For the month of February, Irish Tatler is producing a mini-series, #KindnessCulture in which we speak to people in different public spheres, who have suffered pointed negativity online. We feel that – in the wake of Caroline Flack's death – it is important to highlight how crucial it is to cultivate kindness when commenting and sharing.
We’re all pretty decent people most of the time, and we do try our best to do nice things for one another here in the office on a regular basis.
We’re just thoughtful like that.
But when there’s an international celebration of kindness, it’s all the more reason to inject a bit of happiness into the lives of those we know and love – and then people who pop into our life just randomly.
So here are 20 ideas for random acts of kindness that you can do this weekend that won’t cost you a cent –– and with Random Act of Kindness Week kicking off this week, now's really the time to get started.
1. Write something nice on an Instagram/Facebook/Twitter post of someone who posts abnormally often –– They’re likely keen for some validation and your comment might brighten up their day.
2. When gossiping is rife, be the one to pay that person a compliment instead and turn the conversation around.
3. Offer to babysit your niece or nephew for free –– without being asked first.
4. Let the person in the queue behind you in the supermarket skip you, just because they look like they're in a rush.
5. Be a nice driver today and curb your road rage. Let another driver merge into your lane when you’re sitting in traffic and don’t pretend you haven’t seen them. ‘Cause we all do that.
6. Offer to do the ironing for your friend or sister who is already struggling with life and a handful of crazy kids.
7. Donate some of your dog’s toys, treats or paraphernalia to an animal shelter, or donate an hour of your time by offering to help walk the animals living in the shelter.
8. Pick up litter randomly on the street and throw it in the bin. You’re being kind to the environment, saving someone possibly tripping over it and probably saving a little animal’s life who won’t risk running across the road to check it out.
9. Make your best friend or other half a collage of pics of your favourite times together to cheer them up.
10. Give your mam or dad a hug like you used to do when you were a kid.
11. Give your colleague a meaningful and out of the blue comment. It will have them smiling for the weekend!
12. Write a letter or send a nice text to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
13. Give your favourite book to someone to read.
14. Smile at a complete stranger. Who knows what kind of day they’re having.
15. Help someone you think might need it. An old person crossing the road, a woman struggling to go down steps with a buggy – helpless folk are all over the place.
16. Stand and clap for a street performer that you normally walk straight by.
17. If you’ve extra time on your pay and display parking ticket, offer it to someone else before you leave.
19. Bring someone a coffee in bed tomorrow morning – your other half, your roomie or your mam if you’re crashing at home.
20. Think of someone who’s struggling with something in life, and send them an encouraging text telling them they’re doing a great job, or that you admire them. It could be just what they need.
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues, there is help available:
- Samaritans – 116 123 – [email protected] or [email protected]
- Pieta House – 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444
- Aware - 1800 80 48 48
- Childline – 1800 66 66 66 or free text 50101
Main image by @clairethomsonjonvill