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50 Ideas for kindness

Research shows that being kind is a win-win situation, with both the giver and receiver receiving a positive boost. At the Time for Kindness programme, our aim is to encourage people to notice kindness that already exists in the world around us. Choosing to do a kind act yourself is one way to make sure you notice what’s going on! Here are 50 ideas for kind actions to get you started. Let us know how you get on.

You can also download the ideas as a PDF.

Do something for people you know

  1. Pay someone a compliment e.g. ‘You always have something nice to say.’ ‘You’re so patient and calm in tough situations.’ ‘Your laugh is (the good kind of) infectious.’
  2. Check in with your elderly neighbour and have a chat with them
  3. Give a friend a lift to a night out
  4. Write a thank you note
  5. Send a message just to say ‘I’m thinking of you’
  6. Drop a home-cooked meal round for someone who you know is too busy to cook right now
  7. Take Lemsips and tissues to a friend or family member who isn’t feeling well
  8. Share information about local roadworks so that the people in your street know to turn left at the end to avoid the traffic lights
  9. Instigate conversations about kindness – when we focus on positivity and hope, everyone feels better

Connect with strangers

  1. Pick up the purse or shopping that someone drops in the supermarket (and give it back to them)
  2. Give up your seat on the train or bus to someone who needs it more than you do
  3. Smile at someone in the street (if you feel the vibe is right, you could add a hello or a good morning)
  4. Hold the door open for the person behind you
  5. Champion kindness in your comments on social media – respond with compassion in your comments and don’t tolerate unkindness from others
  6. Help carry a pushchair up the stairs at the train station
  7. Tell someone if they’ve got toilet paper stuck on the bottom of their shoe
  8. Smile and speak politely to your waiting staff at a restaurant, particularly if you can see that the place is short-staffed
  9. Write a positive comment on a postcard and hide it in a library book for someone else to find
  10. Stop and help if you see someone whose chain has fallen off their bike

Do something for a cause you care about

  1. Volunteer as a marshal at your local charity fun run
  2. Offer your spare room to refugees and asylum seekers who need somewhere to stay
  3. Become a charity trustee
  4. Give blood
  5. Switch to using toiletries that are better for the environment
  6. Donate clothes that you no longer wear to a charity shop or a charity that provides direct support to people in crisis
  7. Pay a meal or coffee forward by paying for an extra one that can be given to someone else who would otherwise miss out

Do something in your working life

  1. Invite a new colleague to share a coffee or join you for lunch (this can be done virtually if you are working from home)
  2. Write LinkedIn recommendations for colleagues and external partners you have enjoyed working with
  3. If you run a business (of any size), get involved in the Better Business Act campaign
  4. Take the Ethical Move Pledge to commit to ethical marketing practices for your business
  5. Share your equipment with local community initiatives and charities. Printers, office supplies, kitchen equipment and many other things your business has can be used at weekends, evenings and holidays by good causes local to you.
  6. Notice if your team-mate is more quiet than usual and ask them (twice) how they are doing – they might be glad of the chance to talk or they might just appreciate someone noticing them
  7. If you work freelance, recommend others when you can’t take on or aren’t the best person for the job
  8. Come up with some awards that celebrate kindness in your team and focus on those over sales, most hours worked or productivity.
  9. Organise an event to showcase and highlight the talents of others in your industry, especially those who don’t always get noticed or are just finding their voice

Do something for yourself

  1. Stay hydrated by finding ways to make it really easy for you to drink enough water each day.
  2. Speak to yourself like you would a friend, with kindness and understanding
  3. Learn about your body. Knowing how your body (and brain) work and what quirks you have can help you notice problems sooner and find more effective ways to take care of yourself.
  4. Ask for and accept help from others
  5. Listen to a positive podcast, such as The Anatomy of Kindness from BBC Radio 4
  6. Take the free test to find out how self-compassionate you are
  7. Go for a walk at lunchtime
  8. Dance around the kitchen like no-one’s watching (or like you have a whole stadium of people cheering you on, whatever works for you!)
  9. Switch off from social media from time to time

Ideas to share with kids and young people

  1. Have a kindness quest scavenger hunt
  2. Take a look at the Kids Kindness Club run by the School of Kindness charity.
  3. Look at ways to show kindness in schools
  4. Read books about kindness with them
  5. Use the kindness teaching resources from British Red Cross
  6. Encourage teenagers who use social media to consciously look for positive content

For more ideas

Visit the Ideas section of the Random Acts of Kindness website.