Make a gift for someone who is homeless or lonely, leave a positive message for someone else to find, congratulate someone for an achievement that may go unnoticed – these are just some of the lovely suggestions in a December calendar, which is all about kindness.
And after a tough 2020, it’s much-needed.
Christmas is going to be very different this year, with restrictions on meeting up with loved ones, so Action for Happiness is urging people to spread a bit of kindness in their tiers.
Its downloadable December Kindness Calendar provides simple acts of kindness that anyone can do, and there’s an act for each day of the month, too.
The calendar, which can be downloaded and printed for free, has been designed to boost our mental health and happiness at the same time.
Scientific evidence suggests that there is a ‘virtuous circle’ of giving – doing things for others makes us happier, and being happier makes us more likely to do things for others.
Giving to others or supporting a good cause activates the reward centre in the brain, the same part of the brain that is activated if we receive a gift ourselves. This feeling is known as the ‘warm glow’ of giving to others and researchers have found it consistently across all cultures and economic circumstances.
Mark Williamson, CEO of Action for Happiness, said: “This is an unusual holiday season and it’s been a challenging year. Although we can’t change our situation or control big global events, we can choose to respond to others and ourselves with kindness.
“Our Kindness Calendar is a reminder to prioritise doing things for others while looking after our own mental health at the same time.”
Here are all of the tips:
1. Share the kindness calendar with others and spread the kindness.
2. Contact someone you can’t be with to see how they are.
3. Offer to help someone who is facing difficulties at the moment.
4. Give kind comments to as many people as possible today.
5. Make a gift for someone who is homeless or feeling lonely.
6. Support a charity, cause or campaign you really care about.
7. Leave a positive message for someone else to find.
8. Do something helpful for a friend or family member.
9. Notice when you’re hard on yourself or others and be kind instead.
10. Listen wholeheartedly to others without judging them.
11. Be generous. Feed someone with food, love or kindness today.
12. Buy an extra item and donate it to a local food bank.
13. See how many different people you can smile at today.
14. Share a happy memory or inspiring thought with a loved one.
15. Contact an elderly neighbour and brighten up their day.
16. Look for something positive to say to everyone you speak to.
17. Practice gratitude. List the kind things others have done for you.
18. Give away something that you have been holding on to.
19. Buy locally and support independent shops near you.
20. Contact someone who may be alone or feeling isolated.
21. Appreciate kindness and thank people who do things for you.
22. Congratulate someone for an achievement that may go unnoticed.
23. Choose to give or receive the gift of forgiveness.
24. Bring joy to others. Share something which made you laugh.
25. Treat everyone with kindness today, including yourself!
26. Get outside. Pick up litter or do something kind for nature.
27. Call a relative who is far away to say hello and have a chat.
28. Be kind to the planet. Eat less meat and use less energy.
29. Turn off digital devices and really listen to people.
30. Let someone know how much you appreciate them and why.
31. Plan some new acts of kindness to do in 2021.