Mental Health Boost

Published: November 9, 2023

7 Ways to Make Someone’s Day

We all have those days: the train is late…a pop quiz in class…your boss is disappointed and you seem to always be on a deadline. The list goes on. It can be hard to feel happy when it seems like there are so many factors working against us.

The good news? There’s easy ways to boost your mood that’s completely within your control. And, plot twist, it involves boosting someone else’s first.

Research has found that when people aged 18 to 60 carried out random acts of kindness every day for 10 days, they reported higher life satisfaction than those who didn’t. Kindness: It’s a win-win.

In the spirit of kindness (and in celebration of National Kindness Day on Nov 13th), here are 7 simple ways to spread joy and, in turn, feel that joy yourself.

1. Tell someone they’re doing a great job

From leaving a thank you note for your mail carrier to writing a Yelp review about a great waiter, noticing the work someone is putting in and saying thank you can make a huge difference in their day.

2. Let someone else go first

Slowing down often opens up opportunities to be kind. Maybe it’s letting a car merge in front of you in traffic. Or, letting a person with fewer items at the grocery store checkout before you. There are countless ways being a little patient can make all the difference to someone else. 

3. Give something other than money

What do you own that you can give away? Consider carrying items like granola bars or new socks that you can give to unhoused folks. Or, pack up used amenities that are still in good condition, like towels and sheets. Many animal shelters accept old linens to keep their animals warm. 

4. Give someone a compliment

It’s human nature to think that when someone is looking at you, they’re judging you. Flip this perception on its head. The next time you’re loving a stranger’s style, let them know. 

5. Do someone else’s chores

Whether it’s a roommate, family member, or colleague, everyone gets overwhelmed. Sometimes just doing something small, like the dishes, when it’s not your turn can help someone else catch their breath. 

6. Offer up your time

Everyone needs a break sometimes. If you know someone with kids or pets, offering to babysit or pet sit for free can be a huge help. Or you can get creative with how you offer up your donated time. Help someone clean out their closet, weed their garden, or even move house.

7. Get in touch

Lots of people touch our lives without ever really knowing their impact. If there’s an old teacher, coach, or friend that changed your life, send them a message of gratitude. It could be exactly what they need that day.

WHA Members: Want to show yourself some kindness?  

Sign up for AbleTo, a mental wellness app that’s just for you in partnership with Optum Behavioral Health. It’s self-care tools at your fingertips. Download on your phone for meditations, breathing exercises, and other helpful whenever and wherever you need them. Best of all, it’s available to you and any covered dependents (ages 13+) at no additional cost. Sign up and give yourself the care you deserve.

The above 7 Tips excerpts courtesy of Giselle Alexander, LCSW, AbleTo Program Advisor from Optum’s site. For more ways to spread cheer on National Kindness Day (November 13), or for supporting yourself with mental health access to care, go to WHA’s partner in mental health services, Optum behavioral health at