19 Simple And Thoughtful Ways to Pay It Forward in 2019
The new year brings out the best in all of us, whether we’re looking for a fresh start in life, a new beginning of an exciting chapter, or a healthier you. One of the best ways you can enhance your happiness and fulfill your well being is to give back to others. Pay it forward this year with our list of ways to give back and get that serotonin moving through your body.
1. Buy someone coffee.
I’ll never forget the first time I was at the Starbucks drive-thru and the stranger in front of me paid for my drink. It’s small gestures like buying someone’s coffee or favorite cafe beverage that can totally turn their day around. You never know who you’ll leave energized with good vibes before they even have their daily dose of caffeine!
2. Donate some toys.
Do your kids really need all of their toys? (Plus, they just got more over the holidays.) Do a clean out of gently used toys, books, or any other seldom used items to donate whatever isn’t getting played with. Your kids will also a valuable lesson and take great pride in learning to give back!
3. Hold the door.
Something so easy we should always do for others. Take the extra time to hold the door even if you’re in a rush. It’ll also let someone know you were thinking of them and made a point to make their day a little easier.
4. Donate to a school.
There are numerous schools without the funds to provide the proper school supplies for their young students. Common items like glue, pipe cleaners, erasers, crayons, and even pencils can be a huge help for classes and their hard-working teachers.
5. Send good vibes.
Smile at someone today and every day — it’s SO simple! It’s also refreshing to be surrounded by people who smile, wave, and say “good morning!” or “hi!” A friendly greeting will always send positive vibes and make everyone’s day a little brighter.
6. Donate coats to the homeless.
Warm hearts and bodies by donating winter coats to the homeless! Gather up your gently-used and seldom worn coats, and check with local schools, churches, and shelters who collect these items for the less fortunate. If you don’t have any coats on hand, you can always check for a great sale to donate brand new jackets.
7. Give blood.
Giving blood is a sacrifice that takes minimal time and effort but will save many lives. From disaster relief missions to hospital rooms, this is one amazing way to give back – and it helps in more ways than one.
8. Have a selfless birthday.
This year, instead of asking for gifts, ask for donations to give to your favorite charity. Take this special day and give back to others in need.
9. Volunteer somewhere.
With so many natural disaster areas from hurricanes, wildfires, and other tragedies, there are numerous places in need of volunteer work to help rebuild. Need some other ideas? See if you can give your time to an animal shelter, church, youth group, or local school.
10. Leave positive notes.
Write a little note to give a stranger or a friend for some encouragement today! Jot down a positive body image note and sneak it in some jeans at a clothing store, or leave a post-it note with words of encouragement on random cars. You could even practice this in your own home by leaving a message on the mirror to inspire a family member or roommate. All of these will be sure to brighten anyone’s day.
11. Give the right of way.
We all know that stressful feeling when you need to switch lanes during rush hour traffic. Or what about when there are a million cars before you can make a turn? It feels so great when a thoughtful driver gives you the right of way. Be that person each day, and take the extra time to smile, wave, and share the road.
12. Pick up trash.
We all need to be kind to Mother Earth and keep her clean (everyone loves living in a cleaner environment). Pick up some trash when you see it. Not only will you be making the planet a better place, but you might even inspire others to follow your lead.
Speaking of recycling, did you see this post on recycling cans?
13. Send a care package.
Put together a care package for an active military member or an elderly resident at a senior center like this DIY Sunshine Box. These people might not receive mail often, and elderly residents may not have family or friends visit them regularly. Letting someone know they’re not forgotten can go a long way.
14. Take clothes to the shelter.
Call your local shelter and see what items they may be in need of. I often call the local women’s and children’s shelter to donate all of our gently-used clothing (that way I know they’re going to a good cause).
15. Feed the animals.
Animals need love, too! Buy some pet food and yummy treats to donate to the animal shelter so they don’t have to worry about their next meal before finding a forever home. Shelter pets can also use clean blankets to snuggle with. Ask your local shelter what they need.
16. Compliment someone.
Give someone an unexpected compliment. Tell them you love their hair, their outfit looks amazing on them, or tell them how great they are at something. Whether you know them or not, they’re likely to think about it all day and be in a good mood with their newfound self-confidence.
17. Shop small.
I once read a quote that said when you buy online from a small shop, there’s a person somewhere doing a happy dance in their living room because of your order. Not only will you be supporting our economy, but you’ll be making a difference in an individual’s home.
18. Help a stranger.
Don’t be a spectator. Help that person who has their hands full of boxes, help someone who needs to make it safely cross the street, or assist the mom of three at the grocery store by loading up her bags and taking her cart back. These are selfless acts that will be unexpected and appreciated.
19. Make time.
Time is the greatest gift of all. Have a friend or relative that you haven’t seen in a while? Give them your time, listen to them, see how they’ve been doing, and enjoy quality time well spent. We’ll even give you bonus points if you buy their coffee or lunch. You can even gift time (it’s true)!
What will you be doing to give back in the new year?
Please let us know in the comments below!