The recent Random Acts of Kindness Day has got us thinking here at Little Soap HQ. We absolutely LOVE the fact that there is an internationally recognised day where people are actively encouraged to carry out random acts of kindness on each other. Let’s face it, we could all do with a little more kindness in our lives. But how many of us go on to carry out these super gorgeous acts of kindness beyond February, creating lasting habits, changing behaviours and spreading happiness a little further? We’d like to think that we’re all capable of the changes needed to make the world a better place- which is why this week’s post is all about everyday acts of kindness. The simple ways that you can show kindness to others, the planet, and yourself. Here are our top five ideas.
Be Kind to the planet: recycle more
Yes, we know you recycle already- but we think you can recycle more. Donate that bag of clothes to charity, save those yogurt pots that can’t go into the red bin just yet (and take them to a recycling centre that can take them). Whatever you’re doing right now to recycle, just do a little more.
Tip: don’t limit kindness to the earth with just recycling- remember to reduce and re-use too. Get yourself a sewing kit to mend those socks, re-purpose packaging that can’t be recycled and get a compost bin for the garden/ windowsill too.
Be kind to yourself: eat well
We always recommend eating the seasons, and this will spread the kindness far beyond your wallet too. Less energy will be used to transport your out-of-season produce. Less packaging will be used on locally grown food. Less demand for foods that don’t belong on our plates at this time of year will drive down the need to produce it altogether. And on a personal level- your body will definitely thank you for it. Read more about eating the seasons here.
When you become more aware of the foods that you’re eating, you become more in tune with your body. You become more able to understand what it wants and needs, and you’re more likely to treat it with the kindness it deserves, Your skin will look and feel better, your sleep will improve and your mental wellbeing will surely follow.
Tip: Forget the diet, just eat well, drink lots of water and nourish your body.
Be kind to others: a smile goes a long way
We’ve spent a long time hiding behind face coverings, and it seems that sometimes we’ve forgotten how important it is to smile, too! Being so used to our facial expressions being hidden away can lead us to forget that our eyes bare the true expression of our souls- so even if your mouth is covered, you can still smile!
Studies have found that children smile on average 400 times a day… compared to the measly 40-50 smiles of a happy adult, and paltry 20 smiles of a stressed adult. But why does this matter? Because a proper smile has a lot of power! Smiling leads to the release of cortisol and endorphins that can help to reduce blood pressure, pain. and stress, and even strengthen the immune system. Not only that, but they’re contagious. Smile at someone today and watch them smile back. Then they will go on to smile at another person, who will smile at another, and so on. And all of those people will reap the benefits of the chain reaction of kindness that you started. Now that should really make you smile! Read more about the benefits of smiling here.
Tip: next time you smile at a neighbour, offer a friendly word or ask how they’re doing. It can make the world of difference in a lonely world.
Be kind to your community: donate your time
Its true that we’re all busy, but its also true that we all have the same 24 hours in each day- and if one person is able to show kindness by donating a little of their time to others, then you can too. It doesn’t need to be hours and hours. It can be just five minutes spent asking an elderly neighbour about their experiences. It can be once a month volunteering at your son’s scout meeting. It can be everyday in your local charity shop. If its manageable and it makes a difference to someone else, your community, your soul- then do it.
Tip: look online for local community groups and offer your help in areas of your own expertise.
Be kind to friends: listen more
We get what it’s like. You haven’t seen each other for a while, so the entire evening is a jumble of words, stories and laughter. But you come away wondering whether you had a proper conversation, or if you were just waiting for your turn to speak. Sound familiar? Next time you go for a catch up with an old friend, challenge yourself to really listen. Don’t wait for your turn to vent your feelings on a certain topic. Kindness can be just listening to your friend, being a caring shoulder for them and really engaging in a proper conversation.
Tip: Put your phone away when you’re having a conversation, so that you can be really present in the moment. You’ll be surprised how quickly you feel really connected with your friend, and your bonds will strengthen as a result.