Sure, Valentine’s Day gets the biggest part of the spotlight when it comes to special days in February, with Presidents’ Day and Groundhog Day running neck and neck for second place. But there’s another February event that you might not have heard of, and it’s one that comes with a significant positive impact on your health when you participate.

Random Acts of Kindness Day is on February 17th. It began in Denver, Colorado, in 1995 and quickly gained popularity both nationally and internationally. It’s a celebration with a simple mission, to focus that day on doing small acts of kindness for those around you through kind words and thoughtful gestures.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

Engaging in acts of kindness towards others isn’t just a nice idea; it also creates some great health boosts. Dr. Todd M Ivan, M.D., writes, “A 2016 study shows a connection between giving or helping and the chemical releases in the brain that mimic a euphoric high. This ‘helpers high” shows how generosity can benefit your overall health as much as those who you help.”1 The brain chemicals that are released in showing kindness to others can help alleviate symptoms of depression and can help with symptoms of stress. And that goes for both you and the person you’re helping! It’s a win-win.

“Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
—Scott Adams

So what are some ideas for some random acts of kindness you can do on February 17th? You’re likely familiar with one that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, paying for the person’s coffee behind you in line at your favorite coffee shop, sometimes known as ‘paying it backward.’ But you might also consider some of these ideas:

Compliment someone each hour of the day. Tell someone in the grocery store you like their hat. Compliment your coworker on the picture of their cat on their desk. It doesn’t have to be big or effusive, just a simple acknowledgment of the person. If you do it every hour on the hour for the day, you could end up making up to 16 people feel great!

Leave a positive comment. Take a 10-minute social media tour, take a look at accounts you don’t have any connection to, and leave a positive note. You could make someone’s day and give them a little algorithm boost at the same time.

Like it on LinkedIn. While you’re on the socials, head over to LinkedIn and give a recommendation for someone you’ve worked with.

Elevate the mood on the elevator. We’ve all been there, that awkward silence in the elevator. Be the one to change the vibe on February 17th by saying hello to people and by smiling. You’ll bring up the kindness while climbing the floors.

Take the toll. If you’re traveling on the 17th, pay the toll for the person behind you. It’s the opposite of road rage; it’s street-sweet!

Clean up: While you’re out at the park or in the parking lot, take a couple of minutes to pick up any trash and dispose of it. It’s a kindness you give to the planet while also making a difference for other people.

Share: Altrua Ministries, the ministry under which Altrua HealthShare operates, helps people in times of difficulty and distress. You can make a donation on February 17th to the ministry that will be used to help provide resources and hope for those in challenging situations.

There are just a handful of ways to bring a little more kindness to the world on February 17th. (You can find lots of other ideas at the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.) To help you remember to be intentional on the day, consider setting an alarm on your phone to go off at specific intervals, to remind you to look for a way to spread a little kindness in the world. After all, a little kindness goes a long way.

And this note: the Altrua HealthShare Membership is built on the model of caring for one another by sharing in eligible medical expenses. If you’re already an Altrua HealthShare Member, you’re showing kindness every month and receiving the kindness of others through the Membership for your healthcare needs. If you’re not yet a Member of Altrua HealthShare and would like to learn more about how the Membership cares for each other, you can contact a Member Services Representative (1.855.992.9223) or visit the website to learn more.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:22