It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this year, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the theme is kindness. Kindness makes us and the world a better place. It seems intuitive, but sometimes it can be forgotten in our busy lives.
During lockdown we’ve seen so many acts of kindness: Captain Tom Moore’s record-breaking charity walk; scores of volunteers helping at food banks; sewers stitching scrubs; neighbours lending a helping hand to the vulnerable who cannot leave their homes, as well as the heart-warming stories we heard during our Continued Kindness campaign where we gifted a Balance Box to those who’s acts of kindness had a beneficial effect on their community.
As lockdown eases, it is right to consider how we can continue to maintain kindness within our society.
Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others that is motivated by a desire to make a positive difference. Kindness and mental health are deeply connected. It’s a scientific fact that being kind improves feelings of happiness, wellbeing and life satisfaction and a little bit of kindness goes a long way!
Dr David R Hamilton, author of The Little Book of Kindness tells us that it is “circularly contagious, like the way a wave travels outwards in a circle when you drop a pebble in water… Each time you are kind, you really are impacting far more than just the person you help”. He goes on to say when you are kind to a person, they will be kinder to an average of 5 other people over 24 hours. Each of those 5 people continues the act of kindness resulting in 125 people benefiting from a single act of kindness.
The good news is that doing good doesn’t need to cost a lot of time or money. Small changes can make a big difference.
With that in mind, we put our heads together at Balance Box HQ and came up with 20 random acts of kindness we can do for ourselves and others.
- Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Offer to pick up the groceries for a neighbour
- Send someone a handwritten note
- Tell someone you know that you are proud of them
- Send a motivational message to a friend who is struggling
- Sign up to do voluntary work in the local community
- Reach out to a friend, family member or neighbour who is feeling lonely
- Lend your ear – listen to a friend or colleague who is having a bad day
- Make a charitable donation
- Make someone a cup of tea or coffee
- Tell someone they look beautiful today
- Do the tidying up without being asked
- Gift your favourite book to a friend
- Plant some herbs, flowers or a tree
- Make someone a personal playlist
- Take towels to an animal shelter
- Set up a fundraiser for an issue close to your heart
- Pay someone an honest compliment
- Thank someone for being them
- Tell someone you love them
So, what are you waiting for? Boost your mood – go spread a little kindness and watch the ripples unfurl.