I am excited for February because we get to dive into mindful kindness with the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Challenge.
If you’ve never heard about Random Acts of Kindness before, here is a link to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website, where they have a host of free tools and resources for making kindness a norm in your community and daily life.
At Reyou, we dedicate February to practicing kindness as a mental well-being strategy. We borrowed heavily from the RAK activity calendar and built in some habit formation tools. We add our unique spin on writing and reflection so the learning sticks through strengthening the neuro-connections in your brain responsible for mental resilience.
Kindness is the antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships, according to the UK’s Mental Health Foundation. Maintaining and supporting good mental health and well-being involves integrating kindness into our mental strength, resilience, and conflict transformation toolkit. And, like all other attempts to resource yourself for times when you feel overwhelmed and depleted, everything is a slow, steady, and purposeful practice.
Deliberately integrating acts of kindness into your daily life is an accessible way of bringing more mental well-being into the spaces where people often feel stressed out, lonely, and excluded. The Reyou February Challenge helps you be mindful of kindness's role in transforming our relationships and managing chronic stressors.
Each day in February, we bring you a different challenge activity and reflection question. These activities are only available inside the Reyou Community, and you can request to join the challenge at this link.
The list of daily actions can seem a bit daunting at first glance. So here are five tips to help you get the most out of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge when you join us in the Reyou Community for free in February.
#1. Look ahead. Even though we are unveiling our action steps and the reflection prompts daily in February, we posted the entire month's RAK calendar so everyone can quickly see what’s coming up. By looking ahead at the action items, you can immediately get a sense of what is possible and not possible for you this month. Looking ahead helps you make mental plans about what you can and want to do to feed your sense of well-being.
#2. Take it one day at a time. It’s good to have a plan, but remember that this is not a test, and there is no perfect score. We unveil the daily prompt at 5 AM. But if there is a day when you have a little more on your plate, the kind thing to do is give yourself some grace. If an activity doesn’t work for you that day, know it’s ok to circle back or skip it altogether. You get to choose when and where you put your time. The goal is practice and learning. Not perfection.
#3. Enlist help. One of my favourite things about the RAK Challenge is enlisting my husband and children in as many activities as possible. If you have other people in your household, consider getting them involved by having them drop off donation items. Enlist children and teenagers in projects like creating music playlists, planning a get-together, or visiting elderly neighbours. You can reflect on how others around you helped you show kindness when you answer the questions for the challenge prompt.
#4. Talk about the days you missed. Profound habit formation and neuroplasticity patterns are at play each time you repeat an action. At the end of the day, when you return to the challenge prompt to acknowledge what you did, you help to make your well-being pattern more sticky. If you miss a day or choose not to do one of the actions, it is still essential to take the time to reflect on what was not done. Logging in to the secure Reyou Community network, answering the reflection questions, even on missed days, and engaging with others about their experiences with the prompt are as beneficial as doing the activity yourself.
#5. Remember to have fun! We encourage healthy, friendly competition in our RAK Challenge to remind everyone that learning to support your mental well-being and resilience can be engaging and fun. We make room for imperfection, laughter, cynicism, celebration, and memory-making with our reflection questions. Posting frequent reflections and comments, especially during Random Acts of Kindness Week, gives challenge participants a chance to win mindfulness tools and gifts from the Reyou Gift Shop.
The bottom line:
Remember that every activity for improving mental well-being and resilience unfolds slowly, imperfectly, and with continuous practice. Kindness is no different. The Reyou Random Acts of Kindness Challenge takes action cues from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and adds Reyou’s signature approach to habit formation, writing, reflection, and self-narrative practice.
Join the Reyou Challenge this month to experience the daily doses of mental well-being and connection that come from giving, receiving, and engaging with others about the value of kindness.