Week 18: Becoming a RAKTIVIST! Spreading kindness with Random Acts of Kindness
Did you know there are scientifically proven benefits to being kind? “If you perform just one random act of kindness a day it reduces stress, anxiety, stress and depression, AND your body is flooded with the same hormones that make you, and the person you’ve helped, calmer, healthier and happier (serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin)…” so began my journey into the world of RandomActsOfKindness.Org…
This week I want to focus on simple acts of charity and kindness you can accomplish from anywhere. You’ve got a hectic schedule between work, travel, chores, kids, etc….? Weave kindness and charity into your day – just once a day – and you’ll feel more energized and peaceful. BUT HOW? How can you fit ONE MORE THING into your already-packed day ?!?!
Do it on your terms – simple and intentional steps – and the organization Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation has PLENTY of ideas to help you get started and stay motivated.
This Denver-based nonprofit is not just focused on making kindness the norm in society, they want to make the Earth the kindest planet in the UNIVERSE!
Ideas range from things you can do at work or on the soccer field (like helping others carry items and taking time to listen to stories), to performing small acts such as giving out small gift cards for a coffee and leaving little notes of encouragement in public places.
They also include ideas for self-care like learning a new skill and going for a hike – because acts of kindness don’t always have to be focused on others. It’s important to take care of ourselves so we can maintain a healthy emotional and physical state in order to pour love on others!
One of the things I love the best about the organization is the focus on teaching children about charity, gratitude and giving back. Their “Kindness in the Classroom” curriculum is a FREE, evidence-based K-8 curriculum kit that is designed around intentional kindness as part of helping children develop gratitude, resilience, self-awareness, sense of community and more. It is a series of flexible lessons which are divided into a variety of activities and take about 30 – 50 minutes once a week. They come will additional project ideas and are aligned with the Common Core State Standards as well as the Collaborative For Academic and Social and Emotional Learning Standards.
You can access the FREE lesson plans here: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/for-educators
They also have awesome free posters for classrooms which promote traits of kindness such as integrity, perseverance, respect and more, and you can print awards, bookmarks and more for each student!
You can access the FREE classroom posters (in English and Spanish) and other collateral here: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/printables
I decided to give some of their kindness activities a go, and looked through their “get inspired” page for ideas and did an act of kindness each weekday this week:
- Monday – Donated gently used children’s books to a local battered women’s shelter
- Tuesday – Drew and decorated two fancy bookmarks with mermaids and left them with a little note of kindness on a table in the local library
- Wednesday – Left two $5 gift cards with a note to “have a great day and pass on the happiness” in the local laundromat
- Thursday – left a “thank you” note to my mail carrier in our mailbox
- Friday – gave a plant to the receptionist at work with a note thanking them for being the “first impression” of the Firm
It did not take much time to perform these acts. I typically did them before work so they really started my day with a feeling of excitement and joy, which was refreshing! I think the acts did more for me than for the recipients!
For a list of inspirational ideas to get you motivated to act out in kindness, check out: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas
RAK is funded by a private endowment and does not accept public or private donations, however, you can let them know what actions you are doing and you can apply to be a RAKTIVIST – someone who lives and breathes kindness, shares knowledge and leads by example!
Check out the ideas and let me know which acts you have chosen and how you are spreading kindness in the world and weaving it into your life!