Do you remember in high school during spirit week when each day had a theme? I’m still recovering from the trauma of “crazy hair day” when I straightened half my hair and curled the other half. In my mid-thirties now, I still shudder at the phrase, “wacky hat day.”
Regardless of my thoughts on school spirit weeks, I am a major fan of other types of themed days and even subjected my family to “Field Trip Fridays” last summer. I want to share another themed day with you that has revolutionary potential: “Thoughtful Thursday.”
What is Thoughtful Thursday?
Thoughtful Thursday originated as the fourth day of Be Kind to Humankind Week. This is a week established to help provide some framework to the mission of simply being a good person. Each day guides participants along a journey of goodwill, such as “Touch A Heart Tuesday” and “Speak a Kind Word Saturday.”
Breaking down some tenets of this week into easily do-able tasks adds intention and ease to reaching our goals of being good people.
In addition to spreading kindness and joy to others, being thoughtful has some serious benefits to the person being reflective and aware as well. We can think of thoughtfulness in a similar way we think of mindfulness: an awareness of thoughts and feelings in the present moment.
According to Mindful Schools, “Research finds that mindfulness practice can help decrease stress and anxiety, and strengthen resilience and emotional regulation, for both adults and children.” Yes, please. Thoughtfulness is a natural jumping off point to develop into personal mindfulness. If I can work on tuning into others’ needs, I can better identify my own feelings and be aware of what is happening both around me and in me.
I think we can all agree that we want to be nice, kind, helpful people. Especially since we’ve established the connection between being outwardly thoughtful and inwardly mindful. So, um, how?
So let’s get practical, here.
Why is a Kudoboard a great way to say I love you? ❤️ It’s a thoughtful and heartfelt way to show a loved one how much they’re cared about and appreciated!
26 Ideas on How to Celebrate Thoughtful Thursday
How can I celebrate Thoughtful Thursday and add some kindness to my life?
I’ve compiled some ways to up your thoughtful factor each and every week in the settings where you work, live, and play. Use the hashtag #BeKindToHumankind for more ideas and inspiration.
Thoughtful Thursday at work might seem a bit odd. We all come to this place, get paid, and go home, so what? Well, sure, you could think of it like that. However, that community piece of a workspace, knowing that the people you spend your weeks with have your back and care about you personally as well as professionally can make or break a work experience.
Here are ways you can participate in Thoughtful Thursday at work:
- Write a note to a colleague thanking them for being awesome.
- Purchase some morning donuts for the staff room (If you’re cheesy like me, feel free to attach a note that says, “I DON’UT know what I’d do without you!”).
- Share a kind word with a coworker whose efforts tend to go unnoticed.
- Send a funny meme to a colleague.
- Ask a coworker how they’re doing and really listen. You might need to dig a little bit beyond, “I’m good/fine.” But allow others the space to talk about how they truly are. Ask follow up questions, listen and respond well.
- Purchase some Poo Pourri, hand lotion, and nice hand soap for the work bathroom. Don’t laugh. I’ve done this and I cannot tell you the stir of positivity this created. Everyone was delighted!
- Be the Birthday Captain! Take note of colleague birthdays on a communal calendar, plan something special, or even take the reins and lead up a staff Kudoboard .
I read a quote once that really resonated with me. It said, “Are you giving your family the leftover crumbs of your busy life?” Dang. Well then. All too often we present our best foot forward to friends and even strangers and end up depleted in our interactions with those people that mean the most to us: our family. I encourage you to think outside the box of “random acts of kindness” and anonymous thoughtfulness and channel that energy into your people. What a loving example to present to our families.
Here are ways to channel kindness to your family on Thoughtful Thursday:
- Do a chore you might not normally do.
- Write a note in your child’s lunchbox (jokes are very popular at the elementary lunch table).
- Plan a fun movie night or pajama walk.
- Hug! Just reach out and give a tight squeeze.
- Drop off a soda, coffee, or lunch to your spouse’s workplace.
