The clocks change on Sunday, 30th October this year, falling back one hour. I always prefer changing the clocks this way, as while we could just laze in bed and wait for the clock to catch up with our state of wakefulness, there’s something that feels really positive about using the opportunity of getting up an hour earlier than normal – but not feeling zonked by a lack of sleep – and getting on with the day.
This Sunday, we could use the hour for ourselves, but it’s also a great opportunity to spread a little thoughtfulness, and the people at Elizabeth Shaw Chocolate want everyone to think about thoughtfulness and consideration, and to use their extra hour for good. We like those tales of out-of-the-blue kindness; the urban myth stories about celebrities paying for a couple’s wedding, because they particularly wanted the venue, down to things that actually happened to use, like a helping hand changing a wheel when we found that the car had a puncture.
And this Sunday is the perfect opportunity to spread some of that happiness around. It doesn’t have to be huge: holding the door open for somebody who has their hands full, or letting someone in an obvious hurry go ahead in a queue. We’ve listed ten ideas below, but tell us about those thoughtful gestures that have resonated with you. Leave a comment below, and enter our giveaway to win a box of Elizabeth Shaw chocolates.
Ten easy ways to spread some happiness with a thoughtful or considerate gesture
Send a card or letter. Text, email, and messaging are all quick and convenient, but there is something special about an envelope dropping through the letterbox. Particularly if someone is going through a difficult time, letting them know with a letter that you’re around if needed is a very welcome message to receive.
Tackle a job that you’ve been putting off for ages, particularly if you share your home with someone. There are those jobs that we all hate and just don’t seem to get done; the ones that just seem to take ages, with a huge hassle factor, for what seems to be limited results. Something like the ironing pile, for example. Biting the bullet and just getting it done is a small win, but multiple small wins do add up.
Random acts of helpfulness: I like not living up to the stereotype of the uncaring Londoner, by offering help if someone is looking a little lost with a map (or map app on their phone) in hand, trying to orient themselves. This only works if you know the local area, though! Or, how about if someone is struggling to find the change needed to pay for a small item – a cup of coffee, for example – help them out. A request to pay the favour forwards is all I ask for as a thank you (all delivered in a terribly British bumble with profuse apologies. I can’t help it – it’s genetic).
Little unexpected gifts always raise a smile. Be it a bunch of flowers, a gift card or a small present, the unexpected brings joy that outweighs the size.
Compliment someone on something they’ve obviously taken trouble over; their nails, their accessories, or their hair, for example.
Celebrate and share your strengths. Whatever it is that you’re really good at, use it to help other. Be it cooking (maybe help at a local voluntary kitchen), computing, or just being handy with the toolbox.
Be a helpful ear. In this era where community is much diminished, many people find that someone who listens, without judgement, is a rare friend. Life’s difficulties resolve themselves so much easier when they’re not confronted alone, but asking for help isn’t easy.
Give the gift of time: most of us are permanently searching for an extra five minutes. By taking over a job that someone simply doesn’t have the time for today – walking a friend or neighbour’s dog, for example – the benefits and gratitude really outweigh the time you spend. Plus, you get to go for a nice walk!
Acknowledge your loved ones: tell those who are special to you about what they mean. It’s all too easy to leave these things unspoken, but all relationships benefit from some attention.
Life might not be like a box of chocolates, but they’re always welcome. Give a box of Elizabeth Shaw or two. See below to win a £50 hamper packed full!
Win a £50 chocolate hamper from Elizabeth Shaw
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- Closing date Midnight 30th October 2016
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Many thanks to Elizabeth Shaw for this prize
Post commissioned by Elizabeth Shaw, all opinions our own.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
I love the positivity of this post! I have just started sending letters and postcards and I think it’s such a nice way to connect.
I agree. I barely get any personal post these days, a card really cheers me up.
What a lovely post Helen, I’m certainly feeling the love <3
Thanks Janie. A side effect of giving some love is that you instantly feel better about yourself.
Shashi at RunninSrilankan
Little thoughtful gestures make this such a beautiful world! I love your post Helen – thanks so much for sharing!
Lovely post! It lifted my mood. Great ideas on how to share some love.
If we stop to think unselfishly on a regular basis, these kindnesses will become a big part of us. I love it!
Thanks for the productive “bump”. I can use all of your suggestions.
I can’t get out & about but I’ve just been online shopping to find lots of lovely things to put in a Christmas hamper for Jean, my lovely carer/cleaner, who I couldn’t cope without. She always looks after me so I’m finding lots of things to put in the hamper so she can positively pamper herself
my nieghbiur has just come out of hospital (a double amputee) would make her a cuppa and have a good natter
I would bake a nice big shepherds pie (my parents favourite) and take it round for them as a treat!
I think I’ll do some baking with the children :)
I think for myself it would be to make someone you love a fantastic meal,as they say love makes the world go round
I would use my time by taking my m out for coffee and cake xx
I would give mum a call
My elderly neighbour’s housework and take round some home made chocolate brownies
I am going to ( try to ) make some biscuits. visiting both of my children at uni next week, and they will ( probably ) be thrilled
I would spend an extra hour not rushing and taking time to really talk to someone
make some smoothies
we’d take the mother in law out for a drive
Putting a pack together this Christmas for the homeless <3
Make a cuppa for everyone and chill out!
I would go & see my brother as he has not long been in hospital
I would take them out for a delightful meal!
