17 Things You Can Do For National Random Acts of Kindness Day

Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day! While we hope that you practise kindness 365 days a year, sometimes it is good to have a little reminder and push in the right direction – so use this day to do just that!

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be kind and spread positivity but if you are stuck for ideas, below we have listed 17 easy ways you can brighten up someone’s day!

1. Compliment someone. 
Give someone a confidence boost, you might make their whole day!

2. Hold a door open for someone.
But maybe with more enthusiasm than this GIF displays.

3. Let someone in front of you in a queue.
No matter how badly you need that mid-morning coffee.

4. Volunteer your time to a good cause.
Even if you only have one hour a week going spare – your help can make all the difference.

5. Make someone a cuppa!
Because the best things in life are free TEA!

6. Call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while to see how they are doing.
Our busy lives mean that sometimes weeks, even months can pass before we realise we haven’t spoken to certain friends or family members for way too long. Give gramps a call. Go on.

 7. Pick up litter in the street and throw it in the bin.
It might not be your mess, but it’s definitely your world so help keep it clean.

8. Smile at people.
It’s contagious – but in a good way.

9. Leave positive post-it notes for people to find.
Because nothing says it better than a sticky note.

10. Leave a small amount of change in a vending machine.
Just imagine the difference a free choccy bar could make to your day…

11. Buy a piece of Ditch the Label merchandise and help support young people through bullying.
Head to store.ditchthelabel.org if you wanna look AND feel awesome.

12. Leave a nice comment on a friends profile picture.
Basically, point number one but for the virtual world.

13. Forgive someone.
Forgiving: It’s easier said than done, right? When someone hurts or betrays you, it is natural to feel upset, or angry and it is incredibly hard to let go of such painful feelings – especially if you feel that someone has broken your trust. But honestly, holding a grudge does nothing to change or improve the situation and carrying around feelings of anger or resentment, will only cause harm to your own mental well-being in the long run. So be kind to yourself and someone else – let it go!

14. Speak to someone you think might be lonely.
The internet has made connecting and communication with others easier, and more accessible than ever before. You would think it impossible to feel lonely in this day and age, considering the amount of time we dedicate to interacting with other people on social media. But it seems this replacement of physical contact with virtual contact is leaving us feeling isolated; we are suffering a loneliness epidemic, and it is an increasing problem in modern life.

15. Genuinely thank someone for something they might have done to help you.
Because a heartfelt thanks means so much and requires so little.

16. Offer to carry someone’s bag.
If they look like they are struggling, channel your inner Hulk and help them out!

17. Offer up your seat on public transport.
Multitask and simultaneously work those leg muscles whilst being kind!

YouTuber Brenna Burk blogs about life with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Years ago, if you’d asked me what OCD is, I would have given you one of two answers: “Isn’t that where people organise stuff a lot?” or “I don’t know, I’ve never heard of it.” If you ask me today, however, you’re in for a much longer, detailed, and knowledgeable explanation, because I was diagnosed with this disorder approximately eight years ago.

Before I go into detail about my mental health, let me introduce myself. My name is Brenna Burk, I’m a 19 year old college student from the United States of America, and I am probably the most smiley and fun loving person you’ll meet. I grew up playing sports and dancing, which developed into a passion for fitness and personal health/nutrition; something I now regularly practice to create a better version of myself everyday. I also really enjoy the arts – in so many different forms – drawing, writing, film, and makeup, the last two being a merged passion that turned into one of my most exciting hobbies – my YouTube channel. If you happen to be a girly girl, or are just bored enough to watch me talk, you can check my channel out with the link provided with this post.

Now that you know a little about me, let’s move onto the reason you’ve arrived at this post: my OCD.

I had just finished sixth grade when one certain event during that summer (that I don’t tend to discuss, but am willing to in more personal situations) made me feel immensely guilty. Being so young, the only type of guilt I’d ever experienced was the kind where you steal your sister’s toy and then lie about it to your parents. But I felt in my naive heart that this was something new, something so heavy that I couldn’t keep it to myself. I told my mum, via email. Yes, email. I couldn’t face the confession of this horrid feeling in person. This was the turning point of my mental health; I went from carefree to guilty as could be. I felt guilt over everything – and I mean everything.

“I felt guilt over everything – and I mean everything.”

 

As the days went by, I started getting more and more intrusive thoughts about everyday actions that my mind told me I should feel so shameful about that it made me sick. That one email to my mum turned into multiple per day, until one day I broke down and felt frantic because the amount of confessions I felt I needed to make to her were more than I could keep up with. These thoughts (the “obsessions”) not only manifested themselves in these confessions I speak of (the “compulsions”), but in weird ways that I couldn’t explain. I had to take nine steps in the living room. I had to count all stairs. I had to look over my shoulder six times. I had to stop breathing if I looked at someone that had a disease or was injured, because I thought breathing while laying my eyes on that person would give me their health problem (and I’ll admit, this is still one of my compulsions to this day).

