Random Acts of Kindness Day is a time for everyone to do something good for the benefit of others (and, it turns out, the benefit of ourselves). Everyone could do with a reason to smile at the moment and being kind has been proven to boost mental health and wellbeing in those that carry out kind acts. Find out how you can get involved in a very simple but uplifting campaign.
Random Acts of Kindness Day is of course a day for people to give and make others feel happy, but the day also places a strong emphasis on recognising the positive impact that being kind can have on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. In short – we all feel good when we know we’ve done good and we all benefit from seeing someone smile. Random Acts of Kindness Day is more important now than ever and there are loads of ways you can get involved. It really is as simple as think something kind and do it. But the pandemic has changed what is possible and so we have put together a list of lockdown-friendly random acts for you to do.
1. Put up a window poster that will make people smile
Any excuse to smile is needed right now, so why not put up a poster in your window to lift the mood of strangers walking past. This could be something uplifting or something funny – just remember to be KIND and make sure it is appropriate for public consumption! You could write an uplifting message or joke – whatever gets people smiling is good!
2. Pick up groceries for a neighbour or someone in need
Offer a neighbour a helping hand and go and pick up their groceries for them. Or perhaps you know someone else that could really do with some help. This doesn’t mean you have to shell out twice as much on shopping, but rather you go to the shop in their place. This could be for anyone, but double kindness points to those who help someone unable to go to the shops themselves.
3. Put a smile on the face of doctors and nurses … and all the other hospital staff
While hospitals have to follow protocols and the majority of supplies the public could offer for patients would not be able to be accepted, it’s a different story for the staff, so use this RAK Day to give something back to the NHS. From the mouth of a real-life nurse, staff are overjoyed when they receive gifts of hand sanitiser, soap, other bath products and refreshments. Any contribution will touch the hearts of those working hardest to protect us during the pandemic. Take your gifts to the main reception or call the hospital and arrange to have a parcel delivered – just make sure that if you go to the hospital in person, you wear a mask, use plenty of hand sanitiser and go alone.
4. Send an uplifting message to a care home
Everyone is feeling the loneliness at the moment, but probably none as much as those resdient in care homes. Many haven't seen their family for months and are missing children and grandchildren greatly. Consider sending a message in to a care home to lift the spirits of residents. This could be a simple letter to wish them well and keep their chin up, or it could be something more creative. Perhaps you could write a song and video yourself singing it.
5. Post an uplifting message on social media
Get your kind act out there to hundreds or even thousands. Or who knows, if it goes viral, perhaps millions! A simple post featuring a graphic with an uplifting quote or a humorous or touching picture can be enough to make the perfect RAK Day post. Remind people that life will get better and that we have each other to help pull us through this difficult time.
6. Pay a stranger a compliment
Next time you are going for a walk or heading to the shops, keep your eye out for someone who looks like they could do with a little positivity boost. Maybe this person has great fashion sense. Maybe they are keeping up with their exercise during lockdown and have headed out for a run. Or maybe they've got a really cute dog - whatever it is, pay them a compliment. This is the simplest act guaranteed to make someone feel better about themselves and smile.
7. Write a letter to someone who has changed your life for the better
Send out a letter to a person who has made a massive impact on your life and thank them. Let them know exactly how what they did for you has had a positive iimpact and how your life would be different if it hadn't been for them. This could be someone you know well, or someone who only had contact with you for specific reasons. Maybe the person is a teacher, or a family member or friend who has always had your back - or maybe it is someone who literally saved your life. You could write a traditional letter, send a DM on social media or send an email - the method isn't important, but the act is.
8. Donate essential items to the homeless
Help those most in need and fill a shoebox with essential items such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, sanitary products, socks, face masks and hand sanitiser. Organise a charity collection from your home (have a look on local homeless charity websites such as Shelter) or send the parcel to them instead. They can then safely distribute your box for you and ensure someone in need gets it.
9. Make a big difference with a small donation
Pick a charity of your choice and make a small donation. This could be any charity and not necessarily one that works with people – any act of kindness will do. If you want to make a donation to a charity but are unsure which to pick, make your act of kindness truly random – write the names of a few different ones down on a notepad, close your eyes and place your finger on the pad – and you have your choice!
10. Volunteer and make your small act bigger
Maybe you want to do something a little bigger and use your time in lockdown to build skills and boost your own wellbeing further. We have so many brilliant volunteering opportunities for you to explore, including Post Pals - this opportunity will see you writing cards and letters to seriously ill children, a simple and yet hugely beneficial act. Or have a look at Be My Eyes - you will provide visual assistance to someone with impaired sight over a video call and help them to carry out everyday tasks. Any of our volunteering opportunities will benefit the person or organisation you are helping and provide yourself with a wellbeing boost - check out all the opportunities for more inspiration.
11. Donate to help someone with medical treatment - you could save a life!
Why not donate money to help someone with their medical treatment and assist in covering the bills? Depending on the treament and geography, medical assistance can be high, so providing even a little help can go a long way. Just Giving has a page dedicated to this and you can choose from lots of different funding requests. Some people need to travel to other countries to get specialist treatment and to access new treatments that are sometimes still in trials and not widely available - this incurs travel and residence costs as well as treatment. This doesn't mean giving huge donations though - anything is something and will be greatly appreciated. Read a few different stories and see which one captures your heart.
What kind act do you have in store? Post about it on Instagram, tag @covunistudents and use the hashtags in the image above.