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Random Acts of Kindness Week 2021

MIT's annual Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week is scheduled for March 1-5, 2021.

While MIT (and the world) have had a challenging 12 months, we are grateful and inspired by our vibrant community and the creative ways we've found to come together during the Covid-19 pandemic. This RAK Week will build upon existing well-being efforts and create spaces for MIT community members to feel supported and cared for.

What is Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week?

At MindHandHeart, we define kindness as being caring, respectful, inclusive, supportive, considerate, and doing good things for others. RAK Week is an opportunity for our entire campus community to come together (virtually and in-person) through loosely planned events and spontaneous acts of generosity called "RAK Hacks." It is a chance to intentionally practice kindness during the week and inspire kindness all year round. We invite you to join us and Spread the Heart MIT!

Check out our full list of tips for celebrating RAK Week as an individual or a department, lab, or center.

Download the RAK Week poster and RAK Week banner.

RAK Week Programming

This RAK Week, MindHandHeart is launching a gratitude challenge and a meditation challenge as well as events and programming related to self-compassion and burnout. Check them out below:

Self-Care Events

MindHandHeart, Student Mental Health and Counseling Services, Community Wellness, and Human Resources are holding three events on self-care and well-being.  

Monday, March 1, 12:30-1pm EST
Presenter: Zan Barry, PsyD (Community Wellness)
Gratitude, self-compassion, and stress management practices have been researched for their value in difficult times. During this workshop, we will practice gratitude, self-compassion, and relaxation techniques, and other inspiring skills to help with self-care. 

Preventing Burnout
Wednesday, March 3, 12:-1pm EST
Presenter: Maryam Khodadoust, PsyD (SMH&CS)   
Do you work in fits and spurts around deadlines? Do you keep promising yourself to do things differently, but have a hard time transitioning to a healthier pacing? Attend this workshop and learn strategies to break out of the cycle of fits and spurts. You will learn specific strategies to shift to a healthier pace and maybe even enjoy your academic/work journey!

Appreciation, Positivity, and the Way Forward
Friday, March 5, 12-1pm EST
Presenter: Scott K. Rolph (Human Resources)
Research has identified tremendous benefits for individuals and teams from both the act of appreciation and adopting a positive mindset. This workshop will highlight those benefits and make the case for being intentional about appreciation and positivity in the workplace. It will provide an opportunity for you to identify and celebrate individual and team strengths and accomplishments. It will invite you to consider -- from a positive, future focused frame of mind -- how what's good and going well represent a launchpad to an opportunity-filled future.

Gratitude Challenge

Actively practicing gratitude can help to foster resilience and self-compassion. MindHandHeart and Community Wellness invite you to participate in a 5-day Gratitude Challenge. Simply follow the instructions on the posters and participate at your own pace. Download the posters here.

MIT Meditation Challenge

The MIT Meditation Challenge is a month-long opportunity for the MIT community to join together in the practice of meditation. It will provide experienced meditators with a chance to deepen their practice and introduce new meditators the practice. Participants will be entered in to win prizes ranging from coloring books to meditation cushions. Sign up at meditationlab.mit.edu

Ways to Participate in RAK Week

  • Write an encouraging note to a friend or colleague.
  • Send a positive text message to three people.
  • Make homemade treats and share them with others.
  • Volunteer in your community- virtually or in-person.
  • Send flowers to some unexpectedly.
  • Create your own "RAK Hacks."
  • Connect with support resources on campus.
  • Attend virtual RAK Week events.
  • Be kind to yourself. Take 20 minutes to do something you love.
  • Follow the RAK Week action on MindHandHeart's Facebook page and at #MITRAK.