Friday is World Kindness Day and I’m sure you’ll agree that never before has the concept of kindness been more important. This year has been difficult for everyone right across the globe. Sometimes the sadness can feel overwhelming, but by partaking in simple acts of kindness we can help soften even the hardest of times. So I’m thankful that Friday marks a day where we can collectively take a step back and do something, big or small, that will make a difference.
The very act of being kind creates an atmosphere of positivity, not just to those around us but also to ourselves. There are a multitude of benefits including strengthening connectivity and improving social relationships, as incredibly kindness actually increases the positive biochemical responses in our bodies. Serotonin is released, boosting our oxytocin production which, amongst other things, elevates our feelings of happiness. With this we build trust, which heightens our self-esteem and reduces anxiety. Amazing!
You don’t have to make a grand gesture to be kind – it’s the simple things in life that can make all the difference. Making a cup of tea for your partner when they aren’t expecting it, a telephone call to someone you know is alone, checking on an elderly neighbour, or even smiling at a stranger can be enough to brighten someone’s day. There are so many ways we can show compassion to the wider community with a good deed here and there – donating old clothes to a charity shop, picking up litter in your local park or adopting a pet in need of a home can all have a huge impact – and as they say, every little helps!
But we must also remember to be kind to ourselves. We so often put the needs of others before our own, but we all need a little pick-me-up sometimes. Why not enjoy a long soak in a warm bath, go for a walk in nature, or shut yourself away with a good book? We may count ourselves lucky when we compare our problems with those who have it worse than us, but problems and emotions are all relative and there is nothing wrong with taking a moment to practice self-care.
So why not pledge to commit one act of kindness this Friday? Give back to the people and environment around you and enjoy a moment for yourself too.