It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is kindness. Any gesture of goodwill towards ourselves or someone else is an act of kindness. Research shows that kindness can increase happiness, reduce stress and boost our energy.
We see an immense amount of kindness and support towards our carers, our customers and between colleagues – and now more than ever as we work together through the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been taking time to reflect on these and to think of other ways we can spread more kindness.
Here are some ideas to inspire you to bring a little more kindness into the lives of everyone around you during these unprecedented times:
You could arrange a virtual cup of tea and catch up with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, send a motivational text to someone who might be struggling, or simply send someone a cute photo of their favourite animal. Any of these are bound to brighten up someone’s day.
Age UK have some great resources on staying connected and staying safe online.
Say ‘thank you’
It sounds simple, but this act of kindness can make a world of difference to those people who are busy working on the frontline to keep the country’s essential services running. This could be a quick ‘thanks’ to your delivery driver or postman/woman, or you could put a sign up in your window for people that are passing by.
Reach out to your community
It’s amazing how people have come together during these challenging times. Some ways you can support your local community include donating to a food bank, or checking in with a neighbour (they might need some help with shopping, or just a friendly chat).
Make someone laugh
There’s an old saying that laughter is the best medicine. So, share a joke, tell a funny story or do whatever you can to make someone laugh. If somebody is having a bad day, this little act of kindness could help to turn it around.
Get involved in charity projects
You could put your fingers to good use on a knitting or sewing project, as lots of charities are looking for homemade blankets, teddies and children's clothes, as well as scrubs, laundry bags and mask comforters for NHS and social care workers. Do-it is a great place to start for volunteering opportunities, as you can choose from projects that you can do from home.
Be kind to yourself
Being kind to ourselves is just as important as being kind to others. Carving out time for yourself and doing something that brings you joy can help you relax and feel happier. This is different for everyone but involves doing an activity to take care of your wellbeing. This could be reading, listening to music, doing something creative like drawing or knitting, or taking a nap - anything that will lift your mood fits the bill!
Things to keep in mind:
- Don’t overdo it - we recommend starting with just a few small acts of kindness. If you feel like you’ve taken on too much, be kind to yourself and take a step back.
- Observe social distancing – remember to follow the Government guidelines to protect yourself and others around you.
The smallest things can have the biggest impact. Share your experiences of kindness with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Read more about how kindness can improve mental health.