Random acts of kindness

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Kindness is powerful. It can strengthen relationships, build community and bring us together.  It can carry us through the toughest times: when we are at our lowest a simple act of care, generosity, or compassion can reduce our stress and create a sense of belonging.  It can help us feel more positive, more confident, secure, listened to, and loved.

Our lives are so busy and now we have the coronavirus pandemic adding to the stress. It is easier sometimes to just do what we have to do, but if we take the time to be kind to other people, we can also reap the emotional rewards. Research shows that kindness can benefit our own mental health and wellbeing and in doing so, improve our mood, our self-esteem, and our happiness. What is there to lose?

So today, day 2 of Mental Health Awareness Week, is about raising your understanding of both the need, and the way, to achieve random acts of kindness. We're sure you can come up with your own ideas (and we’d love you to share with us too - the more random the better!), but here are some basics to get you thinking:

  • Say ‘thank you’ to colleagues, managers, friends and family and give praise wherever it’s due
  • Say hi to your colleagues and ask how they are (even if any of you are working from home)
  • Look out for new staff and people you don’t usually speak to; its especially difficult right now to make new friends/contacts and find your way around
  • Offer to help each other if anyone is struggling in any way (technology, tiredness, loneliness...)
  • Set up virtual but social ‘chat clubs’; coffee break, lunchtime, early evening cocktail/beer/glass of wine
  • Listen to colleagues who need to talk - and hear what they are saying!
  • Acknowledge and validate someone’s story - if they are having a difficult time you don’t have to have all the answers, a brief ‘I’m sorry to hear this, is there something I can do?’ is enough to make them feel heard  
  • Tidy up crew rooms/kitchens/communal areas: pleasant working environments can really raise spirits
  • Why not call/write to/send a card or flowers to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, or someone who is on their own?
  • Find out if a neighbour needs shopping, prescription or help with household chores
  • Tell your family how much you love and appreciate them  
  • Post positive stories on social media: avoid nastiness and criticism and find the good!

Our own hidden gems have shown that acts of kindness are taking place around EEAST every day.  For some, nothing has been too much: cleaning ambulances, supplying colleagues with chocolate and hand cream, checking in with and updating others in their team who are off sick or isolating, exuding calm and empathy at all times, offering real care and genuine respect to anyone who is struggling.


So, take the power. It’s in your hands: take your first act of kindness and you can start the domino effect right now. Let’s make EEAST a kinder place.

Watch the official video from the Mental Health Foundation, a short, sweet, poem about kindness, below.

Be kind to yourself and each other.

 

Published 19th May 2020

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