It's never a bad time to extend kindness or consideration towards others. In fact, paying it forward does more than just make someone else happy — it has bonafide mood-boosting benefits.
Best of all, a kind act doesn't have to be complicated. Here are just a few of our favorite random acts of kindness that can be done at any time, and don't take a lot of money or effort to pull off.
1. Thank your local fire fighters or police officers by surprising them with homemade sweet treats.
2. In line at the drive-through? Pay for the person behind you before they reach the window (the worker taking your order should be able to tell you the amount).
3. Tape coupons to different products around the grocery store — what parent wouldn't love seeing a coupon for diapers?
4. Hand out rolls of quarters at the laundromat.
5. Write thank you notes to people that you don't say "thank you" to often enough — like your favorite barista who always gets your order right, or the gym's Zumba instructor for creating a workout you love.
6. Tape up inspiring notes inside of dressing rooms, because when it comes to trying on clothes with full body mirrors and fluorescent lights, everyone can use a vote of confidence.
7. Buy a bouquet of flowers for a friend, just because.
8. Pay the bill for someone sitting alone at a restaurant. Or anyone in the restaurant who inspires you in some way.
9. Feed the parking meters for strangers.
10. Create a diaper-change care package and leave it in a public bathroom. At some point, an unprepared mom in need of a diaper for her baby will love you for this!
11. Next time there's a sale on canned goods, buy extra and donate it to your local food bank.
This article was originally published in 2017.