It seems that most of what I hear about in the news or when scrolling through social media is inherently negative. The negativity really starts weighing on me, especially when the weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter and I don’t get to spend as much time with family for the holidays as I would like. Rather than moping, binge watching Netflix and eating spumoni ice cream, I am trying something new this year. I am challenging myself and those who read this to participate in some not-so-random acts of kindness. I hope that this will not only make me feel good, but also the people on the receiving end. Don’t worry, you don’t have to think of them all on your own, but if you do please let us know!
Below are some ideas to use on your campus!
1. Write a letter to someone who impacted you. Many of us have mentors who inspired us in one way or another. Writing them a handwritten letter, letting them know that you are thinking of them and thanking them for what they have done and continue to do, is a great way to spread cheer. You may even get a note back!
2. Leave quarters in the vending machine near your office.
3. Tell the housekeeping staff you appreciate them. Leave notes or cookies to let them know their work is not going unnoticed.
4. Ask someone who works with you to go to lunch with you. I normally sit in my office and eat my lunch, but there are so many people with whom I could have an interesting conversation over lunch.
5. Vow not to gossip. This should go for the whole year. If you hear someone saying some not so nice things about a coworker, gently remind them to think before they speak.
6. Smile as you walk across campus. Smiling is really good for you and can be contagious. It might be just what someone needed.
7. Write a student a nice, encouraging note. With finals upon us, students are stressed! Now is the time to give encouragement and positive feedback.
8. Send an encouraging note to a student or coworker you know is having a hard time. Ask them if there is anything you can do for them and then do it!
9. Put a piece of candy on the desks of your coworkers.
10. Have an open door policy for students. Take time to listen and engage when they stop by! That is how I had some of the most meaningful and important conversations during my undergrad.
I hope you have success with these random acts of kindness. I plan on writing my letter to my mentor today! Please comment and tell me the types of random acts of kindness you do!
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Podcast With Josie & Lloyd Ahlquist on YouTube & College Students