52 Ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

Things are tough.  The economy is bad, the job market is bad, the news is bad, and sports?  Well, the sports page used to be a place you could read about man’s achievements when everything else seemed bad, but these days, the reports in the sports page are just as bad as everything else: inappropriate emails and pictures, drugs/steroids/cheating, arrests, DUIs, and so forth and so on.  I have found that when things are bleak, one thing that can help lighten my mood is thinking about other people, thinking about people around me rather than obsessing about my own situation.  Here is a list of 52 ways to brighten someone else’s day:

  1. Listen – REALLY listen – to them.
  2. Give them a hug.
  3. Compliment one thing that you really like about them.
  4. Treat them to lunch, or coffee, or something else that you know that they would enjoy.
  5. Call them.
  6. Write them a short but heartfelt note and send it to them.
  7. Send an email – also heartfelt.
  8. Take them a flower or a plant, if they like those.
  9. Make arrangements to get together and do something fun.
  10. Smile – even if you don’t really feel like it.  Sometimes people just need a little encouragement, and you never know – the simple act of smiling at someone else might brighten your mood as well.
  11. Take them a bouquet of fresh flowers or a potted plant.
  12. Run an errand for them.
  13. Cook a meal for them – and take it to them.
  14. Share one of your favorite movies or books with them, if you think they would enjoy it.
  15. Cut the grass for them – or do another chore.
  16. Write a letter to them – or write one FOR them if writing isn’t easy for them.
  17. Give them the gift of a massage at a day spa.
  18. Pay for coffee for the person behind you at your local coffee shop - anonymously.
  19. Pay a compliment.
  20. Tell the people you love how much you love them.
  21. Spontaneously hug them – if they are a “huggy” sort of person.
  22. Offer to help a coworker out.
  23. Hold the door for someone who has their hands full.
  24. Make eye contact.
  25. Be polite and kind to people who are helping you – cashiers, workers at a store, waiters/waitresses, and so on.
  26. If you see someone that seems to be struggling, talk to them.
  27. Leave a thank you note.
  28. If you received really good service at a restaurant, say so to the manager.
  29. If your waitress/waiter is obviously having a hard day, be kind – say something encouraging or just smile and be patient.
  30. Use someone’s name when you talk to them – people love to hear their name.
  31. Be a courteous driver.
  32. Share good news.
  33. Take bagels or snacks to work for your coworkers.
  34. Put a note in your spouse’s lunch – or in your child’s lunch.
  35. Call your parents just to say hello.
  36. If someone drops something, pick it up and smile.
  37. Watch their favorite show with them.
  38. Send someone a short note, just to say you are thinking of them.
  39. If they are sick – take them a care package with tissues, chicken noodle soup, ginger ale, and saltines.
  40. Do your child’s chores for the day.
  41. Go to the hospital to visit a friend or relative – you’d be surprised how few people do this and how much it means.
  42. Say thank you to people who serve you –  wait staff, barbers/hair stylists, cashiers, etc.
  43. Hold the elevator for them!
  44. Tell them how proud you are of them.
  45. Take them a small, pretty plant.
  46. Take cookies to a nursing home or assisted living home.
  47. Donate nice, gently used work clothes to a group that helps people get a job.
  48. Leave a bigger tip than normal when you go out to eat.
  49. Make a care package for someone in the military.
  50. Donate blood.
  51. Participate in an “awareness” walk – epilepsy, breast cancer, heart….
  52. When you see something that reminds you of a friend, buy it and surprise your friend.

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