17 Cheap and Easy Ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

17 ways to brighten someone's day

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The Mutual of Omaha #aha moment tour was in Fayetteville this week, and they asked a bunch of local bloggers (among other people) to take part in telling about a moment that changed their way of thinking.

It was lots of fun, and I wasn’t even that nervous, though “public speaking” and talking about myself are pretty low on my list of how I’d like to spend my time.13 ways to brighten someone's day

I won’t share the whole story here, but mine was about acts of kindness and how important it is to take a little bit of time and think about what another person needs or wants in a situation or to do little things that will bring a smile to someone’s face, even if you don’t get to see the smile yourself.

This is, in fact, the topic of my #30daychallenge this month, though it’s not going as spectacularly as I thought it would, mostly because I’m by myself most of the time and the book knitting is getting into really high gear (as in, every moment I’m not knitting I’m thinking “why am I not knitting?”). But the truth is you don’t have to interact with people in person to make their days brighter, and you don’t need a lot of time or money to do it, either.

What Can You Do?

To that end, here are some really great, quick and easy things you can do to brighten someone’s day. If I haven’t done these already this month, you can bet I will soon.

  1. Write a thank you note. On paper. And mail it.
  2. Send a book you enjoyed to a friend who you think will like it.
  3. Or send a gift of some other sort — handmade is always appreciated! — to a friend for no particular reason.
  4. Mail a paper birthday card to a friend.
  5. Or a note or letter for no reason. (I have a friend who sometimes sends me postcards and it makes my day every time. Thanks, Jamie!)
  6. Have blogger friends? Comment on their posts. Not just on Facebook.
  7. Or share their posts with your friends on Facebook. Or Twitter, or wherever you are.
  8. Or share a link with a friend on a subject you know they enjoy. (I kind of made fun of people for repeatedly sending me the one about knitting sweaters for penguins, but really I’m glad that people know I’m the knitter and take a second to share.)
  9. Write on someone’s wall on Facebook, or send them a message, when it isn’t their birthday.
  10. If you’re more of an in-person communicator, schedule a lunch, coffee or walking date with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or someone you’d like to know better.
  11. Come to someone’s rescue. I got to jump someone’s car at the park the other day. Maybe you can’t do that, but you could cook dinner (or drop off a gift card) for someone who’s having a tough day.
  12. Or offer to take care of their kids for a couple of hours.
  13. Read your child an extra book at night.
  14. Do something your kid (or spouse, or friend) likes to do that you’re not wild about, without complaining.
  15. Send flowers. OK, that one might not be cheap, exactly, but it does tend to produce a big smile.
  16. Or, if you’re going to someone’s house, bring them flowers.
  17. Buy yourself flowers. No reason to save all those acts of kindness for other people. (There’s a place at our Farmer’s Market that does bouquets, and you just tell them how much you want to spend and they make something lovely for you. It’s an amazing treat.)

[Tweet “Easy act of kindness: Mail a paper birthday card to someone instead of a note on Facebook.”]


How do you brighten someone’s day when they — or you — need a pick me up? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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  1. Great ideas, thank you for posting this! Most of us who are still struggling to the end of the school-year finish line could use a little happiness.

  2. Thank you all! I agree that people who don’t blog don’t understand, but it really is a great thing to see real comments, not just on Facebook (though we love those, too!).

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