By Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm
There are many ways to be kind. Below are a variety of expressive arts activities using a love of doodling/art to create fun random acts of kindness.
Using expressive arts to offer random acts of kindness offers two major benefits. First, you are using a relaxing modality of self-care which you already enjoy and find calming. Second, studies have shown that when we express gratitude and kindness we benefit from the positive intention to connect socially. “The experience of gratitude and the actions stimulated by it build and strengthen social bonds and friendships.”(1) Art is a “win-win” as a random act of kindness!
Here are some suggestions:
1) Decorate small cards (4.5” by 5.5” or 3”by 4”) with the word "gratitude" and doodle designs of your choosing. Give your cards to people you appreciate – include those folks who may not feel appreciation in their busy day, such as post office worker, cashier, snow plow driver, and others. Bonus idea: Ask them to continue the line of kindness by passing the card to another person.
2) Decorate a small, simple bird shape, heart shape, butterfly, flower (or your idea) and leave them anonymously for family, friends or strangers to find. You can write on the back a message of your choice: “You are appreciated,” “Sending love and light,” or a simple message: “Love.”
3) Doodle 7 small word cards and pick one out each day to carry in your pocket as a reminder to pause and use mindfulness to reconnect to a larger purpose. Find creative ways to express that particular word throughout the day. Word examples: grace, peace or hope, or something else meaningful to you..
4) Pick a person to gift with simple colored pencils and a circle template (a clean lid from yogurt or sour cream etc.) to encourage meditative creating and coloring.
5) Doodle, paint or collage a special card or small gift to surprise a friend with a thoughtful present that you took time to create with your own hand.
What other ways can you think of to doodle kindness? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments or email me!
1) Emmons R, McCullough M. Counting Blessings versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Bing in Daily Life. Journal of Personality and Social Psycology 2003; Volume 84 No. 2 . P 377-389.
About the Artist: Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm
Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm is a Mind/Body Specialist for the Inpatient Integrative Medicine team. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and/or with special ways you are using this activity and how it has influenced your days. She'd also like to hear your ideas and how healing arts have helped you!
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