This post was made in partnership with Depend® brand. All opinions are my own.
With spring here and summer only a few months away, getting out into the world is going to be getting easier and easier. After quarantining so long and keeping safe distances from others, it would be understandable if you were trying to find ways to get out of the dumps.
It is natural to be dealing with some sadness and residual anxiety after spending so much time inside, but now that we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, it is time to work to pull ourselves up. There are lots of things that we can do to help ourselves, but I find that the thing that brings me the most joy when I’m having a tough time is to do something for others.
Because we are still being safe and social distancing, this can be a little bit tricky. That said, there are various random acts of kindness that you can do from a distance. Try these and help make someone’s day a little bit brighter.
Write Notes or Send Letters
It doesn’t matter whether you text, email, or snail mail a friend or family member, but dropping someone an unexpected line is sure to bring some smiles. Send a funny Gif, tell them you love them and miss them, tell them a story about something that happened to you, ask how they are, or just tell them you’re thinking of them.
Everyone appreciates knowing that they are being thought of, and by doing it in written form, you allow your loved one to revisit that moment over and over. Phone calls are wonderful (and many people feel they’re more personal), but because the intention here is to provide something lasting, reaching out and expressing your love this way will also give them something to look at when they are missing you.
Paint Some Rocks
Brighten some people’s day by painting and leaving colorful rocks in your local park, or on your block. If you haven’t seen them around your town or online, this is a trend that started a few years ago where people buy or find large, smooth rocks and paint them to look beautiful. They can say things like “Joy” or “Love” or “Happiness” or can just be colorful in a way that most inspires you.
Once you are done with your rocks, gently hide them (you want them to be found, but don’t lay them in the middle of the road) in your local area. People may keep them, they may re-hide them for someone else, or they may just appreciate the sentiment that someone was trying to make their day brighter. Know that you’ve both helped someone else and had some fun painting!
Do Someone’s Yardwork
If you are out doing yardwork in front or in back of your house, help a neighbor! You never want to step on anyone’s toes, so make sure that you aren’t encroaching on someone’s territory, but if it’s someone you know, surprise them.
Rake your neighbor’s leaves or mow their lawn when you are taking care of your own. If you visit a family member outside, offer to do a quick once over in the yard before leaving. Taking a load off of someone else is both a great help to them and will make them feel seen.
While you are doing this, you may find yourself outside for a while. This can be a challenge if you are managing incontinence. Before you head out, make sure that you are protecting yourself with Depend Silhouette Underwear so that bladder leakage can be the last thing on your mind.
Pay For Someone Else
The next time you pick up food through a drive-thru, pick up the tab for the car behind you. This will of course depend on your budget, so please don’t spread yourself too thin, but if you have the means, this is a fun random act of kindness for a stranger.
When you go to pay for your food, ask the cashier to also charge you for the order behind you. Understand that this can be a little tricky because they may have ordered for six people or one person, so know what you are getting yourself into. That said, how cool would it be for the next person to get to the window and find that their food is paid for? You just might inspire them to do something kind for someone else – and on and on. A “pay it forward chain,” if you will.
Give Compliments and Good Cheer
Saying something nice to a stranger will cost you absolutely nothing, but it will pay you in smiles and good cheer. While you’re walking in the park or at the grocery store, tell someone that you love their shirt. Tell someone else that they look beautiful. Wish someone else a great day.
Spreading good cheer is not only the best way to get it back, but it will absolutely make someone else’s day better. Letting someone – and a stranger, no less – know that you see them and want to connect with them is a heartwarming experience. You feel good, they feel good, and it doesn’t cost a penny.
Donate Goods or Your Time
It always feels good to give to others, and you can do just that by cleaning out your house. If you’ve been running a little late on spring cleaning, pull out a garbage bag and fill it with clothes, shoes, books, toys, or other odds and ends that you don’t need anymore. Bring them over to Salvation Army, Goodwill, or another local charitable organization so that you can both rid your home of clutter and help someone else.
If you’re not in the mood for cleaning, go to the grocery store and spend $20 on canned goods and boxed items to donate to a local food shelter. If you shop the sales, $20 can go a very long way towards helping to feed someone else.
No extra funds to spend? No problem. See if there is somewhere that you can donate your time. Help pick up garbage from the parkway along your block. See if there is a local drive that someone is holding and offer to help. Go down to a local food shelter and ask how you can be of assistance. There are lots of ways to give of yourself, you just need to see what works best for you in your area.
Don’t get too down on yourself if you are having trouble breaking out of the funk you’ve been in – it’s natural. The world has gone through a traumatic time and you need time to heal. But giving yourself the gift of trying to help someone else will truly help you. The sun is shining and it’s okay for us to start safely making some moves to be part of the world again.