37 Tiny Ways To Spread Love On Feb. 17th, Random Acts Of Kindness Day

How to show more kindness to yourself and the world.

two friends hugging Gui França on Unsplash

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." — Aesop. Think of the times you’ve been on the receiving end of someone’s courtesy, thoughtfulness, or patience — and how good it felt to get a call from an old friend or when that driver stopped to let you in when you were in a hurry. Random Acts of Kindness Day is coming up on February 17th to remind us that being on the receiving end of an act of kindness can be just as fulfilling (and just as much!) fun as receiving it.


On this day especially, let’s shift our attention from any crazy, stressful, or negative stuff around us to ways we can make things better through random acts of kindness because even the little things we do can make a big difference. And on every other day, too.

Aside from spreading feel-good vibes out into the world, here are some compelling reasons to commit to doing good stuff regularly: Doing kind acts makes us happier and can be good for our health. Even a small act of kindness can trigger the release of neurochemicals in the brain, which accounts for the warm fuzzies we feel from doing good. Being kind also has a positive impact on pain, depression, stress, and blood pressure.


Kindness is a natural and instinctive part of being human. It helps us appreciate our connection to others. Kindness and compassion are important to our survival as a species. One kind act can change another person’s life. Your words and actions may be the only comfort, help, or warmth a person experiences that day (or week). Kindness is contagious. Even witnesses to kind acts experience the positive effects. This makes kindness and compassion teachable, giving us tools to reach another person’s heart and change behavior for the better.

Kindness eases agitation, depression, and anxiety. If you're feeling down, stressed, or simply "off," go out and be kind to someone. It’s a great alternative to numbing out and can get you out of your head just enough to give you some perspective on what’s going on in your life. Acts of kindness help balance the negativity and pessimism in the world. It can offset pain, fear, and suffering. Trust that opening your heart can make the planet a better place. Ultimately, be kind because it feels good, and because it’s the right thing to do. Your kindness may ripple through many people’s lives in ways you will never see or know about, and may not even register at the moment you act. Don’t be attached to responses or results.

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Here are 37 ways to spread love on February 17th, Random Acts Of Kindness Day, and every other day, too:

1. Be kind in passing

Hold a door for someone. Offer a smile to a stranger. The simplest things can cost you nothing and can make the biggest difference.


2. Offer up your services without being asked

Create or download a “Gift of Service” certificate to offer someone in need. This little note can be for anyone, including neighbors or people you don’t know well. It’s a great way to share your intention to help in a specific way. (Running an errand or doing a chore for a friend or neighbor who is ill, disabled, or overwhelmed can offer more relief than you can imagine.)

3. Be present for a loved one

Being present with another person and truly listening can be as important a gift as dropping off a home-cooked meal or caring for their pet. And if you can’t be physically present, holding a positive thought for someone going through a tough time is kindness in itself.

4. Show the environment some love

Your kindness doesn’t have to extend to another person. Pick up some trash on the street or a park trail. Plant a tree. Add some beauty to the world by being kind to the environment.

5. Pay it forward

Pay the toll for the car behind you or for that person’s meal in the fast food line.




6. Make someone smile with a heartfelt compliment

Never miss a chance to acknowledge people and offer compliments — including strangers. Let people know when a color looks great on them or when they’ve done a great job.

7. Remind others of your love with a handwritten note

Leave sweet notes around for family members, teachers, or friends to find. Put one on your kid’s bed, in your friend’s purse, or your hubby’s luggage before a work trip.

8. Reconnect with someone who changed your life in positive ways, even if it’s years later

Tell a relative, friend, teacher, counselor, or coach, for example, who had a positive impact on you how much their friendship, wisdom, or acceptance still means to you. 


9. Volunteer within your community

You can provide a wonderful, needed service and experience the satisfaction that volunteering can bring.

10. Give to good causes

Donate your time, money, or supplies to a local charity.

11. Take something stressful off of a friend's plate

Run an errand for someone feeling overwhelmed and overloaded.

12. Bake someone’s favorite goodies

It's a little gesture that goes miles.

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13. Bond over old memories

Share a memory of something you did with someone that has held a special place in your mind. Look through a photo album together, or simply relive a special experience you shared.


14. Visit the elderly or sick

Visit people in retirement homes or hospitals to brighten their day.

15. Offer a helping hand

Help with a household project, such as helping to paint, wallpaper put up shelves, or assemble furniture.

16. Teach someone a new skill

Do you have a special skill or talent you’d enjoy sharing? Teaching someone to knit, drive, cook a special dish, or work with a certain app will enrich you both.

17. Go the extra mile

Wash someone’s car or offer to take it to the car wash for them.

18. Add some fun to a person's day

Invite someone to play a game with you — like racquetball or cards, for example.

19. Enlighten an acquaintance

Broaden someone’s horizons by taking them to a museum, aquarium, concert, or play.


20. Give someone a spa day

Pamper a friend with a manicure or massage.

21. Make someone smile with a little gesture

Bring someone fresh-picked flowers from your garden or sweep their front porch for them.

22. Care for a friend's pet

Pet-sit or walk someone’s dog.

23. Share a meal

Invite a friend to dinner at your house, home-cooked or take-out.

24. Give a parent some much-needed free time

Take the kids to a movie or playground to give the parents a break for a few hours.

RELATED: 7 Simple Ways To Be Kind To Yourself Every Day

25. Plan a day date

Take someone out for ice cream or coffee. Or both!

26. Share your things

Lend someone an article of clothing, a piece of jewelry, or a CD, book, or hobby item they might like.


27. Be supportive in times of need

Offer to pray, meditate, light a candle, or hold a good thought for someone going through a tough time.

28. Help someone downsize, clean, or clear clutter

Clean out a closet, shelf, or room and donate clothing, furniture, books, linens, or other items that will be a blessing to someone else.

29. Honor a friend

Make a contribution in someone’s name to a charity of that person’s choice.

30. Take a dreaded to-do off someone's plate

Do a chore your partner, roommate, or spouse usually does. (And acknowledge how much you appreciate everything they do that makes your life easier or better in some way.) And don't forget to be kind to yourself, too:


31. Give to yourself, too

Don’t allow yourself to get lost in the process of showing kindness and care for others! Make time for yourself, too, and don’t offer more than you can comfortably give — physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually.



32. Learn how to set boundaries, and say no

Sometimes the best kindness to others is holding off until you’re rested, strong, recovered, healthy, or willing enough to be there.

33. Show yourself compassion

Forgive yourself for hurtful or thoughtless behaviors, whether deliberate or unintentional. If necessary, make the appropriate amends or reparations, and commit to changing patterns that have had harmful effects on yourself or others.


34. Take time when you need it

Accept that you are right on schedule and moving forward as quickly as you can. Dwelling on hurtful experiences tends to perpetuate negative feelings. You have wisdom and skills now that you may not have had in the past.

35. Squash feelings of inadequacy

Notice the voice of your Inner Critic that comes up when you make a mistake (or look in the mirror). Make an effort to silence the harsh, critical messages you give yourself, or at least consciously turn down the volume.

36. Let go of resentments and grudges

Relinquish your right to be angry or hurt, and you relieve yourself of an enormous burden.

37. Keep the good vibes going

Make every day a Random Acts of Kindness Day, and may your kindness come back to you many times over!


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Dr. Jane Bluestein is an author, artist, and life-long educator who works with parents, counselors, and educators worldwide. She is the author of the award-winning book Parents, Teens, and Boundaries: How to Draw the Line.