World Mental Health Day: Pay It Forward, Self-Care, Pandemic – Things you can do to participate!

Published On October 12, 2020 | By Alana | General News, Latest News, News, Opportunities and Events

World Mental Health Day may be over, but it doesn’t mean you can’t keep up the good work! Our Student Access & Inclusion team has put together a list of some ideas for paying it forward and self care! Make sure to tag #mentalhealthpromise if you participate! 

Pay it Forward Kindness Ideas

  1. Pay it Backward: buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
  2. Compliment the first three people you talk to today.
  3. Send a positive text message to five different people right now.
  4. Post inspirational sticky notes around your neighbourhood, office, school, etc.
  5. Tell someone they dropped a dollar (even though they didn’t). Then give them a dollar.
  6. Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter.
  7. Say hi to the person next to you on the elevator.
  8. Surprise a neighbour with freshly baked cookies or treats!
  9. Let someone go in front of you in line who only has a few items.
  10. Leave a gas gift card at a gas pump.
  11. Throw a party to celebrate someone just for being who they are, which is awesome.
  12. Write a recommendation for co-worker or connection.
  13. Leave quarters at the laundromat.
  14. Encounter someone in customer service who is especially kind? Take an extra five minutes to tell their manager.
  15. Leave unused coupons next to corresponding products in the grocery store.
  16. Leave a note on someone’s car telling them how awesome they parked.
  17. Try to make sure every person in a group conversation feels included.
  18. Write a kind message on your mirror with a dry erase marker for yourself, your significant other or a family member.
  19. Place a positive body image notes in jean pockets at a department store.
  20. Smile at five strangers.
  21. Set an alarm on your phone for three different times during the day. In those moments, do something kind for someone else.
  22. Send a gratitude email to a co-worker who deserves more recognition.
  23. Practice self-kindness and spend 30 minutes doing something you love today.
  24. Give away stuff for free on your local ‘buy swap sell’.
  25. Write a gratitude list in the morning and again in the evening.
  26. Know parents who could use a night out? Offer to babysit for free.
  27. Hold up positive signs for traffic or in a park for people exercising outside!
  28. Return shopping carts for people at the grocery store.
  29. Buy a plant. Put it in a terracotta pot. Write positive words that describe a friend on the pot. Give it to that friend!
  30. Write a positive comment on your favourite blog, website, or a friend’s social media account.
  31. Have a clean-up party at a beach or park.
  32. While you’re out, compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is.
  33. Leave a kind server the biggest tip you can afford.
  34. When you’re throwing something away on the street, pick up any litter around you and put that in the trash too.
  35. Pay the toll for the person behind you.
  36. Put 50 paper hearts in a box. On each cut-out write something that is special about someone one each. Give them the box and tell them to pull out a heart when they need a pick-me-up.
  37. Everyone is important. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name.
  38. Write your partner a list of things you love about them.
  39. Purchase extra dog or cat food and bring it to an animal shelter.
  40. Find opportunities to give compliments. It costs nothing, takes no time, and could make someone’s entire day. Don’t just think it. Say it.
  41. Take flowers or treats to the nurses’ station at your nearest hospital.
  42. Keep an extra umbrella at work, so you can lend it out when it rains.
  43. Send a ‘Thank you’ card or note to the officers at your local police or fire station.
  44. Take muffins or cookies to your local librarians.
  45. Run an errand for a family member who is busy.
  46. Leave a box of goodies in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
  47. Tape coins around a playground for kids to find.
  48. Put your phone away while in the company of others.
  49. Email or write to a former teacher who made a difference in your life.
  50. When you hear that discouraging voice in your head, tell yourself something positive — you deserve kindness too!


 Self Care ideas

  1. Do something that makes you happy
  2. Practice breathing techniques
  3. Share only positive things on your social media
  4. Do some adult colouring to alleviate stress and anxiety
  5. Try mindfulness exercises
  6. Repeat positive affirmations
  7. Define new goals each week
  8. Write, write, write (journaling, poetry, bullet journals, etc.)
  9. Create an inspirational collage or Pinterest board 
  10. Allow yourself to express all of your emotions in a safe (and appropriate) environment (journaling is also great for this).
  11. Do something nice for someone else without expecting reciprocation
  12. Refrain from being overly critical of yourself
  13. Unfollow or mute toxic people on social media
  14. Do something creative to release your fear, anxiety, frustration, etc.
  15. Write a letter to people who have hurt you, then burn the letter and let it all go
  16. Declutter and clean up your living space
  17. Avoid toxic people
  18. Take a guilt-free nap
  19. Challenge your negative thinking
  20. Practice saying “no”
  21. Do a workbook for mental health
  22. Change up your routine and try something new
  23. Turn into binaural tones to rewire your brain
  24. Read a book
  25. Meditate for 7 minutes
  26. Try a new hobby
  27. Schedule “me time” into your calendar
  28. Reward yourself
  29. Use adult colouring to unwind and release stress and anxiety
  30. Goof around
  31. Identify your triggers or warning signs that self-care is needed
  32. Listen to a podcast
  33. Do something spontaneous
  34. Unplug from technology for at least an hour
  35. Take a mental health day
  36. Create a to-do list to help clear the mind
  37. Declutter and clean up
  38. Make a playlist based on your current mood
  39. Start a journal to release your thoughts and emotions
  40. Start stretching
  41. Do some breathing exercises
  42. Go for a brisk walk around the block
  43. Do yoga
  44. Stay hydrated
  45. Workout and workout all your emotions
  46. Get a massage
  47. Go hiking and spend some time in nature
  48. Scream loudly into a pillow to let it all out
  49. Dance
  50. Sleep in
  51. Get up, get ready and be prepared for the day

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