Happy Sunday Sunday y’all! Let’s talk for a second about small acts of kindness.
You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’re in the Starbucks line and the person in front of you pays for drink? Or when you’re $1 short at a cash-only place and the person behind you spots you the dollar? Or when you’re struggling in class and someone offers you their neatly printed, super detailed and extremely helpful notes? You know how much that makes your heart skip a beat? A total stranger or someone you know very briefly, just took 10 seconds of their time, to make your entire day? You love that, don’t you? I know I do!
There have been plenty of times where I’ve been in a panic, sleep-deprived and late for a meeting and one of the above things happens to me. My whole day is turned around. My faith in humanity has been restored a bit and now I want to give that feeling to someone else. It’s great when we do small things for strangers or when strangers do small things for us, but why is it so hard to do those things for the people we love?
This week, I rushed out my front door heading to work, attempting not to be late and found a coffee and note on my welcome mat. It was a small fresh vanilla coffee and a hand written note reading “Have a great day.” I immediately broke down in tears. At the time, I had no idea who it was from. My first thought was to worry. Had a left my car windows down again and got rain all over my seats. Had I pissed off my neighbor by using the blender at all hours of the day. Had I forgot to be a meeting and this was a gentle dig. Or had a ran myself down so much that you could tell I needed that coffee. But it was none of the above. One of my sweet friends knew exactly how hectic Tuesdays were for me and decided I deserved that treat.
As I rushed into work, eyes red from tears, out of breathe from taking the stairs to the fourth floor and things slipping out my purse, I realized that it took my friend 5 minutes and $5 to make my entire day. I felt overwhelmed from happiness from a french vanilla coffee. I felt love and appreciated from a hand-written note on a white piece of paper. I felt deeply and fully loved just because someone cared. That day, I made the effort to do the same for two other people. Buying someone’s donut at Krispy Kreme and sending a short text to one of my friends who has been struggling.
Did I change either of their lives? Maybe not. Will they tell their grandchildren this story? Doubt it. But did I give whole-heartedly, freely and in good spirit with good intentions and love on my mind? Absoutely. And for that, I am grateful.
If you’re not sure how to surprise someone you love, participate in small acts of kindness when you’re living on a college budget (I completely feel this!) or just want to show someone you care, check out my top 10 suggestions under $10:
Coffee (or tea) $3-$6 – This doesn’t have to be an expensive cup. It can be Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Sheetz, Wawa or even homemade out your Keurig with their favorite creamer.
Flowers $4-$10 – Now, everyone doesn’t love flowers, but the person you love might. You don’t have to get an entire bouquet with a fancy vase that will be broken in 3 days. Instead, head to your local grocery store and pick up a small 3-6 steam bunch. If you’re feeling creative, go to your local dollar store and get a simple vase and colored rocks. I bought these sunflowers for $3 (for all 3) at Harris Teeter, vase for $1 from my local dollar store and stones for $1 at Michael’s.
Framed affirmations $1-$9 (Depending on frame)- Y’all, I promise this is one of the easiest and cheapest things to do. Head over to Pinterest, type in “Free printable quotes/pictures” and you’ll have thousands upon thousands of options. Some require you to subscribe to their website but others simply allow you to print. You can then go buy a cheap frame from your local dollar store or craft store, print out the words/pictures and frame it. The following picture costs me $3. Free printable + $3 clipboard from the Target $1, $3, $5 section. If you head over to one of my past post where I talk about desk organization, you’ll see how I use mine: Here
A book $4-$10- I know I know, books can sometimes be pricey. But always look on Amazon first. Try Walmart or Target if you’re unable to fit it on Amazon. If you chose a book both you and your friend have been wanting to read, grab a copy for yourself and try to set up weekly 20-mintue reflections on your readings. If you’re stumped for a good book to get, check out my reading list here. These are my favorite book right now:
Their favorite magazine $4-$7: One of my favorite things to do is sit on my porch, enjoy a cup of coffee and indulge a magazine when I wake up early. Perfect time for light reading, catch up on the latest trends and get some great inspiration or motivation for the week. Currently obsessed with Michelle Obama on InStyle and waiting patiently for Lupita Nyongo’s October cover for Vogue.
Candle $5-$10 – I can’t be the only one who seriously gets beyond excited for new candles in my apartment. Check out your local TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls and Home Goods for amazing brands at a low price.
Thank-you note $1-$6- I recently purchased a set of 40 Thank you notes with envelopes for $4.99 at TJ Maxx. Your local dollar store more than likely sells packs of 8 for $1. If you’re not great at writing without lines, opt for a card with lines. Take a few minutes to write how much you appreciate someone, how much they mean to you or how proud of them you are. I promise this small act of kindness with make their day.
Send a “Just thinking of you” text or a “You’re awesome” just because or before a big event.
Show up to the event that you know you’re friend has been stressing over. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Even if you’re way in the back. Even if you’re coming from the gym. Showing up is always appreciated.
Share a hug, good laugh or shoulder to cry on. Maybe you don’t need it, but they do. Maybe they don’t think they need it, but they do. Either way, just being there to share that experience will be appreciated.
Do you have suggestions that mean a lot to you? Or things you’ve always wanted to try? Leave me a comment and let me know!