At a time of so much uncertainty and isolation, kindness to ourselves and to others has never felt more important. One single act of kindness can turn someone's day around, can inspire them to pay that kindness forward, or it can simply offer a brief moment of relief, gratitude, and human connection. And it doesn't hurt that a small gesture of kindness toward others can also make you feel good. We know how powerful kindness can be, and that is why POPSUGAR is proud to join Lady Gaga and Born This Way Foundation's annual campaign, #BeKind21, where we will commit to practicing an act of kindness each day from Sept. 1 to Sept. 21.
Lady Gaga cofounded the Born This Way Foundation with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, to support the mental health of young people and to create a kinder and braver world. Research commissioned by the foundation has shown that kindness has tangible benefits for individuals and communities, including increasing feelings of happiness, self-worth, and calmness while decreasing symptoms of depression. POPSUGAR Deputy Editor Lindsay Miller recently discussed the link between kindness and mental health in an Instagram Live with Born This Way Foundation, and the effects are especially profound for young people. Kindness is action, it is free, and if lifts all of us up.
So far this year, participants in #BeKind21 have pledged to commit over 118 million acts of kindness globally. Join us by checking out our list ahead (you can even download a copy here), and take the pledge to #BeKind21.
- Check in with a friend you haven't spoken to in a while.
- Acknowledge someone's work that makes (or has made) your life easier.
- Buy coffee for a stranger.
- Spread the word about a great small business in your neighbourhood.
- Rediscover a hobby or interest you had as a kid, like colouring books.
- Register to vote, or help a friend register.
- Send a book to a family member or friend.
- Practice being actively present.
- Donate supplies to a local school.
- Compliment a stranger.
- Buy toiletries to drop off at a homeless or women's shelter.
- Meditate for 5 minutes.
- Switch an item you use to a sustainable version.
- Make and share a fun playlist with a loved one.
- Write down 3 things you love about yourself.
- Leave a kind comment on a friend's social media post.
- Donate to or volunteer for a cause you believe in.
- Invite a friend to do an outdoor activity with you.
- Support a local bookstore.
- Write down 3 things you are grateful for.
- Create a positivity mood board for yourself.