A little caring can make a big difference in someone’s day. That made us wonder: What would happen if we all made an effort to let people know they matter to us? That’s what 30 Days of Caring is all about.
It starts with you and your commitment to one simple, thoughtful act of caring every day for the next few weeks.
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It’s as simple as we can make it: For each of the next 30 days, do something caring for someone else.
We’ve created a list of ideas below. They’re designed to get more challenging as you go, with different ways to express how you care. You can follow the list as it is, skip around or do your own thing. The important part is to notice who needs a little extra care—and give it to them.
Will it change the world? Or just your part of it? Let’s see what happens.
One of the kindest things you can do is let someone know that what they do and who they are matters. For the first 10 days, you’ll express appreciation to different people who make life better.
Who deserves a thank-you?
Think of someone who makes a difference every day because of who they are or what they do. Maybe it’s a teacher, a health care professional, someone who serves our country…or someone in your community who makes life better and easier for everyone around them. Show or tell them why you’re so grateful for them.
Who goes out of their way to be thoughtful?
You know the neighbor who always shovels your walk? The coworker who brings an extra coffee for you? The friend who makes great banana bread? Recognize their thoughtful gestures with one of your own: Send a note, drop off flowers or treats or take something off their to-do list.
Who is great with kids—yours or someone else’s?
They might be a favorite aunt or the best babysitter. They know how to bring on the giggles or make a little one feel 10-feet tall. It’s truly a gift—tell them how much you appreciate it.
Who are you feeling personally grateful for?
Is it a friend, family member, coworker, neighbor? Send a note to say how much you appreciate them, quote something they said that made you think or laugh or say you’re glad they’re part of your life.
Who makes hard times seem easier?
Maybe it’s a coworker who makes your days better or a friend who sits with you when you’re low or the parent/spouse/kid who knows what to say or do to lift your spirits. Give them a card to say how much that means.
Who has inspired you to be better?
Remember the mentor, leader or adult who pointed you toward your dreams? Let them know where you are today. Recall the piece of advice that guided you or a connection that turned into a job. Or simply thank them for seeing your potential.
Who do you call when you need help?
Personal help. Professional help. Help with tasks or tough times or talking it out. Let the person (or company) you count on know you appreciate being able to holler for help whenever you need it.
Who’s a compassionate caregiver?
Caregiving is some of the toughest, most loving work a person can do, and this person does it with grace, humor and strength. Let them know you understand and appreciate all that goes into their care.
Who is your rock?
Even the sturdiest among us needs a foundation. Imagine yourself leaning on someone for support or melting into a strong hug. Who’s there for you? Express what it means to be able to be vulnerable with them.
Who gives you unconditional love?
They’ve seen you at your best, worst and weirdest and they adore you through it all. Tell them what that means to you, thank them for their love or send them a snapshot of the two of you together.
Next up: Look for folks who need cheering up or cheering on and be ready to offer words of encouragement. For the next ten days, keep an eye out for opportunities to give someone a boost.
Who needs a pep talk?
Everyone experiences self-doubt once in a while. Is a friend, coworker or kiddo you know feeling discouraged? Get out your metaphorical megaphone and give them the cheering up they need.
Who’s had a big win?
Picture someone who worked hard to achieve something or a coworker who’s really on a roll. Call out the hard work they’ve been doing and put an enthusiastic “high five” into words.
Who’s great at being a grown-up?
Is a friend or relative doing some good parenting? Or excelling in a new gig or tough project? Or just really holding it together during a challenging time? Tell them you’ve noticed, you’re impressed and you think they’re amazing.
Who’s making healthy life changes?
Losing weight, exercising, quitting smoking or drinking, leaving a toxic relationship…if any of this was easy, the self-help industry wouldn’t exist. Congratulate your friend on their choices and let them know you’re happy they’re taking good care of themselves.
Who might not get much mail?
Young adults in their first apartments. Folks in retirement homes. The hardest workers at a neighborhood business. They could all use a friendly hello, a “thinking of you” or a word of encouragement…sign it, seal it and send it.
Who is quietly, consistently good at what they do?
Folks who don’t call attention to themselves don’t always get the praise they deserve. Think of someone whose attention to detail, promptness, ingenuity, friendliness, expertise, professionalism or intuition makes them an absolute delight, and tell them exactly how and why.
Who needs to hear they’re a great parent?
Is it someone with a new baby or a teenager…or someone who raised you? Reassure them they’re handling things beautifully…or let them know how their choices as parents made you who you are today.
Who needs to know they’re an awesome kid?
Watching kiddos experience hurt feelings and heartbreaks is the worst. You can’t fix everything, but you can reassure them they’re funny, kind, creative, smart, talented…and so very, very loved.
Who could use a reminder of their own worth?
There are lots of reasons people struggle with self-esteem. Think of someone who shrugs off compliments, deflects praise or puts themselves down. Give them a sincere, detailed list of what makes them wonderful in writing, so they can reread it when they need a boost.
Who stands up for what they believe in?
Thank someone who makes the world better by volunteering, chairing a committee or joining a cause. They speak up, stand up and show up—so tell them you appreciate their strength and admire their passion.
We’ve been building to these last ideas for caring gestures. Support is an essential part of caring relationships: It’s about showing up. It’s about listening; empathizing; giving love, acceptance and companionship; and sometimes, offering help.
Who might be feeling a little lonely these days?
Maybe it’s an extrovert who misses their work pals, someone who’s had to quarantine or a friend who’s lost a beloved pet. Reach out, check in and find out how they’re doing.
Who could use a virtual hug?
Get in touch with someone who’s been going through a rough patch and listen for what they need. It might be someone to vent to or brainstorm solutions with or role-play a hard discussion—or they might just need someone to listen. Reassure them you’ll be there when they need you.
Who has been in your prayers?
If you’ve been praying for someone—for their comfort, healing, success or other blessings—let them know you’ve lifted them up. If it’s who you are and part of your relationship, you can ask them if there are specific things they’d like you to pray for.
Who’s dealing with family issues?
Problems within the family—struggling with infertility, challenges raising kids, emotional conflicts, ups and downs in a marriage—are some of the loneliest and hardest. (And can be the hardest to talk about.) If a friend or relative has trusted you enough to share these hardships, remind them of their value and your commitment to your friendship.
Who is on a healthcare journey?
Remember a friend who’s been ill, in treatment or is recovering. See how they’re doing, post a message on a CaringBridge.org page, send a card or tell them they’re in your thoughts and prayers. (While you’re at it, check in on their caregiver to see how they’re doing and offer to help out with errands or tasks.
Who’s going through a life change?
It may be a happy one or a hard one. Something expected, anticipated, planned for or out of the blue. If you know someone taking the next step or following a fork in their path, see what they might need. You might be able to lighten their load, offer direction or just provide supportive company on their journey.
Who’s carrying a heavy emotional load?
Moms take care of a million tasks that never show up on a to-do list, like caring for calendars and communication and routines and relationships. Reach out with a compliment, an act of kindness or an offer to share a bit of the burden.
Who’s struggling with a hard choice?
They’ve talked to you about their challenge and you’ve empathized. You don’t have to solve their dilemma—you can’t—but you can let them know they’re in your heart and encourage them to trust theirs.
Who’s missing a loved one?
Grief is a journey…and many times, support for someone who’s suffered a loss falls off over time. Check in with someone who’s still grieving, give them a chance to share memories or talk about their loved one or say you miss them, too.
Who needs something only you can give?
It might be your time…your sympathetic ear or soft shoulder…your advice or wisdom…your praise or love or forgiveness. Think about who it might be and about what you, specifically, can do to support them.