For a few days I was toying with the idea for this post. Something didn’t sound / feel right. The concept of putting together a “How To Brighten Up Your Day” advice article seemed great and, don’t get me wrong, I am all for practicing self-care. At the same time, I knew it needed tweaking. Plot twist came in the simplest form – change “your” to “someone’s”. Ta-da! Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s (always!) essential to look after yourself. By doing so you will be able to take care of those you love better. But let me ask you this: doesn’t it make you feel on-top-of-the-world-happy when you do what might seem like a teeny-tiny little thing which, as a result, brightens up someone’s day in a huge way? That’s why when my very-much-loved brand Molton Brown sent me this beautiful Orange & Bergamot Hand Collection*, not only did it make my day but I also knew I would put it to good use by writing a post which would, hopefully, help you to help others.
1. Smile. This is, probably, the easiest thing to do, and yet, many ignore the importance of a genuine grin. You never know what others are going through so your smile could literally mean the absolute world to them at that moment. As cheesy as it sounds but smile is definitely the prettiest thing you can wear. Even when you’re having the grumpiest of days, smile (simply because you’re alive – that’s a good enough reason, right?). And share your smile with others. It’s free. And it’s contagious. Yay to that!
2. Be polite. Even though this is pretty self-explanatory, people seem to forget how simple it is to say “thank you” and “you’re welcome”. There are other small things you can do. Like, holding the door open for someone. Giving your seat to a person who’s having difficulty standing. Apologize if you bump into someone. Instead of complaining someone was rude to you, try and be extra polite to a stranger next time. Any change, big or small, starts through an individual. It can start in you.
3. Text or call. I am the first person to raise my hand and plead guilty. I am awful with replying right away. You would either get an answer RIGHT THAT SECOND or hear from me in a few days (sometimes weeks – I know, awful!). It’s not because I am actively ignoring some people while replying to others (or not replying to anyone at all). I do it because of two main reasons. Either I am too busy to reply at that very moment and then I forget I haven’t got back to them yet. Or I am going through one of my I-am-not-in-touch-because-I-am-not-on-my-phone-at-all stage when I’m taking full advantage of a digital detox. We all get so carried away with our busy lives that sometimes getting in touch or keeping in touch may take the backseat. Picking up your phone to txt your parent, your grandma or an old friend should be a priority, not scrolling through your Twitter feed for the 10th time in the last 5 minutes. Harsh but fair.
4. Seek to do an everyday act of kindness. Nope, you don’t need to wait for the #InternationalKindnessDay to be kind to someone. Every single day we are given an opportunity to do a selfless deed. Think what you can do for someone today or play it by ear and help a stranger as you go about your day. If you see a woman struggling with a stroller, offer to help. If you come across a lost looking old man, ask if he is OK and if he needs anything. Save a dog from being tortured by nasty kids. This last one might sound very dramatic but, sadly, it’s a reality. This is what my friend J from Philly did. One day she was driving home from work when she saw a bunch of kids torturing a pup on the side of the road (I would put them in jail for life if it was up to me). She quickly pulled over and the rest is history. Now her cute little doggy Duncan is the baby of the family.
5. Compliment someone. Deep inside we all have some kind of insecurities, that’s why compliments play such a crucial role. A genuine compliment can rely boost someone’s self-esteem and make their day. The main thing is honesty. False flattery won’t get you anywhere and might send red flags which means people won’t be too eager to trust your word in the future. Do give someone a compliment but really mean it.
6. Help financially. Or with food. This resonates with no.4 but this point needed a bit of emphasizing. Basically, if you see a homeless man with his dog out in the street beside your local supermarket, use a few pounds/dollars/euros and buy him a sandwich and food for his pet. It’s all about meeting the need the person has. Another absolutely crucial thing is helping the elderly. In some countries, for example, Ukraine, old people receive financial “support” from the government which doesn’t even cover their monthly bills. If you live in a country like that or if you’re going to travel to a place where you might see an old sweet grandma sitting on the ground selling tiny bunches of flowers, don’t walk past them, come up and help with whatever spare money you have. They don’t beg and will most likely burst into tears when they see what you’re offering. So be present, be aware, recognize the need and give. God helps and blesses abundantly those who help others. No matter where you stand in your beliefs, no one cancelled being a decent and kind human being.
