It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day today (Friday 17th February), which is part of Random Acts of Kindness Week!
This fantastic initiative was started by The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, a small non-profit whose motto is to ‘make kindness the norm®’.
Established and based in the US, The Foundation was set up after ‘a reporter noted that people should stop reporting on “random acts of violence” and start ‘practicing random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty’’. It follows a simple framework: ‘Inspire -> Empower -> Act -> Reflect -> Share’ and creates a variety of digital resources, activities, and more to ‘help make kindness the norm® in schools, at home and at work’.
Being kind has a powerful effect, not only on the person you’re being kind to, but also for yourself. And this is backed up by research! According to a recent study conducted in the US, people suffering with anxiety and depression saw an improvement in their symptoms after they incorporated small acts of kindness into their days.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, other studies have found that being kind can ‘improve your mood and increase your self-esteem and happiness’.
The Mental Health Foundation says that ‘kindness is choosing to do something that helps others or yourself, motivated by genuine warm feelings.’ And being kind can be anything from volunteering, raising money for charity (or other good causes), holding a door or lift open for someone, offering to take a photo of someone struggling with a selfie, or paying a stranger a compliment!
But The Mental Health Foundation also highlights that there are things we should remember when doing something out of kindness…
The act of kindness should be something that we enjoy, but at the same time we need to be mindful that we are doing something kind for another person’s benefit. So, it’s important to remember the other person’s feelings, and make sure what we do will help them.
However, whatever we do to help someone, they highlight that we also mustn’t lose sight of ourselves. So, the acts of kindness should be something manageable, in order not to increase stress levels or be something that could become overwhelming.
From cake sales to Tough Mudder, we raised over £8,000 for two amazing charities – Don’t Lose Hope and Cardiomyopathy. And we will be continuing our charitable fundraising into 2023, in support of a new charity, The Menopause Charity.
However, inspired by some of the ILX team and this Guardian article by Emma Beddington, we are also pledging to doing some random acts of kindness over the whole of 2023.
And so far, we are delighted that some individuals within the team have pledged to:
We’ll then track our success throughout the year and take pictures, where possible – so keep an eye out on our social channels to learn more about our random acts of kindness over the year!