National Be Nice Day & National Do Something Nice Day are both celebrated on October 5th. They provide the ideal opportunity to discuss as a family what it means to be nice and how our actions impact our communities. Take a look at some great ways to recognize Be Nice Day.
Small Is Good
Small acts of kindness can reap big rewards. Encourage your children to look for little ways they can serve others on this day. Some ideas might include:
• Smiling at others
• Sharing a cookie at lunch
• Complimenting a friend
• Helping a teacher with a task at school
• Cleaning a room at home
• Folding laundry
Teach your children that niceness is contagious. If they are nice to others, those people will be inspired to pass it along. Soon their whole community will be nicer, kinder, and happier.
Big Is Okay, Too
If you have time to plan a larger activity for National Do Something Nice Day, that is just fine, too. There are many organizations that would appreciate your volunteer time. You can also check local news outlets to learn about any community events planned for the day.
Here are some ideas that take more organization and adult input:
1. Team appreciation - If there's a favorite custodian, secretary, or other support staff that deserves recognition, this is a good time to honor them. Put together a brunch or gift basket with input from all the team.
2. Love the planet - Plant trees. Plant a garden. Pick up litter. For all of these projects, the more people on board, the merrier. Children can be a part of this, too.
3. Volunteer after school - Put together a fun after-school activity for at-risk youth.
4. Throw a dinner party - Have good friends over for an old-fashioned dinner party. Don't forget to play games afterward.
Sometimes the nicest thing we can do is simply offer support. If you know someone struggling with teenagers, lend a listening ear. If you have colleagues trying to advance their careers, write complimentary letters that can go in their files.
There is so much an individual can do to lift another person. Take a good look at your inner circle. There is surely someone who can use emotional and mental support at this time.
The Benefits of Being Nice
It seems so obvious, doesn't it? Just be nice. However, as society becomes increasingly polarized, common civility and plain old niceness are harder to find.
National Be Nice Day is a good time to revisit the benefits niceness brings to our communities. Studies have shown that the positive effects of kindness benefit not just the recipient of the act, but everyone who witnessed it as well. These observers are then more likely to be nicer to others.
Being nice has a physical effect on your body. Both performing and witnessing acts of kindness can increase the following:
1. Oxytocin - Also called the "love hormone," oxytocin increases feelings of self-esteem and optimism. It lowers blood pressure, too.
2. Energy levels - Being nice gives your energy a boost. You'll feel stronger throughout the day.
3. Serotonin - You can feel happier and calmer after performing acts of kindness.
4. Feelings of Pleasure - Your brain's pleasure centers light up when you do a good deed. This is sometimes called a "helper's high."
In addition, niceness decreases pain, stress, depression, and anxiety. People who regularly perform nice acts have more endorphins and less cortisol, the stress hormone. Observing National Be Nice Day is a great way to improve your personal health.
Start at Home
Of course, the most important place to just be nice is in your own home. Start the celebration with your family. Show your children through your own behavior what it means to be nice.
Self-care is part of being nice. Do you have a list of things that never seem to get done? You could choose one of them on National Do Something Nice Day and complete it.
Think about activities such as tidying your workspace, meditation, or reading a book. Whatever connotes self-care to you is fair game. Showing your children how to take care of your own needs is healthy parenting.
Ask your children what they can do to be nice to other family members. Don't forget the pets. They can be the recipients of kind acts, too. Encourage children to think of others first on this special day.
Taking care of your physical health is a part of being nice to yourself. It's too easy to let regular physical and dental checkups slide. The Pediatric Dental Group would love to be a part of your National Be Nice Day celebrations.
Whether you and your family need a checkup and cleaning or have a dental emergency, the doctors at Pediatric Dental Group are here for you. Schedule your appointment today.