6. Spoil someone you care about. Sometimes we all need a bit of spoiling in the form of a gift card to our favourite nail salon or a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. In my case, a gorgeous set of Molton Brown Orange & Bergamot Hand Wash* and Orange & Bergamot Replenishing Hand Cream* were kindly sent to me and happened to be one of the best treats. I have enjoyed Molton Brown goodies for years now and have worked with the brand on multiple occasions (read posts here and here). Not only did they completely guess what my favourite collection was (woohoo!), they have always been one of my favourite cruelty-free brands. Orange & Bergamot hand collection is absolutely perfect for spring and summer time with its amazing energizing and refreshing blend of bergamot, neroli, mandarin and Sevillian orange. In fact, I’ve been using the hand cream from this collection and repurchased it a few times. I couldn’t recommend this range enough. So swooned by the luxurious quality and design of every (!!! – and I genuinely mean it) Molton Brown product.
As you can see, I managed to buy the Orange & Bergamot Replenishing Hand Cream Limited Edition called ‘British Edition’ with a bright yellow Union Jack packaging. If you’re on the market for a lovely it’s-pamper-time “just because” gift for someone , Molton Brown is your destination.
7. Cook for someone you love. OK, this might sound cheesy but one of my favourite things to do for my husband before he comes home from work is to make him/us a delicious dinner. I do it not because I “have to”. I LOVE doing it for many many reasons. So if your husband/wife/fiancé/fiancée/bf/gf/roommate is always the one who cooks for you, give them a “break” for one night and make them a surprise meal. Or bake something extra special. Another option is cooking together. If all fails and you’re absolutely horrendous at cooking or baking, make a reservation at his/her favourite restaurant.
8. Go for an experience. In my opinion, more often than not experience gifts make much better memories than anything else we can surprise our loved ones with. Whether you’re splurging and booking that holiday of a lifetime for your significant other and yourself or desperately checking Michael McIntyre’s tour dates to snatch those tickets (I need them!!!), the main thing is that this experience is going to be something they’ve always dreamt of. For example, one of my personal biggest ambitions for the next couple of years in this department is to be able to book a holiday somewhere special for my parents who deserve it more than anyone else.
9. Listen and have genuine interest. You know what breaks my heart a little bit? Whenever you talk to someone and they a) don’t make eye contact (at all or for like a second here and there) and b) wouldn’t be able to repeat anything you’ve just said because they don’t care at all what you’re talking about. Unfortunately, most of us have come across people like that in our lives. When it comes to them and talking about them, you won’t be able to fit in a word, apart from compliments (they do love compliments!). However, the moment you start chatting about your own life’s updates you lost them. I once read somewhere that some of the most influential people in the world are known to be the kindest, most thoughtful and mindful when it comes to a good ol’ one-on-one. Why? Because they know how valuable time is and if they did dedicate it to you, they might as well use it properly. Try to remove the “me-me-me” approach when you talk to someone next time. Listen to them, ask them questions, show that you really care. It won’t go unnoticed.
10. Give your time. Gifts don’t have to be material. A gift of time goes hand in hand with listening, taking genuine interest in someone else and trying to do your best to be helpful. There are so many ways and cases you can use your time for. If you know someone doesn’t drive and needs a lift somewhere, offer to take them. If there is someone you know who’s sick, visit them and spend time with them. You can also volunteer and make a huge difference just by investing those couple of hours into it. And if you know someone needs a bit of encouragement, don’t just let them know they can find you when they “need” you. You already know they need you. Take initiative, step up and share with them the most precious things you have – your time and your love.
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Hope you enjoyed reading this post, lovelies.
It’s so important to look after yourself but also show others how much you care.
* Molton Brown has kindly gifted me both items. This is not a sponsored post.
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Leave a comment and let me know what you like to do to brighten someone else’s day.
Also, have you ever tried Orange & Bergamot collection from Molton Brown?