Do you know that performing thoughtful deeds improves your mental health? It’s true. So I’ve curated a list of acts of kindness ideas to improve your mental health while helping others.
Being charitable can boost mental morale. Additionally, the feel-good circuits in your brain are stimulated by charitable acts. Your brain releases endorphins when you perform acts of kindness.
Furthermore, acts of kindness and charity include benefits for your physical health! For example:
- Lower Stress Levels
- Decreased Anxiety & Depression
- Lower Blood Pressure
Plus, giving inspires others to be giving. So it promotes social connection and good karma. Here are random acts of kindness ideas to improve health and spread joy!
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Neighborly Acts of Kindness
1. Bake cookies from scratch and sprinkle some extra love into them by hand-delivering them to your neighbors. Additionally, visit the Dollar Tree for tinsels and tins. Also, thrift stores typically have great holiday tins. Updated for the pandemic, my daughter suggested delivering store-bought cookie dough for neighbors to bake themselves this holiday.
2. Mow your neighbor’s yard. I’m not instructing you to trespass. But the next time you’ve got your mower out, offer (insist) on clipping their lawn too.
3. Deliver basic grocery staples to a single parent in your neighborhood, church, or community. Groceries always help.
4. Does your neighbor have children? Offer to watch them and give your neighbors some time off. Do you know how many parents are dying for a date night?
Handwritten Acts of Kindness Ideas
5. Sign-up with Love the Elderly and begin corresponding with seniors to give them the love and appreciation that they deserve.
6. Pen handwritten letters to strangers in need of love at More Love Letters. All recipients have been nominated by friends or family and have a story attached to their name explaining their need for an act of kindness.
7. Also, make mental health personal by writing Letters to Strangers. It’s a global youth-run non-profit dedicated to removing the stigma attached to mental illness.
8. Write letters to girls around the world seeking to be empowered by your love and encouragement with The Letter Project, a faith-based nonprofit organization.
9. Become a Holiday Community Partner with Soldier’s Angels and send cards, letters, and stuffed stockings to our troops and veterans during the holidays.
10. Get involved with Operation Gratitude and write letters to new recruits, deployed troops, veterans, and first responders. Express gratitude, share a little about yourself and talk about life and interests.
11. Give A Million Thanks by sending handwritten encouragement and messages of prayer to our military. Past and present.
12. Send hope and light to those who have been affected by cancer at Joshua19Mission.
13. Join the Rainbow Cards Project in the UK and send cards to spread kindness and cheer. Holiday cards are in need.
14. Send cards and sunshine to kids fighting cancers and other serious illnesses with Sunshine Snail Mail.
15. Uplift the spirits of hospitalized and traumatized people across the globe with Cardz for Kidz.
16. Spread hope, joy, and magic to hospitalized kids across America by sending uplifting, handmade cards with Cards for Hospitalized Kids.
17. Join Braid Mission and send cards of hope to foster youth. Send best birthday wishes. Or cards just because.
Sending Postcard Acts of Kindness
18. Read stories about people all over the world who would benefit from acts of kindness. And send them a postcard at Postcard Happiness.
19. Send and receive postcards from random strangers all over the world at Postcrossing.
20. Also, Postcards of Kindness is an initiative that asks people to write and send postcards to residents of care homes in the UK.
Environmental Acts of Kindness Ideas
21. Pick up litter and other garbage in your neighborhood or local areas and join the global movement called the #trashtag challenge.
22. Eat less meat, or go vegan. Animal agriculture is the leading contributor to climate change. Furthermore, it depletes other resources like water and land. The Mediterranean Diet is a phenomenal diet to begin changing your eating habits and embracing health.
23. Walk when you can to minimize your carbon footprint. Additionally, consider riding a bike for longer distances. Especially when the weather permits!
24. Turn off lights, fans, and heaters when not in use. Or any other household appliances.
25. Recycle food with food compost and use the compost in your garden!
26. Reduce your shower time to conserve water. Each minute the water is running is about five gallons of water.
Donating Acts of Kindness Ideas
28. Make a difference and provide support to individuals or charities at Just Giving. Sign-up to take part in a charity fundraising event.
29. Inspire philanthropy by trusting Charity Navigator to guide you to charities that you can support and trust. Donate time and/or money.
31. Donate food to your local food drive during the holidays. But don’t neglect the rest of the year! Food banks across the states are always in need of food. Especially during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Related Reading: The Best Self-Care Tips for Moms to Indulge in a Pandemic
Donating Clothes Acts
32. Donate shoes that no longer serve you and help change the life of someone in need. The Soles4 Souls program delivers your shoes to the less fortunate. Additionally, for only $30 a month, you can ensure a pair of shoes for a soul in need.
