Since the pandemic struck there have been countless acts of kindness, all over the globe. Ordinary folk giving their time, friendship and skills to others who were struggling. We have learnt that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope. The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve emotional health.
Offering acts of kindness, like getting some shopping for a neighbour who is self-isolating, or texting a family member you haven’t contacted for ages are not just for one week, they are necessary every day, as part of an ongoing routine. When we start to come out of the pandemic, when our world starts to resemble something like normal again, our caring acts, generosity and kindness will be much needed as people, families, communities start to recover and get back on track.
Kindness During Lockdown
I can appreciate as so many of us are stuck in on lockdown, what kind acts can we carry out from home?
Here are some suggestions:
- Make a cup of tea for someone in your household
- Offer to do a load of laundry, or the washing up
- Spend time playing with your pet
- Offer to a cook a meal
- Tell your family you love them
- Send a motivational text to someone who is struggling
- Bake a cake for a friend
- Text someone a picture of a cute animal.
What will you do as a gesture of kindness?
For further reflections on Kindness, here is an excellent blog from the Kindness UK website.
More on Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
To raise awareness of the importance of looking after the mental health of others as well as our own especially during these times, this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which ran for the whole of last week, focused on Kindness.
The Mental Health Foundation, the organisers of the week’s activities focused on the power and potential of kindness for the following reasons:
“Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is the cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health.” Mental Health Foundation website).
As well as recognising that kindness and our mental health are deeply linked, Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 committed to recognising all the acts of kindness happening during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a poll conducted by the Mental Health Foundation, almost three-quarters of UK adults say it is important we learn from the coronavirus pandemic to be more kind as a society.
To learn more about examples of kindness and the associated health benefits, please look at this:
How does kindness boost your health and wellbeing? The organisation Action for Happiness highlights the following.
Good relationships are important for our health and well-being, especially in challenging times. A study at Harvard showed that people with supportive relationships had better overall health and happier mood, even when they were in physical pain.
Please click on the below link for more details on this awesome study:
All relationships have challenges and we can’t change other people! But we can choose how we respond. So, start today, focus on a relationship you’d like to strengthen.
Here are some ideas:
- Contact someone you care about to say “Hi” and let them know you’re thinking of them.
- Call a family member or a friend and take a real interest in what’s happening in their life by really listening and asking questions.
- Think about a quality you admire in someone and let them know how much you appreciate it.
- Ask a loved one how they’re feeling and really listen to them.
- Offer to help someone who might be lonely or in need of support.
Treat people with a little extra kindness, and don’t forget to include some extra kindness to yourself.
For more information on Action for Happiness and their amazing app available to download to your smartphone, please click on this link.