As you all know, I love to give back. When I travel, when I’m at home, it’s extremely important to me that I live my life helping others whenever I can.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life that we often forget to think about those around us. So when I can’t make grand gestures of kindness I always try and practise small acts, because it not only makes someone else’s day better, but it also makes mine.
This year involved a lot of travel for me, starting a new job, moving house, everyday was go, go, go. But giving back is incredibly simple, so whenever I could, I did just that. To give you an idea on just how simple it can be, I have put together a list of 12 simple acts of kindness that I gifted throughout the year. Some you may already be doing without even realising it!
TREATING A STRANGER I was in line at Starbucks waiting to buy my favourite matcha latte, when the lady in front of me ordered a fancy sounding coffee (I can never keep up with the latest trend combinations), and after ordering, she looked a little frazzled and vocalised that she didn’t have enough cash on her to pay for it. Seeming like one of those people who needed a morning coffee to get through the day, I dug out my purse and gave her the change I had. £1 to me, meant a world of difference to her.
CLOTHING DONATION Every few months I do a wardrobe clean out and donate my unwanted/unused clothes to various charities in need. I also sell various items on eBay from time to time, donating a percentage of the sale (if not all) to charity.
SUPPORTING ANIMAL SHELTERS This year, I decided that I wanted to get involved in animal charity and a simple way I was able to do this, was by collecting a bag full of old blankets and towels and donating them to my local animal shelter. During winter, shelters blanket supplies often become dirty and damaged quite quickly as a result of the the wet weather, so any donations they can get helps.
BRIGHTEN SOMEONES DAY Compliments go a long way. Whether I’m complimenting someone’s outfit, the work they’ve done or even just telling them how helpful they’ve been, there’s no mistaking the smile on their face after receiving these positive words. It makes me feel so good, knowing that just a few simple words from me, has resulted in someone’s day being a little brighter.
THE UNEXPECTED I paid for three hours parking at my local shopping center, but after obtaining what I needed, I realised I was finished in one. Upon leaving I gave my ticket with the remaining two hours to someone who had parked in a space nearby. They were so appreciative and said if they were done before the two hours were up, that they would pass the ticket onto someone else. It’s all about paying it forward.
GIVING THANKS Every day I say good morning to the cleaner in my apartment block and wish her a good day. I notice a lot of my fellow residents pass her by barely even noticing her. She works hard and is always so cheerful so I make it a point to acknowledge that!
VOLUNTEER I volunteered quite a bit in Australia but as I’m travelling, I’m finding that I’m having less time to do so. This Christmas though, I made sure to keep a few hours free and I ended up bucket collecting at my local train station for the charity Marie Curie. I raised £87 which equals four hours of nursing care. It took little effort on my part and will make a huge difference to those in need of the nursing services.
GIFT OF LOVE Even though my boyfriend and I live together, our schedules can be quite busy, so I always try and leave him notes around the house to say “I love you, etc,” because making sure I never take people for granted is really important to me.
PROVIDE ASSISTANCE Whenever I see mothers with prams, or people struggling to lift their suitcases up stairs in train stations, I always offer my assistance. I mean, two hands are better than one right and I’ve so been there before!
KIND GESTURE The other day, whilst I waited in line at the supermarket, there was a lady behind me with two young, very energetic children. They looked like they’d eaten a whole bag of sugar and it was at peak time of kicking in. By the look on her face I could tell she wanted to get them home ASAP, and even though she had a trolly worth of groceries and I only had a few items, I let her go before me. She was beyond grateful.
HOLD THE LIFT I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been in a lift with others at the end of a workday, the doors are closing and I see someone running towards it, only to miss it by a second because nobody has has the decency to hold the lift for them. I always think that the person running for the lift is obviously in a rush, so whenever I’m near the front of the lift, if I see this happening, I always hold the door open for them.
HOTEL TOILETRIES Relaying my blog post ‘how your hotel toiletries can help others’, I always like to collect the shampoos, shower gels, etc., from my hotel stays when I travel and donate them to a local shelter upon my return.
At the end of the day, whatever it is you do, never underestimate your ability to make someone else’s life better.