During a time where we all feel alone and unconnected, showing a bit of kindness to those around you can make a massive impact not only to your own mental health, but the smallest act could even save a life.
Coupled with a wealth of benefits, kindness to others has been proven to help reduce stress, make us feel good and improve our emotional wellbeing, as well as the ability to unlock our shared humanity, strengthen relationships, develop communities and deepen solidarity. Kindness is contagious and encourages others to reciprocate, meaning that one good deed can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people.
To celebrate Mental Health Awareness week, we’ve shared a number of small and simple acts that you can carry out today and every day to contribute some kindness to the world.
Be kind to your loved ones
You may feel you have time in abundance right now, but it can pass us by faster than we’d like. Make time for your friends and family and let them know you’re thinking about them. Drop them a quick phone call or post them a handwritten letter that they can treasure, or why not offer to help them out by doing their weekly shop and leaving it for them at their front door?
If you know someone who may be having a stressful time or is perhaps feeling the added pressure of juggling work and kids at home, take time out to listen and share words of encouragement - you could change their perspective by just knowing that someone has their back.
Show kindness in small but significant actions. This could be helping your household with the chores, cooking them dinner, or treating them to a bouquet of flowers or their favourite sweet treat. It’s often the little things that go a long way.
Show kindness in public
Smile. While we’re all still encouraged to stay at home where we can, if you venture out for exercise or to your local supermarket, do not underestimate the power of smiling to a stranger. It can lift anyone’s mood and make their day – and what’s more, you can do this whilst maintaining social distancing.
It’s easy to forget to thank people in the service industry, and whether they work in supermarkets, the police force, hospitals or call centres, these are all real people with real feelings. Being kind to staff and showing appreciation for all that they are doing to ensure the nation carries on running, doesn’t hurt anybody.
Brighten up your neighbourhood and pick up any rubbish that you see lying around. This will not only benefit the wildlife and the environment; it will also preserve the beauty of the place that you and others are taking so much pleasure in right now. You could also share positive notes on the pavement with chalk for those to read when passing by.
Being in the public domain doesn’t have to mean venturing outside, you can also make a massive impact communicating with people online by simply interacting with those you follow on social media and leaving positive comments to lift their mood. If you’ve received a great experience from a takeaway or a product from an online retailer, why not leave them a review which has the power to boost a business or service’s reputation during this difficult time? Alternatively, you could donate to show your support – this could be to someone fundraising for a worthy cause or to a charity that you hold close to your heart.
Be kind to yourself
One area that is often neglected due to having busy lives is self-care. Learn to love yourself and stop engaging with things that don’t bring you joy. If there are certain TV programmes that fill you with negativity or social media accounts that leave you feeling guilty, stop engaging with these and surround yourself with things that make you feel happy.
Make sure you prioritise some ‘me time’ and really focus on yourself. This could be in the form of some light exercise like yoga or meditation, or maybe taking a long soak in the bath, paint your nails or listen to your favourite music.
Look at the glass as half full. Next time you feel the urge to moan about the long queue at the supermarket or whine about a niggle you have with a neighbour, stop yourself. Being optimistic and looking for the silver lining in life will make you and those around you instantly happier.
Small, simple acts can make a massive difference to the world we live in. If you have any ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society and improve each other’s mental health, share these with us on social, tagging @KeepmoatHomes and using the hashtag #KeepmoatHomes. Keep Going – and together, let’s create a kinder world that we want to live in, and remember “in a world where you can be anything, be kind”.