Have you been looking for an excuse to surprise a friend or stranger with a little bit of joy? Look no further than today, February 17, which is National Random Acts of Kindness Day! This day originated in New Zealand but has quickly spread around the world as an ideal way to spread kindness in a world that is often focused on their own lives. Instead, this day is a reminder that it can be a small and easy step to brighten someone’s day.
It could be as simple as paying ahead for the person behind you in the drive-thru during your daily coffee run or as complex as getting groceries for an elderly neighbor that has trouble getting out (especially during the pandemic). Think about someone that may be going through a hard time in their life and decipher what could really make their day special, whether that be giving them a call, bringing them flowers or some baked goods, or even sending them a gift card to a favorite restaurant or store.
You could even come across a stranger and think about a way to help them! Maybe it could be helping them get snow off their car, taking the grocery cart back to the corral for them, leaving a positive note in a public bathroom, or even dropping off food to a local food pantry. There are so many ways to look around and love your neighbor—not only do they make a person’s day brighter and maybe even easier, but they also can help you feel more positive about your own day. Helping others often makes us feel good, because we are bringing the joy into the world that we want to see. You can read more about this topic and how it connects to mental health on our previous posts about Gemeinschaftsgefühl.
Get out there and make the day brighter for you and for others! We here at Olive Branch are proud of you for whatever way you show kindness today and any day.
Written by Emma, 2021 Undergraduate Intern
If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about your life and are in the Chicago area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.