On 13 November, we celebrate World Kindness Day. It might seem strange to actually need a day to remind ourselves of the importance of kindness, but it does allow an opportunity for us all to pause and reflect on the range of positive impacts of kindness. In this busy world we can lose sight of the importance of kindness for us personally in terms of our mental wellbeing, but also how impactful it can be on others.
In the world of Positive Psychology, kindness is a key character strength (Kindness | Character Strengths | VIA Institute (viacharacter.org)). I urge you to read the words related to kindness in this link, to reflect and recognise the kindness in yourself and others.
The work that we do in social support relies on us all to act with kindness to each other, fellow team members and obviously to people we are supporting. We do not always know or appreciate the challenges each of us are facing in life, or the trauma we have experienced in the past. Kindness, and indeed random acts of kindness, can have a profound effect on a person’s day, week, or life.
There is a lot of research into the impact of being kind on our mental health. It is known to reduce our stress levels, boost our self-esteem and sense of belonging. Critically, we need also to remember to be kind to ourselves. Have a think about how you can be kind to yourself today. Perhaps show an act of random kindness to another person.
I am kind to myself by practicing mindfulness, qigong and cold water therapy regularly. In addition, I am now back running again which I am really grateful for after a few years of not being able to run due to a knee injury.
To conclude, I really love some of the content in the self-kindness toolkit from the British Red Cross on the below link – check it out, and have a kindness-filled day!