Our Bolton based Community Mental Health Service, BAND shares 10 free acts of kindness that can help us all feel more positive as part of Mental Health Awareness week.
For some reason, to us humans, the act of giving results in higher levels of satisfaction than receiving. There is a sense of wellbeing and a feeling of connection that comes from doing something for another person that there is little substitute for. The theme of this year’s mental health awareness week
(May 18th – 24th) is kindness, which is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. One of the six ways to wellbeing, a tool for improving mental health, is devoted to giving. It is an important part of being human.
None of the acts of kindness on this list of 10 will cost you a penny. And there’s enough to perform one per day for the duration of mental health awareness week (granted, with an extra 3 on Sunday). But you are free to use them as you please:
1. Do a household chore for a family member. If somebody has left some dishes to soak in the sink, give them a nice surprise when they come back to finish them, the surprise being, the dishes are washed and back in the cupboard.
2. Don’t let good work go unnoticed if an employee in a shop brightened your day or was especially attentive, find the business and social media and let them know. If your friend has lifted your spirits or someone has done you a good turn, don’t let them forget about it.
3. Pass the relevant information to somebody. If someone you know is looking for a job, has a particular interest in a topic, or is looking for a new car, pass on any leads you come across, something you happen to stumble upon could be the same thing they’ve spent weeks looking for.
4. Pick up litter in your neighbourhood. You will be the object of your whole streets affections, unless they like rubbish; you can’t please everyone.
5. Plant flowers and bushes in your garden. This gives local insects, birds and animals both food and habitat. If you want to go a step further, planting in public areas will brighten neighbourhoods and towns.
“It might be your comment that pushes them a step closer to their dreams”
6. Leave comments on articles and blogs if you have read something interesting or helpful on the internet, let the author know, it might be your comment that pushes them a step closer to their dreams, and at the least they’ll probably feel warm inside for a bit.
7. Send somebody a book. You can get books at reasonable prices in charity shops, if you have recently read a corker, pass on that feeling and gift it to a friend when you are finished with it.
8. Make somebody a brew if you’re putting the kettle on for yourself, ask the person in the same room as you if they want one too, then you can both talk it over, over a drink.
9. Write a letter it is exciting to receive physical mail; send a letter to your friend, when the mail drops through their letterbox there will be a pleasant surprise sitting amongst the bills. At the risk of contradicting the title of the article, you could enclose a small gift such as a chocolate bar, a tea bag, or a packet of seeds that will one day turn into their favourite flower.
10. Stop to help. If you see somebody in the street who may need assistance, offer to help them, they might say no, and yet again they might say yes; you could end up making their day.
Whilst we’re on the topic of being kind, it would be rude to exclude ourselves, here are three ways to repay yourself for your acts of kindness:
1. Daily me time. Make sure you have something you can look forward to indulging in every day. You might have a favourite TV show, a certain food that you like, or an activity you can enjoy doing.
2. Remember you are equal. Excuse the anecdote, but oftentimes people will put a lot of love and effort into the food they cook for their children or their partner. And then on the days when they only have to feed themselves, will suffice on a few slices of toast or a butty. This is not good enough! Make sure you do for yourself as much if not more than what you would do for another person.
3. Love yourself. You have to spend every second of your life with yourself. Be your own best friend, your inner dialogue should talk to you in the same way you would talk to somebody you profoundly cared about.
Find out more about our BAND Mental Health service here or contact our free FamilyLine helpline for free information, guidance and support.