11 small acts of kindness to make a difference during lockdown
It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17. The annual event celebrates kindness and hopes to encourage people to discover the positive impact of doing good deeds – on yourself as well as others.
Right now we’re more aware than ever of the need to look after each other, but with grand gestures limited due to pandemic restrictions, it’s the little things that count and that’ll give you a feel-good boost, plus brighten someone else’s day.
Here are just a few small acts of kindness that could make a huge difference…
1. Send a birthday card
If you’re not normally someone who bothers sending birthday cards, now’s the time to start. With parties and gatherings not possible due to lockdown restrictions, a carefully chosen card lets the recipient know you’re celebrating in spirit, even though you can’t be together.
2. Bake something
You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to whip up a show-stopping cake or batch of delicious chocolate brownies to share with your family, housemates or (while observing social distancing) neighbours.
3. Cook for new parents
As any new parent knows, finding time to cook in the first few weeks after the arrival of a little one is a real challenge and any help is greatly appreciated. Why not deliver a lasagna, casserole or big tupperware of soup to a new parent near you?
4. Send a love letter
Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only time of year we express our love – and an emotional missive doesn’t have to be romantic either. It could be a platonic love note telling your BFF how lucky you are to have them in your life.
5. Share a memory
Reminiscing about happy memories can bring us joy during difficult times. You could text a picture of an amazing holiday you shared or make someone laugh with a throwback photo of the dodgy haircuts and questionable outfits of your youth.
6. Send a voice note
Not everyone enjoys spontaneous phone calls, but a voice note is a great way to connect without having to type out lots of text or arrange a time when you’re both free.
7. Share surplus goods
Got a glut of veg from your allotment? A host of spider plant babies looking for homes? Had a wardrobe clear out but can’t donate to charity shops? You can share your surplus food, plants or secondhand items with neighbours using apps like Olio, Nextdoor or Freecycle.
8. Make a playlist
Harness the mood-boosting power of music by curating a Spotify playlist with all of your loved ones’ favourite throwback tunes and send them a link.
9. Send a book
Gifting someone a favourite novel of yours means they get to explore a fantasy world or discover characters you know and love, and you can schedule in a phone or video call to chat about the book once they’ve finished it.
10. Leave treats for delivery people
Say thank you to the postal workers and delivery drivers who have been working round the clock during the pandemic by leaving out a box of chocolate bars or sweets and a sign that says, ‘Help yourself’.
11. Help a homeless person
Recent cold weather has led to homelessness charities appealing for the public to help by making donations or assisting rough sleepers in person if they can.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “If people feel confident enough to go up and try and talk to someone, my first piece of advice is ask them what they need. The people I talk to often tell me that moment someone showed them some kindness was a real turning point for them.”
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