“I had to take nine steps in the living room. I had to count all stairs. I had to look over my shoulder six times”

 

My mum eventually sought counselling for me, which was absolutely the right thing to do, but I stopped going soon into my treatment because I felt it was too shameful to talk about my thoughts. I do remember that in my first couple of sessions, that counsellor was able to diagnose me because my symptoms were so severe and obvious. By the time 8th grade rolled around, I was feeling lots better and I was convinced the OCD had mostly gone…wrong. So wrong. Fast forward to my junior year, where it came on stronger than ever before, and my confessions were aimed at my then-boyfriend this time around. I repeated the my past actions and I stopped going to my counsellor. I am not proud of that, but I can thankfully say my confessions have eased up again. I did, however, decide to start attending therapy again in my freshman year of college to address my depression and general anxiety, and I’m happy to say that this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. Finding the right therapist who relates to you deeply can make a world of a difference. Though I’ve come a long way, I still carry excessive and unnecessary amount of guilt, shame, and self doubt with me. To this day, I continue to live in fear that another episode of constantly confessing will haunt me in the future.

[full-width-figure image=”https://www.ditchthelabel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/unnamed-15.jpg”]

 

Now, at 19, I can say I’ve learned so much about OCD and its ability to make your mind take over your body. I’ve learned how immensely isolating it is to feel like you are living a double life, putting up a front for everyone around you while your head spins with self-destructive madness. I’ve learned that OCD is so powerful, and even more terrifying, because it truly feels like you have lost control over your own actions. Like I said, I’m doing loads better now, but I still have little compulsions everyday that simply feel routine now after all these years.

“Finding the right therapist who relates to you deeply can make a world of a difference”

 

If you suffer from OCD or love someone who does and you’ve read this far into my story, you’re probably begging me to reveal the magic cure. I resent to tell you that there isn’t one, but I will tell you the number one thing that has helped me to cope and get past my ugly, dark thoughts: Every time they invade my mind, I say to myself that it is the anxiety talking. This is not Brenna, this is OCD. It is trying to convince me that I don’t have the power and strength to not give into my compulsions. It wants to take me over, but I will not let it. Accepting my thoughts and resisting my compulsions, as frustratingly difficult as it is, is the thing that has healed me most. I’ll also tell you what has been the most challenging part of having OCD, and that is loving myself. I want to say I have learned how to, but the guilt and shame that comes with this disorder makes it feel nearly impossible. With that being said, though, I want to beg you to never stop trying to love yourself. I have made a promise to myself that I won’t give up on trying, even on the days where there is not an ounce of progress in sight. As humans, we give so much love to the people and things that matter to us. They all deserve love, just as every being on this planet does… so tell me, why don’t you? You would never rip someone else to pieces, pick out their every flaw, and tell them they are not worthy of love, so why do you do this to yourself? Next time you look in the mirror and start the self destruction, think about the questions I just asked you. I hope more than anything that you will find the power to love yourself someday.

Let me reintroduce myself: My name is Brenna Burk, I’m a 19 year old college student from the United States of America, I am probably the most smiley and fun loving person you’ll meet, and… I have obsessive compulsive disorder. I left this out the first time I introduced myself to you, as I do with every other person I meet. Why? Because as much as OCD feels like a part of me, one thing I will never do is let it define me. This disorder and I have driven a long path together, but I’ll never stop fighting it- even if this road trip lasts the rest of my life.

We interviewed Thomas Turgoose, star of British drama, This Is England

DtL: Hi Thomas, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into acting?

Thomas: When I was younger I was raised in really rough areas – living with just my mum and my oldest brother, Karl. As a stubborn kid, I didn’t like being told what to do so I never really spent much time in school and would bunk off most days. I used to go to this centre called the Space Project which was a group for kids who struggled to fit in with normal school. I spent most of my younger days there with some of the most important people I have ever met. One day, I saw a huge crowd of people outside the centre – my instant thought was ‘is there a fight going on?’ – but it was Shane Meadows and Des Hamilton casting for a film. Des asked me if I wanted to audition, (something I had never done before in my life!) so I decided to charge Des a fiver as I thought I’d never be on telly and at least wanted something for my time. Des then went back and showed the tape to Shane, telling him how cheeky and real I was. After all, I had always been told from a young age, don’t ever be anyone but yourself for anybody. Shane Meadows then came down to Grimsby to meet me and my mum and, from that day, my life totally changed for the better. I owe Shane everything.

DtL: If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? 

Thomas: Mate, don’t stand on lego – it hurts.

