Random Acts of Kindness day is celebrated in Aotearoa each year on September 1, with kiwis embracing kindness all across the country.
But this year will be very different with the whole country in L3 and L4 lockdowns.
Typical Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) might usually include buying coffee for another person in line, spending time with someone you might not have seen in a while, or doing some volunteer work.
While many of the usual RAKs might be off the cards, that does not have to mean a halt to acts of kindness. If anything they are more important now than ever!
With lockdown being a stressful time for many, one kind act can go a long way. So we’ve put together a few ideas for how to participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day from afar.
Call a friend or family member
This one may seem obvious, as plenty of our lives over lockdown consist of zoom meetings and phone calls, but actually putting aside some personal time to call a friend or family member who you haven’t spoken with in a while can be great for both of you.
Positive social relationships are extremely beneficial; they promote a sense of belonging, encourage healthy behaviours and overall they tend to make us happy, which is always a good thing.
So give someone a call. Let them know about all the recipes you’ve been trying, the Netflix shows you've been watching, and ask them how they've been doing.
Bake some goodies for your bubble/ your neighbours
Who doesn’t love a bit of baking? This Random Acts of Kindness Day, you may have extra time on your hands, which could be spent baking treats to share with your bubble or neighbours (with 2m social distancing in place).
Our charity partners at Good Bitches Baking are all about showing kindness in the community through delicious treats. On their blog they have shared some favourite recipes like classic New Zealand lolly cake, ginger crunch and a plum cake. Whip up one of their recipes from home and give someone a sweet surprise.
Put messages or toys in the window for passersby to see
Hunting for teddy bears in the neighbourhood makes daily walks more entertaining, for children and for adults! It puts smiles on everyone’s faces - and you can be as creative as you like with it. Today's a good day to pull out the teddies (or get creative and make one from household items) and get them on show.
An empowering message displayed in your window could also be a good idea. Seeing phrases like “Kia kaha,” “Stay safe NZ” and “Don’t forget to spread your legs” (thanks Chris Hipkins, we will!) all boost the mood for any passersby, as well as bringing you some joy over lockdown.
Donate to a charity
While it feels as if the country ground to a halt, with many businesses closed until lockdowns are over, many charities are doing even more than usual to make sure that people (and animals!) who need extra help receive it during this time.
You may not be spending money on your usual outings like coffee dates, going out for dinner and going to events, and instead you could opt to donate to causes you care about.
The Good Registry makes it easy to start donating with our 60+ NZ charity partners to choose from - you can create a registry if you have a birthday or another special event coming up, or give a Good Gift Card to someone you care about so they also have the joy of giving to causes they care about (they're electronic so you can grab one and send it today).
Show a tremendous amount of kindness to yourself
While Random Acts of Kindness Day is all about being kind to strangers, it is also important to do kind things for yourself, especially during lockdown. Take some time out to watch your favourite movie, go for a walk in nature, make your favourite meal, and do the things that you enjoy.
Looking for more ideas?
Head over to the Random Acts of Kindness NZ website to see a full list of kindness acts to do in lockdown, and see how many you can participate in.
And if you'd like to make a donation to any of our charity partners on Random Acts of Kindness Day (or any day), head over to our #KindnessFromHome page.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay kind.
- By Courtney Ellingham Prebble