Kindness has long been known to be positive on mental health and wellbeing, both as something you can give to yourself and others.
And the last year sure has shown us that a bright moment on a dark day can do wonders.
Which is why we’re using our tenth anniversary celebrations to start a wave of kindness, say thanks to everyone, acknowledge the difficult last year and point towards a more hopeful twelve months.
Research shows that being kind to others can be beneficial to our mental health, reducing stress and improving wellbeing.
Kindness stimulates serotonin – the feel good chemical that clams you down and makes you happy. And, witnessing kindness produces oxytocin ‘the love hormone’ which not only increases our self-esteem and optimism but lowers blood pressure and improves our heart health.
Random acts of kindness
Spread a bit of much needed joy, brighten the day and raise the smiles of people with a random act of kindness.
Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen some amazing acts of generosity and support so let’s build on that, let’s keep it going, let’s make someone else’s day.
Be it a stranger, a neighbour, a colleague or a friend. It could be someone you haven’t seen in a long time or a family member.
It can even be yourself because, now more than ever, it is important to self-care too.
Acts of kindness can range from seemingly small to grand gestures. Here’s a spot of inspiration to get you started:
- Write a letter to someone you haven’t seen in a while
- Every time you go shopping buy an extra item to donate to a food bank
- Put your neighbour’s bin out
- Make a difference to people with mental health illnesses by volunteering with NAViGO
- Check in on someone, make sure they’re okay. Approach a friend if you think they might be struggling.
- Give praise, say thanks or compliment a stranger
- Pick up some litter in your neighbour
- Buy the person behind you in the coffee shop queue a drink
- Smile and say hello to that person you see every day but haven’t spoken to before
- Buy a bunch of flowers and hand them to stranger
- Be kind to yourself – think about the things you’re good at, what you like about the way you look today or focus on one thing you have handled well. And make time for a spot of self-care.
We’ve even produced a handy card for you to print and pass on to encourage others to keep the kindness going. Because kindness is contagious.
Happy to share the love? Tell us about it. Post online. Tag us in.
Let’s be kind to ourselves and kind to each other.
While there are things we can do to support our own health and wellbeing, please remember, we have a variety of services offering professional advice, guidance and therapy.
- The COVID-19 mental health support service offers support to anyone who has been affected by the pandemic in any way. It's free and available 24 hours a day. Just call (01472) 256256 and select option 3 or freephone 08081 968442.
- If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Safespace provides instant support if you’re vulnerable and need assistance with your mental health out-of-hours. You can speak to the team using Zoom or by calling in via telephone, between 5.30pm and 11pm, Monday to Friday.
- Open Minds offers a range of talking therapies aimed at helping you to deal with the effects of stress, anxiety and depression. You can self-refer to Open Minds online.