Kindness isn't just good for others—science shows it's good for you too. According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, people who perform acts of kindness for others tend to have higher well-being and a greater sense of happiness than others. The study also showed that people who practice kindness have higher self-esteem and a higher sense of self-efficacy (belief in your capacity to achieve a goal).
With World Kindness Day quickly approaching, now is the time to start planning how to celebrate this milestone. In this blog post, we'll share some background information on this occasion and give you ideas on how you can celebrate World Kindness Day as a nurse.
What Is World Kindness Day?
World Kindness Day is an international holiday meant to celebrate kindness worldwide. The purpose of this day is to help everyone understand the importance of being friendly, generous, and compassionate—in other words, kind—to one another. On this day, individuals and groups pledge to perform acts of kindness and promote goodwill in their communities.
While World Kindness Day is celebrated globally, it is especially significant in some countries, including Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia, the USA, France, and others, whose governments have officially recognized the day.
When Is World Kindness Day?
World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on November 13.
Here's the history of World Kindness Day: In 1998, the World Kindness Movement launched World Kindness Day to inspire people to be kinder worldwide. The organization—independent from any religious or cultural group—was started by several kindness groups from around the world whose members gathered in Tokyo in 1997 for a conference on kindness.
Now, people everywhere celebrate World Kindness Day by participating in acts of kindness and encouraging goodwill.
How to Celebrate World Kindness Day
If you're looking to celebrate World Kindness Day in your community, here are a few ideas to inspire your actions:
- If you're feeling generous, consider paying for coffee for the person behind you in a drive-thru or coffee shop. Often, actions like these can inspire chain reactions with the person you've treated deciding to treat the next person too.
- What causes are you passionate about? Take the time to reach out to a community organization to explore if volunteering can be a good mutual fit.
- If you have the means to donate to a cause you care about, World Kindness Day is an excellent opportunity to put your money where your mouth is when supporting charities and non-profits doing meaningful work. Charities often prefer receiving smaller, recurring donations to one-off large donations, so consider splitting your donation amount to help organizations plan and budget accordingly.
- Go through your phone contacts and send a message to those you're grateful for, people going through difficult times, or anyone you feel called to reconnect with. A simple text out of the blue can make someone's day.
- Look for opportunities to help strangers throughout the day. You can help someone carry their groceries or give directions to someone who seems lost.
- Take a moment to think of the people in your life who are important to you. Sometimes, saying a prayer for them or sending them good vibes is all it takes to put positive energy into the world—an act of kindness.
In need of more ideas? Inspire Others, an organization on a mission to inspire the world's largest kindness movement, has more ideas you can practice on World Kindness Day.
How to Celebrate It in a Hospital
As a nurse, you play a fundamental role in the recovery and holistic well-being of others. Whether making sure a patient is comfortable or helping their loved ones advocate on their behalf, your everyday work involves being kind to others and prioritizing their welfare. To mark World Kindness Day, your patients, colleagues, or employers may celebrate your work.
Nurses are often compassionate, so it's no surprise that you may be looking to celebrate World Kindness Day in your hospital or another clinical setting. Here are a few ideas for World Kindness Day that you can incorporate into your workplace:
- Consider buying coffee or other treats for your fellow nurses. You know first-hand how working as a nurse can cause stress, fatigue, and burnout. While healthy work environments for nurses are crucial, everyone wants to be appreciated—and a simple way to do this is by letting your nursing colleagues know you're thinking of them on this day.
- Leave encouraging notes for patients or their loved ones. You can write personalized notes to those you know might need the pick-me-up. You can also print inspirational quotes for hope and healing on small cards to share with others. This act of kindness can be what someone needs when they're anxious or physically, mentally, or emotionally unwell due to the stress and reality of being ill.
- Give compliments to others. Words of affirmation can support your patient or colleague to get through the day. Whether it's an encouraging word or a compliment, it's a simple way to show a kind gesture to others.
Finally, remember to be kind to yourself. If you've been neglecting yourself or feeling guilty about prioritizing or treating yourself, take World Kindness Day as an opportunity to show yourself the compassion you show others.