Random Act of Kindness Day is February 17th!
We are all taught to be kind to each other when we are kids, but as we grow up we often forget that valuable lesson and the importance of kindness. There are multiple benefits to kindness that can improve our own lives and society as a whole. February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day and we want to put the focus back on being kind to others as a way to improve our emotional wellness and the wellness of those around us.
Studies show being kind to others can benefit your mental and physical health. Kindness releases positivity and reduces stress. Showing kindness toward others increases the production of the hormone oxytocin (which is associated with feelings of love and optimism) and the neurotransmitter serotonin (which is involved in healing, calmness and happiness) and can reduce anxiety and depression. Kindness also can increase your energy and self-worth. And, creating a community of kindness can help reduce loneliness and isolation. So, in an effort to help improve our emotional wellness, here are some random acts of kindness that you can get started with:
- Hold the door open for a stranger.
- Check in with your friends and loved ones. You never know who may be needing support or could be unable to ask for it. Use the ‘Say This Not That’ tip sheet from our Each Mind Matters resource center to help speak openly about mental health and let people know you care.
- Put back a neighbor’s garbage bins from the curb.
- Call someone who you haven’t spoken with recently, like a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time or a relative you’ve been meaning to call but haven’t. Hearing someone’s voice can re-establish and strengthen your relationship with them.
- Give back to your community by volunteering for a local organization or charity. Giving your time to an organization in your community can set an example for others to do the same. Consider volunteering for a mental health organization in your community.
- Pay for the coffee or tea of the person in line behind you.
- Pick up litter in public spaces.
- Remember, it is just as important to receive kindness as it is to show kindness. Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion. Support yourself like you would a loved one or close friend. Treat yourself! Practice self-care to allow yourself to recharge and feel better, even if only for a few moments.
Starting today, think about the small things you can do to show kindness. Here are some more ideas about how you can get inspired and do good for others. Let’s begin to perform acts of kindness to strengthen our mental health while also building better communities.
We all can help to reduce mental health stigma and create more supportive communities by starting conversations and being open about mental health. There are many ways to join the movement. To learn more and stay up to date, subscribe to the Each Mind Matters newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.