Valentine’s Day is a special time of year to show love to everyone in our lives, not just our partners or new crushes! I created a list of 12 things that inspired me (and will hopefully have the same effect on you!) to go that extra inch or mile to weave small acts of kindness and love to others. Here they are!
I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but since my perspective has changed on the whole thing, I’m loving the holiday more and more! Oh, and everything pink and heart shaped has me weak at the knees! But really, I think it’s the sweetest time of year to give us a gentle nudge to give a bit more love. And it doesn’t have to be some huge thing. Small gestures truly go a long way to turning someone’s day from bad to uh-mazing!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve just found myself feeling busier and busier over the years. I mean, I’m not sure if I’m ACTUALLY busier, but that feeling is real. I actually got quite bogged down by it later last year (something I will share more about in a future post), and when January 2019 rolled around I was SO ready to make some changes to help shake that ‘busy’ feeling.
Our to-do lists never end, and in an effort to get a bit of control over my schedule I started carving out more and more time for the important things at the risk of leaving other busywork undone (an uncomfortable feeling at first, I will admit). More visits with granny, more lazy Sunday afternoons with the kids accomplishing zilch, and more room in my mind and heart for nurturing those around me (and myself!).
To kick off this week of LOVE, here are the random acts of kindness that I love the most and have had so much fun doing!
My favourite 12 Random Acts of Kindness:
- Buy flowers… for a complete stranger. Ok this may seem odd but hear me out. I was at Byland’s a couple of weeks ago and picked up a couple of extra bouquets. When we went to visit my granny in assisted living I found one of the nurses and asked her to give them to two residents who were having a bad day. I have no idea what those people thought since I never did see their reaction, but I hope that it brightened their day!
- Write a handwritten note. In the mornings when packing a lunch for Charlie I’ve slipped in a little note for him to read. This act of kindness is easy to complete in the mornings and leads to your kids or spouse feeling a little extra love when they read it. I used to write letters all of the time to friends, aunts and cousins; I bought adorable Valentine’s cards this year from Minted and plan on giving them out with a special little note this year, it seems like a lost art (much like my handwriting, what happened lol?)!
- Smile… and compliment someone. Something as little as an unexpected smile and a little compliment to someone you’re passing in the street or to the person checking out your groceries can brighten someones day. This task requires no planning or cost and can put a smile on someone’s face! It’s so easy to get distracted on our phones when we are walking or have an ounce of ‘down time’, there’s such a pleasure in just being in the moment and connecting with another person! The joy goes both ways.
- Donate to a local charity. In this time of year it might be easier to show love to the ones around us but it’s good to remember that not everyone in the community is as fortunate as we may be. Local food banks and charities like Mamas for Mamas are continuously on the lookout for donations (clothes, diapers, baby formula, gift cards, toys etc). Taking the kids to the grocery store can be challenging sometimes but on our most recent shopping trip I let them each pick out a few items we could donate and give back to our community.
- Bake for a friend. Fresh baked goods are a blessing. This is another great act of kindness you can include the kids in! Spending time in the kitchen is one of my favourite past times with the boys. Double the batch and bless two friends with baked goods this week! A few great recipes in the kitchen with kids are my Sneaky Mommy Muffins, a bag of homemade Top Secret Granola with a ribbon tied around the top or even a batch of Boobie Cookies for a new nursing mom!
- Plug someone’s meter. There is nothing worse than be a few minutes late to your car and finding a ticket on your dash (trust me, I know). The small pieces of change in your purse can be put to use here by plugging someones metre that is about to expire! If the owner returns before the time you’ve added expires, it can be a small blessing to the next car. My friend used to do this with her kids walking ahead of the parking attendant who I’m sure was less than impressed!
- Make an extra dinner. When cooking your own meal for the night, make an extra and deliver it to your neighbour or a friend who has had a long week. It is sure to make them smile. Try my Easy Enchiladas, this yummy Creamy Mushroom Kale Pasta or this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie.
- Pick up garbage … or take out your neighbour’s! Another easy one to do with the kids! Head out for a walk wearing a set of gloves and pick up small pieces of trash as you go. I pack a small bag to put items as I go along, this small activity benefits the whole community. Wheel out your neighbour’s trash or recycling before they can get to it to help their day get off to a nice start!
- Buy coffee for the person behind you. This is a classic. Paying for the coffee behind you can often start a trend, with that person buying the next person’s coffee in turn. A little good karma never hurt anybody.
- Call or visit someone who may be lonely. Life can get busy, but taking a few minutes out of your day to call someone you care about can be really meaningful. It may seem like a small gesture but a conversation with an old friend or checking in on a family member is sure to make them feel loved. I have been carving more time out lately to go visit our sweet granny along with my previous sweet old neighbour who is in hospice and has no children. I’ll never regret investing this time in these amazing people.
- Put together a care package. This can be for a family member, friend, or someone in need in the community. I wanted to put together a care package for some of the homeless in Kelowna. I used some reusable bags around the house and filled them with some granola bars, some mittens or socks, and a gift card to Tim Hortons. This was a fun activity with the boys and it provided another opportunity to invest in the city we call home! Even if you don’t have the time to walk around and distribute them, you can take them to a place like Mamas for Mamas (who support men in the community too!) and they will gladly hand them out! I often keep soft healthy granola bars in my purse and gift cards for coffee shops to hand out to those who could use it.
- Do something nice for YOU. When we think about acts of kindness, we think of others. But what about a bit of spontaneous self-love? Drink an extra glass of water, buy yourself flowers, get a manicure, carve out 20 minutes for some meditation or yoga, read a book instead of doing laundry… you get it. I am guilty as charged and forget to fill my own bucket sometimes, but it really does pay off for me and everyone around me when I can recharge even just a little!