Surprise someone in a sweet way:
If anyone’s ever done something unexpectedly kind in your honor, you’re well aware of the tingly happiness you feel (They did that for me!?). So pay it forward: for someone you love, or maybe just a stranger. It can be as extravagant as planning a surprise anniversary party for your parents or as simple as buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks.
Become a mentor:
Teaching and lending your time and energy to someone in need is one of the most rewarding things you can do – for yourself! Be it senior citizens or young teens, you are always in the position to help another human being learn something new. Check out the volunteer opportunities in your community and start with monthly or weekly sessions. Just a little goes a long way!
Pursue your passions:
What are your dreams? What do you love to do? Whether it’s playing the guitar, writing, scrapbooking or knitting, who’s stopping you? Even if it’s not something you want to make a career out of, no one’s holding you back from doing what you love -and there’s no better time than the present. So get strumming, get scrapping, and get cracking!
Befriend a stranger:
For most of us, we didn’t meet our friends, from childhood and present-day, on a subway ride or at a park. They’re the people we went to school with, worked with or met through mutual friends. And while that’s perfectly fine, and they certainly make great companions, there’s something to be said about introducing yourself to a random individual and striking up a conversation. You never know who you could meet, what they can bring to your lives and what you can bring to theirs.
How many days go by where you’re following the same routine: wake up, coffee, work, exercise, happy hour, home, Netflix, sleep. Repeat! Of course there are benefits to having a schedule and, for most of us, we need one to survive, but sometimes it’s good to just stop, hit pause and get the heck out of that comfort zone. An easy way to do that? Go dancing. In the rain, in a Beyonce-themed class, with a friend, on the street while you walk to the train. Breaking out in movement will help you break out of a rut.
There’s a peacefulness that comes from putting the chaos of life on hold to appreciate the beauty in something that is relatively unknown. Sure, we’ve made some incredible discoveries and know more about space than ever before, but there’s still so much left to be discovered. And when you take a moment to look up and realize how truly small we are in the scheme of the universe, those little worries might not seem so big.
Plant a tree:
Did you know some trees can live up to several thousands of years? What a better way to leave your footprint than by bringing life to one of the most important living beings on Earth. For centuries, the tree you plant will be cleaning the air by removing major greenhouse gases and providing future generations with oxygen. It takes about 15 years or so for a tree to grow, so do it in honor of a special occasion or a person in your life and you can spend years watching it bloom.
Write a letter to someone who has changed your life:
Think of all the people who mean something to you – your friends, your family, your co-workers or mentors. When was the last time you wrote a letter – or okay, an email – to tell them how much they really mean to you? Why do they matter in your life? How do they make you feel? Because at the end of the day, life is short. Why not remind people who have made your life better?
Jenn Sinrich is an editor in New York City, a self-proclaimed foodie always looking for the healthier version of all recipes, a passionate lover of all things cheese, a friendly New Yorker, Bostonian at heart and proud Red Sox fan. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.