- Cook a family member’s favorite meal.
- Shovel a neighbor’s driveway or rake their leaves.
- Venmo a friend $5 for a morning latte.
- Walk around your home and consider the blessings and good fortune for your shelter.
- Write a love note on a family member’s bathroom mirror.
Out and About
This sounds jaded but I’m going to say it anyway. Ready? When someone goes above and beyond and does something truly thoughtful, I’m almost always genuinely shocked. Isn’t that terrible? I know people are good and kind, but there’s so much negativity out there and it feels like we’re so divided, even if maybe that’s not fully true.
I’m an elementary teacher and this past week a parent was so kind and spent TWO hours volunteering in my classroom helping out and putting together packets of students’ completed work and organizing student portfolios for the year. I was so thankful for the thoughtfulness I nearly cried! Never underestimate the power of thoughtfulness and kindness!
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate Thoughtful Thursday out and about:
- Send a “thinking of you” text to a friend you haven’t connected with in a while.
- Pay it forward in the drive thru line (this seems to happen to me all the time. It brightens my whole day!)
- Write a positive review for a favorite local business. Spreading the word about a great experience at a business is truly thoughtful. So often people only post to gripe. Spread some sunshine.
- Compliment a stranger’s outfit…..or hair, or makeup, or earrings, or heck, even compliment how well behaved someone’s kids are in the grocery store!
- Shoot an email to your child’s teacher thanking them.
- Bring some cookies or treats to a fire station. Everyone loves to feel appreciated.
- Give that DoorDash driver or server an extra generous tip.
- Bring a trash bag to a local park and help clean the Earth.
- Buy a giftcard to the grocery store on your way out, add a note, and tape it to a cart for a stranger to find.
The Key to Thoughtful Thursday
The key to “Thoughtful Thursday” is letting those around you know they are loved and special. Here at Kudoboard, we are here to help with that on Thoughtful Thursday or simply any occasion you want to spread some love and gratitude.
In these days of disconnection and polarizing content, use Thoughtful Thursdays to reach out, demonstrate kindness, and watch how slowly but surely every day becomes special. Start with one Thoughtful Thursday a month, then two, then every Thursday. I promise you will reap the rewards of positivity. Maybe focus on one category per week or bust through the work suggestions and then move on to the other two.
Thoughtfully tuning in to others’ needs lends itself naturally to learning how to be mindfully present in our own lives. Thoughtfulness slows us down from our hurried lives and gets us out of our own heads and into the service of others.
Celebrating great people is a piece of cake with Kudoboard. Attach heartfelt messages to photos, GIFs, inside jokes, and more. Take a look at the fun templates and styles to send some Thoughtful Thursday smiles.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Thoughtful Thursday?
Thoughtful Thursday is part of “Be Kind to Humankind” week which is a celebration around the world of people performing acts of kindness. Thoughtful Thursday is an opportunity to focus on being mindful of others. This can be at home, work, and in public. To be mindful of the needs, feelings, and the good in others. It is a day to try to be more considerate and thoughtful.
What are some Thoughtful Thursday quotes?
Compiling a list of quotes to inspire you each Thoughtful Thursday is an excellent way to direct the activities you chose to participate in. It also can help direct your thoughts to be more reflective and mindful. Here are some quotes to get your Thoughtful Thursday quote list started:
- “Think about the little things that make life great.”
- “Remember, being happy doesn’t mean you have it all. It simply means you are thankful for all you have.”
- “A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.”
- “Never stop doing little things for others. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.”
What are some Thoughtful Thursday writing prompts?
Writing is an excellent activity for Thoughtful Thursday. It can center your thoughts and bring intention into your day. It also can help you be mindful and reflective of yours and other needs as well as what you have to be grateful for. Here is a lists of writing prompts for your Thoughtful Thursday journal:
- What are you most proud of about yourself?
- What good things happened this week?
- What are ways I can be more kind to my family member/co-worker/friend?
- What motivates you?