Editor’s note: Every month, the experts at Ravenwood Heath share a Club Ink blog post about a facet of mental health. This month, Development Director Kristine Frankenberry writes about the value of kindness. Perfect for February – and every other month! By the way, Feb. 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. Celebrate with kindness.
One thing I know for sure is that Ravenwood Health takes pride in our partnerships. We embrace the missions of organizations that share the same values as we do when engaging with our community.
Personally, I’ve learned that there is a special day, eventful week, or memorable month out there to touch on any compassionate cause you can imagine. Take February. Did you know that the second full week of this short month should be filled with Random Acts of Kindness? Oh, that’s what RAK means? Yup. It’s a thing. It’s an international foundation you can check out online.
I’ve lived in Northeast Ohio all my life. February is tough on our mind, body, and soul. It’s cold. It’s dreary. The nights seem longer than our days. What better way to pull ourselves up than to be kind to others? RAK it up, folks! It’s scientifically beneficial for you, your friends, family, and colleagues. Need proof? Check this video:
This may seem overwhelming at first. You may be thinking, “a daily RAK? I don’t even have time to stop, close my eyes and take a deep breath!” I am confident in saying that if you’re still reading my rambling, you’ve most definitely completed a RAK, without even realizing it. It’s become part of your routine. Have you ever smiled at a stranger and they’ve smiled back at you? That’s all it takes!
“Compassion and kindness also reduce stress, boost our immune systems, and help reduce negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression.” (Shoba Sreenivasan, Ph.D., Linda E. Weinberger, Ph.D. – Emotional Nourishment, Psychology Today). As I write this, it’s 56°F outside and SUNNY! I’m going to embrace this day and carry it forward through the days we dip back down below freezing.
The opportunities are endless on how you can become engaged in your own Random Acts of Kindness.
- Take a twenty-minute walk with a coworker during your lunch hour. Get away from your work station!
- Hug your children just a little bit longer tomorrow morning. Even if they roll their eyes at you.
- Call an old friend. Really call them on the phone. No texting.
- Buy that coffee for the person behind you in line. They will pay it forward in some way, shape, or form.
- Research a local nonprofit. Become a service advocate, a program volunteer, or a donor to their cause.
I won’t list any further. You can Google a million ideas to get started. Ready? Go!
I’m always thinking philanthropically, so I recommend this short read Asking by Jerold Panas.