5 Ways To Spread A Smile In Your Street!

A blunch of daffodils as a random act of kindness

It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17, 2024, but you can spread some happiness in your neighbourhood all year round…

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s the importance of community, so why not have a think about what you can do in your local area to make your friends and neighbours smile.

Here at My Weekly, we were delighted to see one small kind gesture radiate throughout a whole community. An unknown resident was putting smiles on locals’ faces in one village in rural England. Mysterious bunches of daffodils with notes attached were appearing throughout the streets during lockdown.

I noticed a bunch of daffodils with a label on and they immediately lifted my spirits. I thought it was a lovely thing to do, it really cheered me up. Whether you pass it on or it stops there, the gesture either way was lovely and much appreciated.  Jaydine Breadon

Random acts of kindness in the UK

Kindness and giving can have benefits for our physical help too says Dr. Sarah Brewer, Medical Director at wellbeing brand Healthspan.

“Being kind can have a profound effect on our health. It not only helps others feel good, but also improves your own emotional wellbeing by reducing stress levels. Lower stress has knock on benefits for mood, blood pressure and glucose control, lifts mood and improves general wellbeing. Community spirit also enhances wellbeing, lowers stress levels and can have long-term benefits on blood pressure and glucose control and by reducing anxiety and boosting mood can promote healthy lifestyle choices and reduce reliance on unhealthy habits,” says Dr. Brewer.

So how can you raise a smile in your streets and in turn keep yourself smiling?

5 ways to spread a smile in your community

1. Craft a surprise

Knitted post box toppers and yarn bombing of trees are just two ways to give your community a much-needed lift. A painted stone with a picture or even a joke on it can provide a local treasure hunt and a bit of fun, especially if you get together with others to do this. Or why not craft some Easter bunnies and leave them around your neighbourhood? If you’re not super crafty, simply baking some cakes and dropping them off at your neighbours can give your street the feel-good factor.

2. Join a group

Random acts of kindness with a community litter pick

Pic: Shutterstock

Bringing people together in the community can be easier than you think. There’s usually something for everyone from bowling and tennis clubs to neighbourhood watch or even book groups. Have you thought, however about setting up something new? Litter picking with neighbours will not only help your local wildlife, the fresh air and company will raise everyone’s spirits.

3. Think small

According to author Libby Page, community spirit doesn’t have to be on a big scale. This bestselling author’s book, The Island Home, is a heart-warming take on community life on a small island. The author told My Weekly that The Island Home highlighted the idea that a community can have a big heart even when it’s small in size. Take inspiration from Libby and the fictitious community of Kip and think small. Encourage your neighbour or friends to do the annual RSPB bird watch or a Macmillan coffee morning together.  It’s the togetherness and belonging that matters. For even more inspiration read our My Weekly top tips to give your community a boost here.

4. Pay it forward

Ever finished a good book and passed it on, warned a driver about a traffic jam, dropped off supplies to a food bank or let someone have your seat on the bus?  Or maybe you’ve been the recipient? It’s natural to want to pass the good feeling on. Paying kindness forward doesn’t cost anything but can mean the world to someone and you never know when that person may just be you. Learn more about paying kindness forward and how one doctor used billboards to spread messages of kindness around communities here  or read anxiety specialist Susie Lawrence’s top kindness tips here. 

5. Spread positivity

Sometimes the easiest way to get people to smile is to smile yourself. Dr. Brewer is a big fan of  positivity from within. “It’s all too easy to focus on negatives – instead, aim to look for positives. Be kind to yourself as well as others and express gratitude for the little things that make you happy – the sun, coffee, birdsong, spring flowers, a smile from a stranger.” Plus, it’s not just good for the community, people with a sunny outlook on life tend to live, on average, seven and a half years longer than those with more negative thoughts!

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Claire Gill

I'm a journalist, editor and podcaster who loves to tell your stories. I've been lucky enough to work across all parts of My Weekly from the fabulous fiction to health and cookery. As well as live events and My Weekly's very own podcast My Weekly's Magical Flying Bookshop which I created and hosted. I've loved interviewing your favourite authors including Anton Du Beke and queen of cosy crime Ann Cleeves too!