Today is World Kindness Day. It's a good time to pause and think about what we can do to be kind.
The impacts of the pandemic are wide ranging, and the effects vary depending on how it impacts your life. While we have praised our NHS and carers (rightly so) there are so many others on the front lines who have worked through the pandemic (the people in shops, post offices, delivery people, waste collectors, police, fire fighters to name only a few) and many of them have received abuse not thanks.
We're surrounded by people who need our help, as well as others who are soldiering on, where the needs are less obvious. When we focus on others, it puts our problems into perspective, but it also makes the world a nicer, kinder place.
Be Kind to Others:
- Phone a friend, someone who is alone, or in isolation, and have a chat.
- Give food to a local foodbank: many people are struggling financially, and relying on food banks for support. Supermarkets do have collection points, and a quick internet search will help you find the food banks in your area.
- Give Time: If you are on furlough, consider volunteering. The Government website allows you to search for opportunities in your local area.
- Social Media groups co-ordinate volunteers, and have opportunities to help others.
- Take a moment to thank those who serve you, in shops, delivering your mail, collecting your dustbins, etc, and don't take out your frustrations on them.
- Give little gifts / hampers: show someone you're thinking of them or appreciate them with a little hamper - cookies / coffee / flowers etc, many of which you can have delivered on your behalf.
- Give away things you don't need to help others - we have an ongoing box in our driveway for books, dvds and other items for anyone who wants them to take. You can use sites like freegle to give things away, and look at their 'wanted' section to see if you have something someone else needs.
- Check if your neighbours need help with shopping or errands, walking their dog etc.
Be kind to yourself
- Ask yourself, How am I feeling? If your inner voice is critical, work on taming it, and allow yourself to acknowledge how you feel. You may be tired, scared, frustrated, or experiencing a host of emotions. Acknowledge it, and see what you can do to improve how you feel.
- Take time out to do something you enjoy, an activity that is currently permitted: a long bubble bath, a glass of wine, read a good book, listen to music, eat some chocolate, watch a guilty pleasure.
- Take a walk or some form of exercise - exercise relieves stress and improves our health overall. If you can't get out, there are plenty of fitness videos on Youtube, from Joe Wickes, or if you prefer gentler exercise such as Yoga, Adrienne is amazing.
- Change what you can, and accept what you can't - I love the serenity prayer (God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference) Focus on what you can do, and you will find that your perspective improves.
- Keep perspective: a great question to ask is 'will this matter in 6 months time?' The answer will help you to put your current worries into perspective. It's amazing how often the answer to that question is no.