Even before the official lockdown, a lecturer in Cornwall started a kindness campaign, offering support for those self-isolating. It took the form of leafleting neighbours with contact details of people prepared to offer help with shopping, collecting prescriptions or regular check-in phone calls. Her Facebook page sharing her ideas soon circulated and others copied and spread the goodness worldwide.
Life is difficult for so many people. There is suffering, sadness, madness and worry, so it is heartening to see, alongside it all, that people are helping each other – friends and strangers alike. Covid-19 Mutual Aid Groups have been popping up – there are more than 700 in the UK alone. Kindness, it seems, is also contagious.
And kindness pays off in so many ways:
Kindness makes us better people and the more kindness you spread, the more opportunities you see to do more. So, let’s make kindness a habit and challenge ourselves to a 30 days kindness challenge to ensure we stick to helping others as we move from lockdown to recovery stages.
Many people are doing lots of great things already, but here are some suggestions to get you started:
Wouldn’t it be nice to realise the joy in caring for people was permanently woven in to all our lives?
And for more inspiration, I’m just about to start reading a novel about two ordinary men united by kindness - Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession.
*Benefits of altruism include lowering blood pressure, increased self-esteem, less incidence of depression, lower stress levels, longer life and happiness
Author: Rachel Ward Lilley is a business & educational psychologist. She has worked for many years advising SMEs and her current work relates to issues of resilience, communication, personal development, team building and motivation. Over the past twelve years Rachel has extended her work into the educational field. www.rachelwl.co.uk
Kindness is the theme for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020).