day, rather than the massive grand gestures.
The best part about deciding to make someone's day is that these efforts are, more often than not, a very small investment of your time and finances. Doing a nice thing for someone else is all about making their life just a little bit better. Whether it's upping the quality of their workout or saving them the stress of running out to a coffee shop, the smallest gestures are often the ones that end up being the most emotionally grand.
This week, make a point to do something nice for the people you love the most in your life — and maybe do a few nice things for some strangers, as well. Here are eight little ways to totally turn someone's day around:
A Fancy Latte
Surprising your grumpy coworker with a steaming hot cappuccino or a latte with fancy foam art is an easy way to completely turn their day around. Besides, it's also a selfish benefit to your own day to increase the moods of the people around you, thus improving your own mood along the way.
A Free Workout Class
If you have a workout subscription, there's a chance that you have an option to bring along a friend for a free class. ClassPass offers the option to take a friend to your reserved class for free, for example. But if you go to a local workout spot, you could always just talk to your workout instructor and see what the options are for people to try out classes for free.
Surprising your friend with a workout class will give him or her the endorphin boost they need to hold onto a good mood.
A New Spotify Playlist
Sometimes all it takes is a new set of tunes to improve your mood. For your music junkie friend, surprising him or her with a fresh playlist to work out to, or to listen to while crunching numbers at work, is the best way to give a gift that costs nothing at all.
Of course, this only counts as an effective gift if you have an idea of what type of music they enjoy, otherwise your friend might view that bluegrass playlist as a form of torture.
Paying For A Stranger's Coffee
A super easy way to start a chain of acts of good will (Pay It Forward, anyone?) is to pay for the coffee of the person standing behind you in line. It will cost you a few dollars, and it will totally surprise them, since, you know, people can be kind of terrible to one another these days.
Thanking Someone For Something They've Done In The Past
Sometimes an act of goodwill can be centered around something that's already taken place in the past. Thanking a friend or a family member for something they've already done in the past will remind them about something nice they've done, thus making them feel good, and leading to a nice little reminiscing session between the two of you.
So call your parents and thank them for all the support they've given you over the years, or call your best friend and thank her for supporting you when your parents didn't.
Donating The Clothes You Don't Wear Anymore
There's a good chance you don't wear half of the clothing that's currently in your closet. So why not give it away to people who will be absolutely ecstatic to have it?
Alternatively, if you know that there's a particular t-shirt that your best friend has always loved, then maybe it's time to kiss your sweet cotton tee goodbye in the name of a good act.
Write Letters To Loved Ones
If you're looking for a bedtime habit to incorporate into your nightly routine, you might want to consider writing one short letter a night to someone who has impacted your life in a positive way.
It could be a teacher, a distant relative, or someone who you're not currently on good terms with- but writing someone a letter will probably have a lasting impact on them, and will be pretty therapeutic for you, too.
Fold Your Roommate's Laundry For Them
Do it. Just fold your roommate's laundry as you're doing your own, or better yet, throw your roommate's laundry in the dryer as soon as it's finished in the washer, so that it doesn't go sour (which is the worst possible thing to happen on a weekday evening).