Family Service Kent is following the lead of the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation and our neighbours at the WindsorEssex Community Foundation. As this week marks the first ever national Kindness Week across Canada, we invite you to help us make kindness the norm from February 13 to 19!
Now, more than ever, we could all use a little kindness in our lives. What might surprise you, is that research shows kindness is also good for our health! Practicing kindness, along with patience, can increase wellbeing, help individuals and communities cope better with pandemic challenges, and overcome pandemic fatigue. Acts of kindness can also improve overall health by activating feel-good brain chemicals, bolstering the mind, easing chronic pain, and strengthening immunity. Other health benefits include lifting your mood, protecting your heart, and slowing biological aging. Stay well and be kind CK!
Colouring is a great opportunity to begin the week with some self-care kindness. By practicing mindful colouring, or even just expressing your creative side, you are making some time for yourself. Mindful colouring is inclusive, it’s open to anyone of any skill level, there is little to no cost involved with it. Benefits of mindful colouring include reduced anxiety and stress, improvements to sleep and focus as well as increased fine motor skills. Colour yourself happy today and make kindness the norm!
Today’s Kindness Idea: Join the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s first annual coloring contest! 5 entries will randomly be selected to receive a prize pack valued over $100: RAK Day poster, lapel pin, a 2022 Kindness Calendar along with a Make Kindness the Norm sweatshirt, water bottle and baseball hat! Download a coloring sheet and instructions here.
Like love, kindness is contagious. Witnessing kindness inspires kindness, causing it to spread like a virus! It not only impacts the receiver, but also the giver and observer of the kind acts. ‘Catching’ kindness is not limited to face-to-face interaction, but spreads online too. Research has also shown that kindness spreads through others, and that every kind act has the potential to triple its impact. One small act of kindness has the potential to cause a ripple effect, and this is an ‘R number we would like to increase!
Today’s Kindness Idea: Give an envelope with a gift card to a locally owned tea/coffee shop to a friend with a note inviting them to take some relaxing time. You can also spread the love by purchasing some gift cards to distribute to strangers or to hide in the community!
Kindness may be “contagious”, but did you know that good deeds can also lead to better immune function and decrease stress responses? Even a simple smile can have healing powers because when we smile, oxytocin is produced in our brain and throughout our body. Oxytocin releases nitric oxide in the blood vessels, expanding the vessels and helping lower blood pressure. In a Harvard University study, researchers discovered what they dubbed the “Mother Teresa Effect”: Simply witnessing acts of kindness (such as those performed by Mother Teresa) may have a positive physiological response, improving immune function. Showing kindness is easy, free and doesn’t require a prescription to realize the health benefits. So not only will a kind act benefit you, but also those around you!
Today’s Kindness Idea: Remember how proud you were of something you did as a child and do it again! Whether you play video games, your guitar, or on the swing set at the park, take some time today to play and be kind to yourself.
Volunteering is the ultimate act of kindness! While volunteering is often thought of as doing something good for others, the fact is that giving your time and expertise is also beneficial to you! Not only does volunteering provide a sense of purpose, but studies also show that people who regularly volunteer are happier and healthier than those who do not and experience less anxiety, depression, and pain. According to Volunteer Canada, volunteering can also play a vital role in healthy aging. Remaining active and staying connected to the community can have a positive impact on a person’s social, physical, and emotional well-being. Take some time today to connect with an organization that is meaningful to you to find out how you can contribute your time and talents!
Today’s Kindness Idea: Take 5 minutes to write a letter or card and mail it to someone who isn’t expecting it. Put a stamp on it and mail it. You could organize a snail mail swap with friends or leave handwritten words of kindness in public places. This simple act of kindness can be meaningful for the giver and receiver.
Thursday, February 17th: Random Act of Kindness Day!
Join FSK in celebrating Random Act of Kindness Day! Celebrate the day with your co-workers, friends, or family. Simply do something nice for someone and ask nothing more than for that person to pay it forward or perform a simple act of kindness for someone and share it on social media. Not sure how to show your kindness or need some ideas? Check out our ideas:
How can you celebrate Random Act of Kindness Day with us?
Friday February 18
Happy Friday! If you want to feel good, doing good is a great place to start. Being kind can go a long way toward improving your emotional wellbeing. Helping others and being kind not only contributes to the happiness of others, it can also help us to feel happier ourselves. Studies have shown that when we do kind things it literally gives our brain a boost, activating its ‘reward centre’ and that feels good. It can take our minds off our own worries too. A 2019 study found that people who performed kindness activities for seven days saw a boost in happiness. The degree to which their happiness increased was directly tied to the number of acts of kindness they performed. What’s more, doing something nice for others helps strengthen social ties and the sense that you’re part of a community, which is especially important as many people are feeling lonely and isolated during the pandemic. Connection is essential for both mental and physical health.
Today’s Kindness Idea: How does kindness bring about connection? Acknowledging another person in a positive way makes the receiver feel valued, establishing a connection. Think of someone who brings joy and happiness into your life. Call, text or write them and let them know their shine brightens your life.