Of course we need to brush our teeth twice a day, floss, drink water, and eat a healthy diet to help care for our smiles. But we can also help care for our smiles and those of our neighbors by choosing to do small acts of kindness to those around us. This summer in particular, many people in Madison might be facing more hardship or isolation than usual due to Covid-19. If you find yourself at home with a little extra time on your hands, read on for some heartwarming ideas on how you can spread smiles across your neighborhood.
- Chalk the Walk
- Bake and Take
- Post a Note
- Weed and Meet Needs
Chalk the Walk
If you have children or grandchildren, send them outside to draw pictures or write uplifting messages on your driveway or sidewalk. Help them think of riddles, jokes, inspirational quotes, or fun facts they could write down to pick up the spirits of those walking by.
Challenge the children to recreate famous paintings with sidewalk chalk. Walkers and runners will surely get out a kick out of spotting a famous work of art during their workout. Or have them write out fun song lyrics for people to hum or sing to as they pass by.
Bake and Take
Do you have a new neighbor you haven’t met yet? Or even someone who’s lived by you for a long time but you’ve never had the opportunity to get to know each other? Consider baking your favorite treat and dropping it off at their house. The sweet surprise is sure to make them smile and is a great opportunity to introduce yourself.
Post a Note
The pandemic has intensified the difficulties of those who are homebound. If you know of someone who’s struggling with isolation, take the time to write him or her a letter.
You could pick up a local postcard or find unique stationery from a local shop. If you’re not sure what to say, you can keep the letter light by mentioning a funny mix-up that happened to you or some interesting animal or person you met that day. It’s not so much about what you say, but simply that you’re taking the time to say it. Sending a heartfelt letter to let someone know that you’re thinking about them could very well keep them smiling for a long time.
Weed and Meet Needs
Another way to help spread goodwill in your neighborhood is to offer to help weed and do yard work for an older neighbor. Bring teenagers or your older grandchildren with you to help do this good deed.
While you’re there, you can check with your neighbor if he or she has any other needs, such as needing assistance with getting groceries or moving heavy items.
This special kindness will absolutely make your neighbor’s day and will most likely make yours as well.
Spread Smiles Across Your Neighborhood brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson