I have to admit, I really love surprising people with acts of kindness. I’m not the best at grand gestures, but the notion of ‘surprise and delight’ is one of my core values and when the mood strikes, I love to surprise my friends and neighbors and loved ones with something special. I love to make people feel good when they may otherwise be feeling blah, sad, or lonely. And because I want to spread kindness even more these days, I wanted to share my top four ways that we can effortlessly offer kindness to others at a distance.
I don’t know about you, but I think there’s something so fun about getting actual mail! It seriously makes my day. I did a market research study at work a few years ago where we literally had people record themselves walking to their mailbox and opening their mail. When someone got something fun like a greeting card or delivery or magazine, we called it “happy mail.”
I love happy mail. I could spend hours reading every greeting card at Target, looking for quirky, fun, or thoughtful cards. I try and stay stocked up so that whenever the mood strikes, I have just the right one in my arsenal. I’m a particular fan of “BLANK INSIDE” cards that are hilarious on the outside.
I try to never miss a birthday, but I also just like to stick random notes of encouragement in the mail too. This one is geared mostly towards my mom friends. Life is so freaking hard sometimes. I know how much I value someone telling me that I’m doing a kick ass job, so I try to do the same.
Who doesn’t want to be out and about living life and suddenly look down on their phone to see that someone sent them a gift? That someone was thinking of them? A couple of months ago, I knew my friend was out of town for work, so I sent her $5 on Venmo. I told her to buy herself a coffee to help her wake up refreshed after her long night out entertaining clients! She was so surprised, and I was just as giddy waiting for her to text me after she got it. I couldn’t wait to hear how it impacted her night. The giving felt just as warm and fuzzy as the receiving, I’m sure!
Notes of Encouragement
I attended Rachel Hollis’s first virtual Rise conference recently, and as part of our “swag” I got a PDF of cute words of encouragement and quotes that I could print out. We’d been in quarantine for about 6 weeks by that time, and I just loved the notes. I decided to cut them out and put one in a ziplock bag for each of my neighbors, along with a variety of tea bags. It would have been just as nice to send them wine, but that would have gotten pricey, and I knew we were all drinking more than normal given our crazy circumstances. I thought the tea was a nice relaxing touch.
I wrote a short note on the back, cheering them on for doing such a great job at home!
Most of what I’ve recommended so far has been really cheap and easy to do. This final suggestion can range in price points, so these are for when you’re really getting your heartstrings tugged and want to make an impact in the heart of someone else.
What does your friend need who is suddenly on her own with 2 kids? (She needs dinner delivered… or a house cleaner) What about your friend who just lost her mom or found out her sister is sick? (Maybe it’s flowers or something to make her laugh). These are really tied to the situation you’re in.
I have some favorite bath bombs from Amazon that I love to order and send to friends when I want them to find time to unwind. My go-to books are usually something from Glennon Doyle or another author who impacted me personally. And when in doubt, I use bouqs.com for floral deliveries! They make it super easy and I’m a big fan of the flat fee, no surprises. You can get 30% off your first purchase by using that link too!
So there you have it. Simple and thoughtful ways we can start spreading a little more kindness out into a world that is on its head right now. Things are so unpredictable and everyone is stressing in their own way. We all have challenges and good days and bad. What if your simple card and 50 cent stamp is what brings a smile to your friend next week? Totally worth the hours wandering the card aisle of Target!