Introduction to our ‘Kindness Initiative’/’Kindness Week’
Day Seven, Sunday 17th January 2021
Today is the last day of our ‘Kindness Initiative’, but that doesn’t mean that being kind and creating happiness is over!
This week we’ve shared some truly wonderful acts of kindness from people all across the country. These stories have shown that kindness is appreciated and that it has a real power to make someone’s day, week, or even month, a much happier one.
We’ve also shared some ‘Ideas for Happiness’ earlier on in the week. In that, we highlighted some ideas for increasing your own general happiness, such as performing a kind act every day, or doing five minutes of meditation. In light of this, and all of the lovely stories about service users and support workers alike, we wanted to leave you with the idea that kindness starts with yourself.
We spend more time with ourselves than we do with anybody else, but it can sometimes seem harder to be kind to ourselves than to others. The other day, we shared a fact about how kindness is a cycle and can spread from person to person once they’ve seen or experienced a kind act for themselves, keeping the kindness flowing. Spreading kindness however, starts with being kind to yourself, and this will radiate outwards to the people around you.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite self-kindness tips and tricks for you to try!
– If you have a favourite food that you’d like to learn how to make, why not give it a try? There are lots of recipes available for free both online and in books which you can get from your local library service (which in some areas are opening for book collection) which can give you step-by-step instructions for you to learn how to make something delicious!
– Everybody loves presents of all shapes and sizes, and that can mean something little and inexpensive. Next time when you pop to the shops or are doing an online shop, if there is a nice cheap treat that you see which you know you can afford and know would bring you happiness, have a think about treating yourself to something. This could be anything from your favourite chocolate, to a new book; the choices are endless!
– If possible, you should try and get out of the house at least once every day. Taking in exercise and looking after yourself by going for a walk, even just around your neighbourhood, can refresh you and create a nice break in the day which you can look forward to.
– Have a think about when someone has done something kind for you recently, and let yourself remember how you felt in that moment. Remembering positive memories can bring you happiness, and also help you to see that if things seem tough at the moment, there are still bright sparks of happiness that happen every single day.
– Why not try and learn a new hobby that you’ve been putting off? Over the last year people have got into gardening, knitting, walking, cooking, and so much more. If there’s something you would like to try, but are not sure how, have a look online at some video tutorials, or see if you can find some local community groups that specialise in what you want to do and ask them for any tips and tricks they might have.
There are so many things that you can do to be kind to yourself as everyone is different and likes different things. The underpinning thing about being kind to yourself is that you are putting yourself first, and getting to know yourself better. Kindness is something that people appreciate, and you being kind to yourself is no different!
Putting yourself first and thinking about yourself in this way can be a big change for a lot of people, but it will have lots of benefits for you, and the people around you, including confidence, happiness, and excitement; all of which are contagious!
Remember- there can never be enough kindness in the world, so any act, grand or small, will go a long way in making positive changes for you, the people around you!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the ‘Kindness Initiative’ this week, and encourage you to keep an eye on our website and social media for more of our campaigns running throughout 2021!
Day Two, Tuesday 12th January 2021
Ideas for Happiness
As part of our ‘Kindness Initiative’ we have pulled together some ideas to bring you happiness! These are small acts which you can do yourselves and can easily fit into your daily routine.
- Perform a kind act every day
Being kind has been proven to be good for our mental health and wellbeing. Therefore making the effort to do one kind thing can be good for both yourself and the people around you. For example:
– Check in with family and friends who might be lonely or who you haven’t spoken to in a while. A call or a text can go a long way.
– Notice and compliment other people’s achievements or positive things that they have been a part of.
– Lend a hand in your community. This could include helping elderly neighbours with shopping, or joining and participating in a local community group or volunteer organisation.
- Five minutes of meditation
Meditation is an activity and a form of exercise that is helpful in making you feel more calm and relaxed. Meditating has also been shown to help our brain make more happiness hormones.
Setting aside five minutes a day for meditation is easy, free, and can be done at home. There are also lots of online resources and apps such as Headspace which can show you how to meditate and guide you through it, or you could contact your local community meditation group who can help you to get started.
- ‘Three Good Things’
‘Three Good Things’ is an exercise which has been found to make you happier. The idea is simple; at the end of each day before bed, try and remember three good things that have happened to you and write them down. They could be as simple as having a nice lunch or someone giving you a compliment!
- Add exercise to your routine
Exercise not only increases your physical fitness, but can also have a great impact on your sleep, immune system, self-esteem, and mood.
If you can, why not try to work in an evening walk with a friend, completing an online exercise video, or doing some light yoga, into your weekly routine?
- Take steps to get better quality sleep
Poor quality sleep can have a massive knock on effect on our mood, immune system, and brain function, along with our happiness. Although we don’t all always get eight hours of sleep every night, there are still steps to take which will help you get more of a better quality of sleep. This includes:
– Avoiding disruptive chemicals, such as caffeine and nicotine, for between four-to-six hours before bed.
– Try and make a sleep plan so that you go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This will help your body get into the groove of sleeping deeply and waking gently for a much better night’s sleep.
– If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. You could read, or listen to soothing music, or something else that is calming to you.
– Create the perfect sleeping space. For a lot of people, that means a cool, dark, and quiet space. You could use earplugs, light-cancelling blinds, or eye masks to help get you into sleep mode.
– Before bed you should try and avoid time on your phone or laptop and instead try and do things which are less likely to excite your brain, such as having a bath.
Day One, Monday 11th January 2021
Introduction to our ‘Kindness Initiative’/’Kindness Week’
Today we are thrilled to kick off our Kindness Initiative! This will be a week centred around the importance of kindness and its impact on our day-to-day lives.
2020 was an odd and difficult year, but it managed to highlight the importance of being kind and supporting each other.
For many, the Covid-19 pandemic caused us to take stock of life and reflect on things. Often at the heart of this is how we treat others, how others treat us, and how we treat ourselves.
Despite how hard it has been, 2020 brought about incredible acts of kindness. Captain Tom managed to raise over £32m for the NHS by doing laps around his garden, people set up food banks, and others handmade PPE for the NHS.
Kindness doesn’t need to be big things though. Everyday small acts of kindness can be the difference between someone having a good day and a bad day for lots of people. This might include checking in on someone who may need someone to talk to, or who you haven’t spoken to in a while. It could also be helping a neighbour out with their shopping, giving a stranger directions, or just asking someone how they are.
Being kind to others has been proven to be good for us. Being kind to others makes the chemicals in our brain do lots of things- increasing positive endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin, all of which means you feel better!
With this in mind, keep your eyes peeled throughout the week to see and read more about kindness, including ideas to increase happiness, and examples of small acts of kindness you could do!