As the country sits fairly firmly under lock and key, there’s never been a more important time to spread kindness. And with the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week shining a spotlight on the topic, it’s an important reminder to show off your kind side.
From picking up the phone to picking up some tasty treats, a simple gesture can make someone’s day, especially when living in such quarantined quarters. So, as we all try to navigate this period of new normal, here are 5 ways in which you channel some positivity and say yes to kindness…
So, how can you be kind, exactly?
Get kindness on speed dial
Now, more than ever, we are reliant on the virtual world of communication. So what better way to spread kindness than to reach out to loved ones and do a little checking in? You may have worries about a loved one with an existing mental health condition or perhaps someone you know is experiencing a particularly bad day.
One super simple way to choose kindness is to pick up the phone and tap out a thoughtful message or maybe you feel like a lengthy chat with an old friend. But a phone call doesn’t always have to be hours long for the kindness to catch on. A simple “are you okay?” can be all that’s required to perk someone up or get a conversation going.
If you’d rather show your face – at a distance, of course – there are various options to make things simple in quarantine. From Zoom and Microsoft Teams to Houseparty and the likes of FaceTime, it’s never been more simple to press a button and dial-up your kindness levels. You can even play a game or two as you do so. How’s that for virtual hangs?
And don’t forget to check in on your seemingly more extroverted friends. All that lack of socialising could be really taking its toll. There’s only so much positive impact that 10789th puzzle can have on your wellbeing, after all.
Respond with kindness
Kindness is one of those magical things that makes life better whether you give it, receive it, or bask in its friendly glow. When someone says something a little less than savoury – either to you or about you – choosing to act, not react can be a simple way to spread kindness around.
And it’s exactly that. A choice. It can be a difficult thing to channel but choosing to respond with kindness is a powerful and positive choice. Being kind doesn’t mean allowing people to take advantage of you nor does it allow people to walk all over you. It’s all about asking whether or not it will bring you peace.
When dealing with difficult people, internationally renowned author Dr Wayne Dyer points out, “you can become an instrument of peace in any given moment of your life by deciding that you are not going to use your mind for anything other than peaceful thoughts.”
Now we’re not suggesting you go back through previous experiences and forgive and forget, but the next time someone responds in a less than positive way? It can be super beneficial for you to practice your own inner kindness and reflect it back. Win-win.
Deliver some kindness
Image ha doan unsplash
While it may not be possible to physically see all your friends and family right now – unless socially-distanced park hangs are your jam – there are various ways in which you can show off a piece of your inner kindness. One fantastic way to jump on the bandwagon is by taking it old school. Yep, we’re talking about hand-delivered kindness. Okay, so some post may take a little longer to get there right now, but it’ll be a wait that’s totally worth it.
Know someone who loves a spot of colouring in? Why not make someone’s day with an adult colouring book for the ultimate mindfulness aid? Finished with an unputdownable lockdown book? Package it up and pass it on. Know a foodie? Why not send them their favourite takeaway? Okay, so that one isn’t technically a postable item (cold, soggy fries in a jiffy bag? No, thank you) but you get the idea.
There’s even a website dedicated to the spread of kindness and positivity – #PositivePost. Helping to raise funds for the dedicated NHS staff working tirelessly right now, you can choose from tons of different postcards to send a loved one. Scribble down a heartfelt, handwritten message and voila, you’ve brightened up someone’s lockdown day.
Offer to pick up some kindness
Image Erik Mclean
Yep, we are practically living for our weekly trip to the supermarket at the moment. Picking up ingredients we can buy to make yet another unbeatable banana bread? Tick. Some treats for another wild Saturday night in quizzing it up? Don’t mind if we do.
But not all of us can venture out into the socially-distanced world of supermarkets. For those of us who have neighbours, friends or family struggling to get their own bits and pieces, why not give an insight into your kind mind by offering your super-skilled personal shopping and delivery services?
Whether it’s a weekly food shop you’re able to help with or you have some extra time to get those essential, sought-after toilet rolls and anti bac wipes, this is an ideal way to channel your inner helper and spread your kindness seed.
If you’re not sure whether someone close to you needs some help, you can always pop a note through their door with your details or ask them to fill in a list of things they might need and leave it in a safe space for you to pick up.
Give kindness back to yourself
It’s important to spread your kindness to others in need, but make sure you don’t leave yourself out of the equation. In these times of isolation and uncertainty, one of the most important ways you can choose kindness is by injecting some right into yourself.
We all have different ways of treating ourselves but when a bad day rears its ugly head, here are some ways in which you can turn your quarantined frown upside down:
- Get out and get walking
- Call a friend
- Indulge in some of your favourite foods – whether shop-bought or homemade
- Play a game – old school board-game or virtual
- Pamper yourself with a new face mask or give yourself a pedicure
- Listen to music
- Do a YouTube workout
- Take a nap
- Make a delicious coffee
- Sort out some clothes for those eventual charity shop runs
- Snuggle up with your furry friend
- Create something – this can be something physical or something a little more abstract. Use your imagination!
These are just a few suggestions but the list is endless. And don’t fret if you jump onto your daily Insta scroll and notice people doing it differently. One person’s version of kindness can differ totally to another’s. Just make sure you pick a kindness activity that suits you.
And remember, sometimes, that activity you feel like doing? It can be doing absolutely nothing at all. The best part about choosing to be kind to yourself means it’s super personal to you and there is no guilt necessary.
Fancy going on a hike? Pull on those walking shoes. Feel like learning a new language? Go for it mon ami. Feel the need to soak in a bubble bath at 2pm on a Tuesday? You do you. Whatever you choose to do, channel your mind and always be kind. Whether it’s to yourself or others. Now is the time to become a pro.