Small Ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

Jillian Berndtson

| 4 min read

Son kissing mother
The holiday season can be a bit chaotic. There are gifts to be wrapped, desserts and dinners to be made and families to care for. It seems that an increase in stress is inevitable.
With all of the chaos, it’s nice to be a positive influence on others. Sometimes even the slightest action can make someone happy. Here are some of the ways members of the A Healthier Michigan team participate in random acts of kindness during the holidays:
Alyssa: As someone who is always in a rush to get from one place to another, I find solace in my favorite random act of kindness: picking up trash I see on the sidewalk as I walk from point A to point B. I find this act of kindness the most rewarding because it isn’t a large, bold expression of kindness that is supposed to make people notice my character and praise me. Acts of kindness used to be something I thought I always deserved affirmation for, but I have grown to realize that defeats the purpose of the act. This act is rewarding because it is between only you and yourself; there are no expectations of reward. This little act of picking up even just one dirty napkin can be a two second act of kindness that boosts your morale, and maybe if someone witnesses you do so, will inspire them to pick up their path too.
Amy: I try and keep my eyes open when I’m out and about – especially when shopping in the winter. If I see someone with their hands full and struggling with a door, or unsure of how to conquer a slippery sidewalk or pile of snow, I offer to help. Sometimes extending a helping hand is all it takes to turn what could have been yet another challenge in the grind in the holiday season into a friendly moment of connection and holiday cheer.
Angela: I try to proactively reach out to friends who I don’t see or keep in contact regularly, especially via good old-fashioned snail mail. I have a stack of fun postcards that have funny quotes or positive affirmations that I will drop in the mail from time to time. It just takes a few minutes to do so, but it is a really simple and low-cost way to surprise someone and let them know you’re thinking of them.
Brianna: I think it’s important to perform acts of kindness every day because it doesn’t take a lot to be a kind person. For me, an act of kindness is opening the door for people, letting someone go in front of me in line, giving a nice compliment or even just smiling at people as you walk by them. We don’t always realize it, but these small (and sometimes unnoticed) gestures can make all the difference in someone’s day and all of them are completely free.
Bridget: I love to Venmo my friends in the middle of the day $5 for “a coffee on me!” I know this isn’t super creative but it’s my go-to! I also enjoy putting extra change in people’s parking meters, especially if they are running out of time!
David: I try holding an open door for someone, letting a car merge in-front of you during rush hour traffic. Always wishing people you interact with a nice day, or reciprocating.
Elise: I know how it feels to have someone cut me off in traffic, so I always make sure to let people merge in front of me. It may seem like a minuscule act of kindness but it truly can make someone’s day!
Jill: It’s super simple, but I always smile at people if we make eye contact. You never know who may need it. I also like reaching out to my friends just to let them know I’m thinking about them during the holidays. When I’m around my family or friends, I like to help in areas where I might normally overlook. Someone could always use a helping hand.
Julie: Ways I enjoy spreading kindness include making a meal for someone going through an illness or life change, such as a new baby or new home, generally smiling and getting to know the service workers I see at my local grocery store and other places I frequent often and encouraging my kids to do the same, and trying to remember to call people out for their good works and service instead of always being on the lookout for negatives. And as a former server, always tipping at least 20% – I usually round up.
How do you spread a little holiday spirit? Share with us in the comments.
You may also enjoy:
Photo credit: dragana991

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.