I’d sweep up all the leaves that have fallen in my Dad’s garden, and generally have a tidy up :)
I am going to iron all my adult daughter uniform for work for her while she is away on holiday so it is all done when she comes home a week after we change the clocks :)
I would spend the extra hour spending more time as a family with my children, we don’t seem to get enough time together at the moment
If it was a close friend or family I would get alot of our pictures put it a short video and some captions and snap chats always cheers you up the funny and daft times
spend time with my girlfriend
I’d play monopoly with my daughter xx
I shall be spending my extra hour looking after my little Grandson who will be staying with us, I can’t wait!
I would use my extra hour to spend some much needed time with my daughter
I would meet up with my mum and go for a nice walk
I will get up with the children and take them out so that my partner could have a nice peaceful lay in without kids jumping on him :-)
By making them breakfast in bed
I could use that extra hour to chop and peel all the veg for my other half so he could cook the Sunday Roast? ;)
by donating a extra hour working at the charity shop
I would make my hubby breakfast in bed
I would use the extra hour to make a full English breakfast for everyone…a rare treat in our house
help my mum with the housework
I think I would take my mums mischievous doggy on an extra long walk for her. He’s a little energetic scamp!
I would use the extra hour to take our lovely dog for a much longer and more enjoyable walk!
I would use the extra hour to go out for coffee with my mum, she doesn’t get out much and I think she can get a bit lonely sometimes
I’m going to get up early with my little man to cook breakfast for his daddy xx
I would stay in bed giving my husband extra cuddles
making the family cup so te in be
Oh lovely post! I am going to walk my neighbours dog :)
Do some of the wife’s housework
I will make my husband breakfast in bed
My husband cleans out the fire every morning, I would leave him in bed and do the chore for him.
I would visit my mum for a cuppa tea and a good natter.
I would spend the extra hour making a super special breakfast for my hubby who works really hard
I entered wrong so will leave my entry here. I would bring my partner breakfast in bed and let him have a lie in :)
We’ll be away for the weekend so I’ll get up as normal and cook breakfast then take my daughter for an extra swim as it’s her favourite pastime :)
I would make my hubby a slap up meal to thank him for working so hard
i would go round to my elderly neighbours for a cuppa, she loves the company.
I would visit my nan more often. As I have grown up I think I have not made enough time for her
Make sure that you spend the extra time ‘doing unto others as you would have them do to you’, generally being nice also as you suggested actually write a letter to someone, it mkes the recipient feel special.
I would love to go down to our local care home and do some of the ladies hair and nails.x
I would spend more time with my granddad
visit my nan
Some lovely suggestions, we have just given away a huge amount of baby items
I would make them their favourite meal and play their favourite music.
I would walk the dogs so my other half doesn’t have to
Tracey S Anderson
I will set the alarm to loose the extra hour to amle my Daughter a surprise breakfast in bed as she needs a treat after the tough times she has been through the last couple of weeks x x
I’ll go to visit some elderly relatives who don’t get out of the house much
Vicki Violet Morris
It will give me an extra hour to spend some time with my Mum most likely spent out shopping with a pitstop for a nice cup of tea :)
I would take my mum out for coffee / tea and cake. Thank you for the lovely giveaway xx
I will bake a cake for my pal
I will spend the hour changing all the clocks in my little 2 bed house, all 11 of them. I love clocks.
Bring my husband breakfast in bed!
I would make chocolate chip pancakes for my boyfriend for breakfast.
i’d bake my family a big batch of yummy cakes
I’ll use the extra hour to take on family chores.
I would give my mum a manicure and pedicure.
I would walk the dog for my daughter!!
In bed relaxing
I’ll make my mum and dad a cottage pie :)
Make everyone breakfast in bed
Catching up on phone calls to friends and family
I will bake mum a cake
Cooking dinner for my parents
I’ll make my hubby breakfast in bed
I will visit my father in law who is disabled
I’m sat here comping hoping to win a prize to give an elderly friend whos quite down at the moment because of family illness, it would cheer her up
Would pop over to mother-in-law’s who lost her husband and make her breakfast in bed.
Baking some nutella chocolate brownies for my oldest daughter, she has had a bit of stress lately finding a uni place and could do with some cheering up. Of course this would make the rest of the family happy too
Visit my elderly neighbour for a chat and a cuppa x
I’ll give my husband an extra long lie in and get up (early!) with the children
I helped my Mum tidy her house after she had a Halloween Party last night
I would make my husband a lovely breakfast and sit and enjoy it with him!
I would put them before myself make sure there treated x
Make sweet cones for the children on my street and make them smile xx
I’d go and get breakfast and coffees in before the other half woke up as a nice treat
Have some good quality time with my daughter
Jamie C Millard
I visited my little niece – took her presents to spoil her
I think I would cook a nice dinner for my family.
id pop to my neighbours for a cup of tea and chat, my neighbour has Parkinsons and as of late he has not been out and about as much as he used to and i think company for a while would do him some good and be just the thing to perk him up abit.
I would cook my mum breakfast in bed. She deserves it xx
To give my other half an extra hour in bed
well i was at work cleaning hotel rooms ended up helping someone out with their rooms which took about a hr but didnt get no thank you or anything they didnt even seem relieved they got some help so dont think i will bother next time a small ty goes a long way
I let my daughter stay longer and watch X-Factor, she was so happy and danced to every single song :)
Doing mum’s grocery shop
catching up on sleep
To make my other half bed in breakfast
I would visit my neighbour and take her cake. She is a lovely old lady but doesn’t get many visitors
An extra hour to enjoy more snuggles with my boys, doesn’t get any better than that X