This Friday, 13th November is World Kindness Day. The aim of World Kindness Day is to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us. It was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness Non-Government Organisations.
We are asking you this Friday to be kind to others and to yourself. Self-care isn’t selfish! There are proven benefits to kindness. These benefits include:
- Feeling a “helper’s high,” the distinct physical sensation of feeling stronger, more energetic, calmer, and less depressed
- Activation of your brain’s “reward centre” and the release of pain-relieving chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Just witnessing a kind act can release these “feel good” chemicals, reports show.
- A boost to your physical and mental health. While stress can bring on or aggravate ailments, kindness can relieve stress.
Also, it’s important to point out that it’s ok to accept kindness from others. You deserve kindness just as much as anyone else! Some ways to be kind to yourself and others are:
- Let the person in the queue behind you in the supermarket skip you, just because they look like they’re in a rush.
- Donate, volunteer or raise awareness for a charity that helps a cause that you are passionate about.
- Pick up litter randomly on the street and throw it in the bin. You’re being kind to the environment, saving someone possibly tripping over it and probably saving a little animal’s life who won’t risk running across the road to check it out!
- Arrange to have a cup of tea and a virtual catch up with someone you know.
- Make your best friend or other half a collage of pics of your favourite times together to cheer them up.
- Offer Support to vulnerable neighbours.
- Write a letter or send a nice text to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
- Smile at a complete stranger. Who knows what kind of day they’re having?
- Bring someone a coffee in bed tomorrow morning – your other half, your roomie or your mam if you’re crashing at home.
- Check in with a friend of family member you haven’t heard from in a while to make sure they’re doing well.
- Think of someone who’s struggling with something in life and send them an encouraging text telling them they’re doing a great job, or that you admire them. It could be just what they need
- Hold the door open for the person behind you.
- Leave a note for a stranger or a loved one with a compliment or positive message
World Kindness day is also the perfect opportunity to check out PenPal Ireland. The Pen Pal Project Ireland is a new initiative to help people find a Pen Pal with residents in Irish nursing homes. During Government restrictions it would be kind to make contact with care residents who can’t accept visitors or who are alone.
An Post are also offering free delivery of all card and letter mail posted to and from residents of Nursing and Care homes in the State until January 31st 2021 anyway so you can be kind without having to sign up as a Pen Pal.
If you do something for World Kindness Day, why not tag us on Social Media and use the hashtag #BeKindLimerick.
Written by Mike Scanlon, a volunteer with LMHA and member of the Revenue Commissioners Workplace Wellbeing Network committee.