“Never let anybody tell you that you can’t achieve something”

 

DtL: What advice would you give to others who may be experiencing bullying? 

Thomas: My view with these things is that – although it’s easier said than done – it is possible. If someone or a group of people are treating you differently, you can’t control it – but what you can control is your reaction. I always say, never let anybody tell you that you can’t achieve something. Try your hardest to keep going and ignore them.

Thomas Turgoose
Thomas (aged 13) in This Is England

DtL: What are your most prominent challenges and how do you overcome them?

Thomas: I think in life everyone, at some point, comes across something they see as a challenge. But then, what would life be if you never left your comfort zone or took on challenges? I’d rather remember the times I tried and failed than the times I gave up before I tried.

“What would life be if you never left your comfort zone or took on challenges?”

 

DtL: What has been your proudest moment so far?

Thomas: For me, my proudest moment is an easy one. While filming This Is England, my late mother managed to spend every day on set with me. Unfortunately, my mother passed away at the end of 2005 – so sadly she never got to see the finished film. However, Shane had made a short 4/5minute clip and he showed it to a select few people in his trailer and my mum was one of them. She watched and cried her eyes out, bless her. Easily the proudest moment knowing my mum could see a future for me.

DtL: What are the best/worst things that come with being famous?

Thomas: This question comes up a lot with interviews and to be honest the word ‘famous’ doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s strange sometimes, being out and about when people recognise you and, of course, it’s flattering to be appreciated for my work. But what annoys me is that there are plenty of doctors, nurses, firemen etc out there and they don’t get this treatment when they are saving lives every single day.

Sex. It’s funny, it’s exciting and it’s part of growing up. It’s natural to be curious and to want to explore your sexuality with people you fancy.

In fact, almost 4 in 10 of us admit to sending a naked photo of ourselves at least once, according to The Wireless Report 2014. The fact of the matter is that ideally, we’d like to live in a world where we could explore our sexuality safely, but unfortunately we’re not quite there yet. 24% of those who have sent a naked photo have had it shared without their consent with other people. Some have even had it posted publicly online for the entire world to see. The impact of that can be absolutely catastrophic on self-esteem, mental health, relationships and future career prospects. Ultimately, we advise that you don’t do it – however if you are going to do it, our experts have shared their top tips for doing it safely:

Naked photos – doing it safely

Don’t do it if you don’t want to: it’s important to never do something that you feel uncomfortable doing. If you’re being pressured into it, please stop and think before you act. Support is always available to you should you need it.

• Your body is beautiful: we all come in different shapes and sizes and take it from us, your body is beautiful. If you are sending images for validation of your beauty, this may conceal an issue with self-esteem.

• What’s the motive? Unfortunately, not everybody is genuine and kind in their motives. You may think that you can trust somebody but we’ve all heard the horror stories. If you’re going to do it – only share images with someone who you completely trust. Remember that you can never be sure who you’re speaking to online.

• Hide your face: along with anything that is distinguishable about you. That way, if your photos are ever shared, people will find it difficult to prove that they are even of you.

• Delete once you’ve done it: it’s never a good idea to leave your naked selfies lying around. Make sure you’ve got secure passcodes and passwords to prevent unauthorised access.

• Never store in the cloud: it’s way too vulnerable. Think of all the recent press.

• Know that it’s okay to say no: your value is in no way defined by your willingness to send a naked picture. If somebody truly respects you, they will understand and will not pressure you.

• Think about distribution: whilst not totally safe, there is a degree of comfort in using an app like Snapchat as opposed to something more permanent. However, don’t be fooled – people CAN download 3rd party apps to store the images without your knowledge.

• Have fun with it: not your thing? We recommend Childline’s Zip It app (available on the app store) – it has loads of funny, alternative and damn right sassy photos that you can send as alternatives.

• Consider the law: if you’re below 18 or chatting to someone below 18, it’s illegal to request, store, produce or distribute any naked photos. Just something to keep in mind.

• Don’t share it: it may seem like a good idea at the time, but we know that the implications of sharing a naked photo can be huge – it can literally ruin lives. Please think twice.

• Speak up: if you have a bad experience, please do not keep it to yourself, it’s natural to be curious about your sexuality. Tell somebody and seek support. Childline are a good start: 0800 11 11.

If you have had a bad experience, or know somebody that has, please speak up. There’s loads of support available in our get help section and in the DTL community and from our friends at Childline on 0800 11 11.

Has someone share a photo of you without your consent? Read this to find out if you’ve been a victim of Revenge Porn and what to do…

In The Wireless Report 2014, we found that 1 in 3 had sent out a naked photo of themselves to someone. We wanted to dig deeper and so we hit the streets of Brighton to find out what the public think about sexting and naked selfies. Here’s what they told us!

If you have had a bad experience with naked selfies, support is ready and waiting for you here.