Let’s be honest. Amidst the chaos and stress of day-to-day life, going out of our way for friends and loved ones, much less strangers, is not always at the top of the “to do” list. That’s not to say we’re being rude to anyone, necessarily, but in the crush of managing our own responsibilities, we can forget how easy and pleasing it is to simply perform random acts of kindness for others.
Well, as it turns out, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation created a weeklong observance geared toward strengthening personal and community relationships through acts of kindness.
RAK Week (Random Acts of Kindness Week) in 2020 starts on February 16th and runs to February 23rd, with a special emphasis on Monday, February 17 as Random Acts of Kindness Day.
The foundation’s goal is for people to “inspire, empower, act, reflect and share” with those around them.
The Benefits of Kindness
The truth is, everyone benefits from a little bit of kindness, and the thoughtfulness that stems from it, even the most crusty of curmudgeons.
Consider some of the benefits to the science of kindness, like:
- A longer lifespan
- A boost in energy
- An increase in serotonin
- A spike in energy levels
For the doubters, studies show that people who are regularly kind have 23 percent less cortisol, a hormone associated with increased stress, in their system.
25 Kind Things To Do For Random Acts of Kindness Day, RAK Week, and Even All Year Long
Though the weeklong celebration comes once a year, here are 25 easy ways to roll random acts of kindness into our daily lives:
- Volunteer one day a month (or more) at a homeless shelter, a senior center, a Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Cuddle Care volunteer programs, or anywhere that resonates with you
- Mow an elderly neighbor’s yard for them
- Hold the elevator for people rushing to get in
- Allow people to merge in front of you on the highway
- Offer free tutoring sessions to students studying your particular expertise
- Thank cashiers, busboys, bellhops, waiters and others in the service industry
- Whenever possible, leave a healthy tip for your servers
- If someone has a good idea at work, be their advocate and support them
- Be the kind of person that writes “thank you” notes to people
- Give blood at blood drives
- Donate blankets, tents, sleeping bags and coats to the homeless
- Foster rescue animals until shelters can find them permanent homes
- Be sure to include a shy person in a group conversation
- Put change into a person’s expired parking meter
- If you see a motorist having engine trouble, stop to see if they need help
- Offer your seat to someone on the bus or any public transportation
- Donate whatever you can to a sick friend’s GoFundMe.com campaign
- Support an emerging artist that inspires you, in whatever way you can
- Do a few of your housemate’s chores without being asked
- Reach out to your parents and siblings on a regular basis
- Let someone in line for coffee go in front of you
- Provide free childcare for new parents that need a night out alone
- Make and bring a meal to a grieving friend or acquaintance
- Give a coworker or subordinate a meaningful compliment
- Smile at people regularly
Practice Kindness All Year Long
These are a good start, but there are so many ways to be kind to others. It just takes a little consideration of those around us to figure out what would make their day and, lest we forget, being kind will make our day as well.
Even though Random Acts of Kindness Day and RAK Week only happen once a year, it’s easy and rewarding to practice being kind.
It’s also infectious and habit-forming, so the more you do it, the more you will see in return.