33. The Salvation Army is an international charity that allows you to drop off clothes. Or schedule a pick-up.
34. While most operations only accept gently-used clothing, Planet Aid recycles all of your unwanted clothing. Regardless of their condition.
35. Do you have lightly-worn jackets that are cluttering your closet? Donate them to One Warm Coat to provide jackets for people in need.
36. Bring economic opportunity to survivors of sex trafficking by donating old bras at Free the Girls. An organization dedicated to empowering survivors of sex trafficking.
37. Economically empower women all over the world by donating professional attire to the Dress for Success organization.
38. Volunteer to walk dogs, socialize cats, and help with cleaning and feeding at your local animal shelter.
39. Call up your local hospital, doctor’s office, or nursing home and ask about their volunteer services.
40. Volunteer your services at church. Often, churches require childcare volunteering work. As well as, janitorial work, and outside maintenance.
41. Volunteer at your local youth center and children’s organizations. Check out your local YMCA branch for opportunities.
42. Sign-up to donate your blood and literally begin saving lives. Visit the Red Cross to find a blood drive and schedule your donation.
43. Volunteer to be listed as a potential blood stem cell donor to people dying of cancer. Be the cure and save a life at Be the Match.
44. Almost 100,000 people are on the kidney transplant waiting list. Become a living kidney donor and enhance or save someone’s life.
45. Sign-up to be an organ donor in the unlikely event of your demise and give the ultimate gift in your death by breathing new life into others.
Random Acts of Kindness Ideas
46. Collect the box tops off of the General Mill products and give them to the local school district.
47. Leave encouraging notes and inspirational quotes inside books and movies you’ve checked out and returned.
48. Return a shopper’s cart for them on your way into the grocery store and save them the trip.
49. Let someone go ahead of you in line at the grocery store, gas pump, or coffee stand.
50. Hold open a door for a stranger. And say thank you when someone holds open the door for you!
51. Give up your seat on the bus. Or, offer your carless friend a ride in your vehicle.
52. Speak up and defend others when they aren’t around to defend themselves against slander and gossip.
53. Tip people in tipping professions generously. Regardless of their service. Sometimes receiving a nice tip on a bad day is what it takes to turn the day completely around. Services that work for tips include restaurant employees, baristas, hairdressers, and delivery drivers.
54. Say please and thank you to people in your retail shopping and dining out experiences. They have a difficult job constantly dealing with the public. Don’t be a Karen!
55. Offer to take pictures of people when you find them out enjoying their tourist moments. Nobody wants to be left out of group and family photo fun!
Self-Care Acts of Kindness
56. Take yourself on a lunch date. Or grab your favorite take-out and treat yourself to that sushi roll that’s been calling your name!
58. Forgive yourself and others. This is the ultimate act of kindness. As well as the most imperative act of self-care.
59. Treat yourself to a day at the spa. Sometimes getting a Mani/Pedi is the best self-care!
60. Start a Gratitude Journal, and practice being grateful each day.
61. Get all dressed up with no place to go. The coronavirus has kept many of us in pajamas. Do your hair and make-up and feel fabulous for the day.
62. Take a hiatus from social media. Or delete social media from your life altogether. Did you know it’s been linked to depression, anxiety, and narcissism? Deactivating my Facebook has been a life-changing experience. I’ve become more productive and less depressed. I don’t miss it at all!
63. Similarly, stop watching the news. that’s right! Turn the news off. It’s nothing but anxiety and depression that leaves you feeling hopeless and distraught. You don’t need to know every story of the world. Especially knowing they only share the bad news. No one is meant to handle or process all that turmoil and pain.
Online Acts of Kindness
64. If you don’t like what someone posts on their personal social media feed, keep scrolling. Or delete them from your feed. Don’t leave nasty comments. Just keep scrolling.
65. Support your friend’s business. Are they your friend and trying to make money? So why wouldn’t you support them? Especially during this pandemic.
66. Share your friend’s blog, service, and product posts within your social media circles. It takes two seconds to click share, and you may open opportunities for their success. Help your friend’s business grow. They depend on social media shares.
67. Also, leave a thoughtful comment on a blog article. Or a YouTube video tutorial that taught you something today. They’re little boosts of confidence to the content creator. I cherish every one of mine. Thank you.
And thanks for reading! Do you have any acts of kindness ideas that didn’t make this list? Please add them to the comments below. You’re awesome for that! I sincerely mean it 🙂