I would like (if I may*) to spread some light-hearted and happiness in a positive post this week. So, I’m going to talk about random acts of kindness. Specifically, the random acts of kindness I’ve been up to. I’ll also share some exciting examples you can try for cheap, or free to share your love with the world.
First I’d like to send a shout out to Emma at TheHuman_KindProject. She creates little cards, buys flowers, or chocolates and leaves them for random strangers to find.
Following her on Instagram gave me a boost of inspiration a couple of weeks ago for my own random act of kindness.
Card on a train
I already had some blank cards at home, so I took one and wrote some positive and kind words in it. I enclosed a few random stickers that, again I already had at home, and I sealed it up.
The next day, as I left the train at Ipswich (which goes on to London), I left it on the seat.
Later on that day I received an amazing message on Instagram from someone telling me that they had found it and it had made their day. They took one sticker and left it with a train guard in the hope he would also pass it on.
Now, I didn’t hear back from anyone else, so who knows what that guard did with it. It may have ended up in the bin. Regardless, I was so excited that someone received it and it made them feel good. Not only that but also good enough to pay it forward.
This random act of kindness, made me feel good about myself. I had done something nice for someone else, a stranger and had made their day. Commuting to work can be such a rubbish start to your day if there are delays or cancellations. This is why I wanted to leave the card on the train, turns out it was a good call!
Cards in the post
Last year I was feeling particularly low, my depression was kicking in and I was feeling not very good about myself at all.
I honestly, cannot remember where the thought sprung from, but I thought it would be nice to send someone, who was also struggling with their mental health, something nice in the post.
I took to Facebook and Instagram and posted the below:
To my surprise I ended up with an abundance of kind words and positivity sent back at me. I also had a request from 30 different people to receive one of these cards.
Along with the card, I included some stickers, a some little post-it notes and some colouring in pages.
The cards and post-it notes I had purchased from ‘The Works’, stickers I already had, and the colouring pages were mostly photocopies from some of my hoard of books.
Some people had asked that I write to daughters, or friends on their behalf too. The responses to the cards received was just lovely.
This random act of kindness, put a smile on many other people’s faces and also made me feel happier again. It made me feel good that I had made other people feel good.
Last week I decided to see if there was still an interest or a desire for any of these cards and my random acts of kindness. Once again, I took to Facebook and Instagram:
This time I got postcards from ‘Paperchase’ as there seemed to be a lot of quirky and cool images on them.
About 17 people wanted to receive some positive post, which was amazing.
There is something nice about receiving something so random, unexpected and thoughtful in the post. Once more, it made me feel good to write and send them out.
The feedback I have received from people about these random acts of kindness has been so heartwarming. Many people have also said they want to help me and send letters to others as well, which is brilliant.
Weekly wellbeing check in
Every Sunday I create a post on Facebook and Instagram asking how you all are. I started to do this on a particular Facebook group and it has proved really popular.
Many people respond with the good and bad parts of their week, if they are struggling or having a wonderful time. I reply to all comments with words of support and praise to them and where possible, I make some suggestions.
The point of this is I want to make it normal and easy to talk about how we are feeling.
Some people don’t feel like they can/want to share their stories or experiences. I hope that in them seeing all other comments of support and acceptance they will realise they are not alone and are just as important as everyone else.
No-one has to share anything they don’t want, it is just a weekly wellbeing post to check in and say “Hi, I just want you to know you’re doing amazing, even if you don’t feel it”.
Examples & ideas of random acts of kindness
–Offer to give a friend/family member a lift somewhere if you know you can, help them save on public transport/their own petrol
–Go with your friend/family when they take their dogs for a walk. Maybe take their dogs for a walk for them if they are unable to
–Help a friend/family with their shopping
–Visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while
Cards of kindness:
– Send an unexpected card to a family member or friend just to say ‘Hi, I’m thinking of you’.
– Write some positive words in a card and leave it in a coffee shop, library, or train station for a stranger to find.
– Give a card filled with kindness and compassion to a rough sleeper you often see.
– Speak to staff at a retirement home, hospice, or hospital and see if there is someone who could do with receiving some loving post
– Create a post asking how people are,
– Send someone a message you haven’t spoken to a while, have a catch up.
– Find a # on Instagram/Twitter or a Facebook group of people who may be wanting advice, or may be lonely and want some conversation. Engage with them.
– Pick a couple of people/local businesses your following on any social media and like/comment on 10+ of their posts.
–Donate to a friend or stranger’s Justgiving/Patreon page
–Buy a pint/coffee/lunch for your friend next time you meet up
–Ask a rough sleeper if there are any essentials they need (socks, t-shirt, water, food etc) and buy anything you’re able to afford
–Buy stickers, stationary or pictures to include in any of the cards of kindness
–Put some money or voucher in one of the cards of kindness
I have also been asked if/how people can help me when I post these cards out. I have wondered if some sort of Patreon account might be worth considering.
If the demand is there for people to want these random acts of kindness and positive post, then maybe there is something I can offer, and other people can also contribute £1 or 2 to if they desire. That would help toward postage, or more stickers and cards.
It’s all just a thought though, but I think it would be wonderful to have a project where if you aren’t feeling your best, low, anxious or lonely and you can receive some free happiness in the mail.
If I could do this full time, I would absolutely love it!
To spend all day sending out positive messages, kind and supportive words in the post to anyone who needs it. To be able to include some geeky stickers and/or stationary would be just amazing.
Anywho, it’s all food for thought, until then I’ll keep posting my weekly posts and if anyone wants a card in the post, please do send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or PM me on Instagram or Facebook.
Please do let me know if you have any of your own ideas for random acts of kindness that can be shared by one and all.
Stay strong everyone, stay safe and be kind
Love, Ray X
*Congratulations to anyone who automatically read this in the voice of Charles Gray from Rocky Horror Picture Show