5 Ways to Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week
February 11, 2019 | Category: Articles
Think about the last time someone did something kind to you. Perhaps they told you that you did a good job on your paper or that they liked the outfit you had put together. Maybe someone held the door open for you on a rainy day or lent you their umbrella.
Kindness is contagious1: It’s likely that when someone does something nice or kind to you, you feel inspired to do something nice for someone else. Random Acts of Kindness Week, (RAK Week) takes place during the second full week of February each year, celebrates kindness, and encourages people to do something good for others, the planet, their community, and themselves.
It doesn’t take much to do something positive. Here’s what you can do to celebrate RAK Week and to help make the world around you a better place.
Be Kind to the Planet: Have a Meat-Free Day
One way to lighten your load on the environment and show the planet some love during RAK Week (and beyond) is to try minimizing the amount of meat you eat. Some studies have shown that shifting to a plant-based diet can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent2.
You don’t have to give up meat completely if you don’t want to. Instead, try having a single meat-free day during RAK. If all goes well, you can make your meat-free day a weekly thing.
If you’re not sure what to eat or prepare on your meat-free day, Meat Free Monday has a variety of vegetarian and vegan recipe ideas.
Be Kind to a Stranger: Buy Someone’s Coffee
Here’s a simple way to be kind to someone you don’t know and to brighten up someone’s day: The next time you’re in line at a coffee shop, tell the barista that you’d like to buy the coffee of the person in line behind you.
It’s a simple way to do something nice and since kindness is contagious, can create a chain reaction, with each person deciding to “pay it forward,” and buy the coffee of the person standing in line behind them. Although in some cases the “pay it forward” chains breaks after a couple of customers, there have been reports of chains that have been nearly 400 customers long3.
Be Kind to Your Friends: Send a Love Email
When’s the last time you let your friends know that you loved them and appreciated them? In the spirit of RAK Week, now’s an excellent time to send out a few love notes to your BFFs.
You don’t have to get too sappy if you don’t want to. Just send a quick note (email’s fine!) letting people know that you’re grateful to have them in your life.
Be Kind to Your Co-Workers: Compliment Someone on a Job Well Done
A positive work culture is a must-have for employee well-being and happiness4. One way to improve the culture at your job is to practice being kind to your co-workers.
Your acts of kindness can be simple and small, such as saying “good job!” when a co-worker completes a challenging project. You can also offer support or be a sounding board for your colleagues while they’re trying to figure something out.
Another way to be kind to the people you work with is to take a genuine interest in their lives outside of work. Ask your co-workers about their hobbies or families. To develop strong bonds with your co-workers, offer to take someone out to lunch or for coffee.
Be Kind to Yourself: Find a Way to Unwind
Last, but definitely not least: Find a way to be kind to yourself during RAK Week. A study from Oxford University and the University of Exeter found that people who were kind to themselves had calmer heart rates and a reduced sweat response5.
One way to celebrate self-care and compassion is to give yourself a chance to unwind each day. You can start your day by doing a quiet activity you enjoy, such as reading a book or taking a walk. At the end of a long day, you can try relaxing with a cup of tea or by taking a bath.
If you find yourself in need of some compassion or kindness, remember that your academic advisors, counselors, and tutors at AHU Online are here to provide support and assistance, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reach out if you need support or a listening ear in any way at all.
- “Kindness Contagion,” Scientific American, published July 26, 2016, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/kindness-contagion/.
- “Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change benefits of dietary change,” PNAS, published online March 21, 2016, https://www.pnas.org/content/113/15/4146.
- “378 Customers Pay It Forward to Strangers at Florida Starbucks,” NBC News, published August 21, 2014, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/378-customers-pay-it-forward-strangers-florida-starbucks-n186126
- “Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive,” Harvard Business Review, published December 1, 2015, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-systemhttps://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive
- “Being kind to yourself has mental and physical benefits,” Science Daily, published February 6, 2019, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190206200344.htm