Today (13 November) is World Kindness Day, and in these unprecedented times, being kinder has never been more important. Plus, it’s easier than you think to be kind.
There are many ways to be kind in life, and in these strange times being kind can have an ever more powerful effect on people who may be struggling.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Kindness is simply doing something that is motivated from genuine, warm feelings for others. It allows other people to experience positivity from an action that we have made which is fuelled through kindness.
Understanding that others in our society may be having a challenging time coming to terms with the pandemic, concerns over their health or even struggling to understand or adapt to the new social distancing guidelines and regulations is important.
Being aware that others may need more time, are unable to wear a face mask or covering, or cannot social distance is an act of kindness in itself: It shows you are aware of the needs of others. And, this can have a profound effect on people in the disabled community.
“In the face of coronavirus, it felt important to remind ourselves what a difference we can all make to each other with acts of kindness,” explains the team at Mental Health Foundation, a charity working to support people to thrive by understanding, protecting and sustaining mental health.
“We wanted to start a conversation about the sort of society we want to see emerge from the pandemic – and what the government should do to support kindness,” the team continues.
There are many different ways that you can be kind, from nice manners, to learning please, thank you, hello and goodbye in British Sign Language (BSL) – a little really does go a long way.
Calling a friend to check in, looking after our mental health and the mental health of others has never been more important, getting some shopping in for an elderly neighbour. Or, grab a tea with someone you know may be feeling isolated in these strange times.
From giving up your seat on the bus – if you are able to – donating some money to charity, having a conversation with a homeless person to putting some litter in the bin, there are many small yet impactful ways you can be kind in your day-to-day life.
Plus, being kind is proven to have a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
DOING GOOD, DOES YOU GOOD
Being kind and acting in a manner that is kind to others is incredibly beneficial for our mental wellbeing. In fact, being kind or experiencing kindness produces the oxytocin – or the love hormone – which is known to lower blood pressure and improve overall heart health.
Discover the benefits of being kind (proven by science) by visiting the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
Top Tip: Be mindful of your own needs. Giving too much of ourselves to others can also be detrimental to our health, so know when to take some time out for you. Kindness starts with you.