The GuardianThe Guardian

52 acts of kindness: How to spread joy in every week of 2023

By Emma Beddington

04 Jan 2023 · 13 min read

Editor's Note

To harness the January surge of self-optimization—and combat a sense of hopelessness—the Guardian has a weekly suggestion on how to help out while improving your life, from gardening to giving blood.

Navel-gazing is always a danger at this time of year – and not just to admire the results of a two-week assault on the fridge. Indoctrinated by “new year, new you” messaging, we fixate on self-optimisation: one hand dredging the Celebrations tub and the other searching online for “hot yoga near me” or “should I read Ulysses?”

But there is another way to be better: by doing something kind. This doesn’t mean giving money (welcome though that always is), it’s about giving your time, empathy, support and thought – finding ways to help the people around you.

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