BY DR. LISA GOODMAN, DC, CCSP, CACCP

When is the last time you did something unexpected and kind for someone else? Trust me, it is a great way to get happy quick! It is so easy for us to get caught up in what others may not be doing for us, the fastest way to turn around your luck, is to do good for others. But it’s not about us. That’s not why we do these things. We help other people and do nice things, because they need it. Everyone needs help. Everyone needs to be paid attention to and to be lifted up. When you choose to be kind, you are choosing to be the best human you can be, and you are choosing to make someone’s day. Choose kindness.

Looking for some ideas to pay it forward, check these out!

At Home

Let’s start at home. Show your spouse, your kids, your parents or siblings how much they mean to you. Instead of complaining about someone who left a sink full of dishes, decide to clean them. And do it without asking for kudos. When is the last time you cleaned your kids’ room willingly and happily? (Take the opportunity to purge some items if you’d like.) Surprise everyone with dinner out or a trip to Dave and Busters on an unexpected weeknight. Call your spouse at work to tell them you love them. Put an encouraging note in your kids’ lunch box for them to find at school.

At Work

Everyone can use a surprise at work! Bring in a healthy snack to share (or a 6 pack of your favorite beverage for after-work bonding). It is also so easy to complete a task for a coworker who may be behind or need extra help. Tell someone they are doing a great job. Offer to organize a central but potentially messy common area in the office.

In Your Neighborhood

Branch out a bit from your home and see who needs some help nearby. Not without some effort, but very appreciated: clear off neighbor’s cars or shovel their sidewalk before they leave the house. Next time you are at Wash Perk or Nixon’s, pay for a coffee for someone in line behind you. Say yes when a student solicits you to purchase an item for a school fundraiser.

At School

Kids have a lot of opportunities to be kind at school. They can hold the door as others walk through, pick up other kids’ trash in the lunchroom, help a younger child open a juice box or peel an orange. Kids can say thank you to the school administrators or tell another child that they like their backpack or lunch box. It’s never too early to compliment friends.

In Your Community

There are yet other ways to pay it forward in your community. If you are crafty and organized, make goodie bags for homeless with a toothbrush, floss, tissues, sunscreen, hand warmers protein bar and a couple of bucks. Alternately,  leave a nice note for your server at a restaurant, thank your bank teller, don’t be in a hurry or give a compliment. Call a business you’ve been to recently and tell the manager they are doing a great job. Drop some books in your neighbor’s ‘little library’ down the street. Fill up some dog waste bags in stations around Washington Park.

In The World 

Send a text to a friend or aunt to let them know you are thinking of them. Leave an encouraging comment on a friend or blogger’s social media post. Turn off lights, use less water, reuse bags, boxes and jars. Send a letter to our military overseas (check out operationgratitude.com). Participate in charity runs, walks, golf tournaments to raise money and awareness.

The bottom line is that if you can choose to do something kind it will change the outcome of someone’s hour, day, week or month. It will also make you feel really warm and fuzzy inside and most likely change the outcome of yours as well. Share your random acts of kindness or something that has been done for you on facebook or instagram and tag #ULWPKindness

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