Because of these mask wearing mandates, however, I feel like I smile even less now than I did before covid-19. Whenever I am out and about, with my mask on, I find myself smiling at people. And then, I immediately chastise myself for smiling. What’s the point, I tell myself, they can’t see my smile. As a result, I have had to simply nod as a rather weak substitute for smiling.
People smile to show encouragement or warmth. Some people smile to simply say hi or to convey that they like them. But now that our smiles have to remain hidden, it might be a good time to find other ways to show kindness or general acknowledgement, while still safely social distancing.
Some of the things in this list require a small financial investment. But most are free. By just taking five to ten minutes from your day, you can lift up someone’s mood and make them smile. We may not be able to show our smiles in public right now, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make others smile.
1–Call or Text Someone
Call someone in your contact list just because. Ask them if they’re ok or if they need anything. Text someone that you haven’t texted in awhile and tell them good morning. It’ll brighten up their morning and the rest of their day to read those simple, gratifying words.
2–Write a Handwritten Letter
I know, I know what you’re thinking. A handwritten letter? Does anyone write one anymore?
Write a letter by hand to a family member, a close friend, or a neighbor. Tell them something that you like about them. Or, tell them you appreciate something that they did for you. And then seal it in an envelope.
Next time you go out for a walk or a drive, drop it off in their mailbox.
3–Send a Care Package
Send a family member or a close friend a care package by mail. Get a medium sized box and then fill it with some of their favorite treats, like Oreos or candy. Or, stuff it with some essentials like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or cleaning products. It’ll show them that you’re thinking of them even if you can’t see them everyday.
4–Cook or Bake Something
If you are a whiz at cooking or baking, then use those skills to make a delicious pot of lasagna or bake two dozen cookies. Drop it off at their door. They’ll be grateful that they don’t have to stress about what they’re going to eat or it’ll simply satisfy their sweet tooth.
5–Comment on Someone’s Blog
If you read someone’s blog, then leave a comment. Even something as simple as Nice blog post goes a long way to showing the blog writer that their writing is appreciated.
6–Share a Blog or Vlog
If you enjoyed the blog article or video, then feel free to share on Facebook or Twitter. Let others know that you enjoyed it. Spread that positive energy around to others on the World Wide Web.
This is something that I’ve heard circulating around on Twitter. I personally haven’t done it yet, partly because I haven’t been to a restaurant in months. But it seems like such a great idea especially since people in the restaurant industry don’t get paid enough as it is.
8–Pay for the Next Person’s Groceries
If you are at Walmart or Aldi’s and paying for your groceries, then why not tell the cashier that you’ll pay the next person’s groceries as well? Don’t tell them that you will because they will probably say no. Just do it, and imagine the look of surprise they’ll get after hearing that some of their groceries have been paid for.
9–Wave or Wink
Wherever you are, two ways that you can show kindness and basic acknowledgment is by waving or winking.
10–Offer a Service for Free
Whether you are a content creator, a web designer, a knitter, or a cook, offer a service for free. Offer to help someone with their website or blog. Offer to knit someone a new hat or a scarf. Or offer to cook some amazing dish for someone.
The next time you go to the store, plant a $10 bill on one of the shelves for someone to find. Or tape the bill on the back of a cereal box. The next time someone picks up that box, they will be pleasantly surprised.
12–Leave a Note
Write a short, positive affirmation on a piece of paper or a post-it and leave it for someone to find. Leave it on a table at a restaurant. Or at the check out line in the grocery store. Or leave it between the pages of a library book for the next person to find.
What kind thing did you do today?