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INCORPORATING KINDNESS INTO OUR DAILY LIVES

@jen_mcdonalddesigns

November, 9th 2020

Kindness is a virtue and has the power to accomplish good in times of struggle. As the world prepares for a second wave of the Coronavirus, we should allow kindness to serve as our true north, guiding us through the stormy seas that lie ahead.

Words By Jen McDonald

WHAT IS KINDNESS AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

The definition of kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. 

Kindness improves our quality of life in the workplace as well as in the community. It brings people together. Showing kindness to others can be just as rewarding as receiving it from someone else. Doing good for others feels good. Have you noticed that warm tingly feeling you get from being kind? This is known as a “helper’s high”. It has been scientifically proven that kindness boosts your mood by releasing your body’s feel-good hormone, serotonin, giving you a natural high. Kindness should be something we do without thinking about; it should be incorporated into our daily routines just like exercise and brushing our teeth. Doing something kind does not only benefit others, it nourishes our own body, mind and soul. Acts of kindness can lead to an improved self-esteem, better relationships, boosted mental health and general wellbeing, and can even contribute to creating a more successful future for ourselves. Who wouldn’t want to infuse a little kindness in their lives and in the world?

SAVE THE DAY – 13th NOVEMBER – WORLD KINDNESS DAY

Why is the 13th November such an important day for the books? On this day, every year, World Kindness Day is celebrated by people all around the world. The global event was born when a collection of humanitarian groups came together on November 13th 1997 and made a “Declaration of Kindness”. This day symbolises the importance of kindness and reminds us that this is what holds communities together.

@jen_mcdonalddesigns

HOW CAN YOU SHOW ACTS OF KINDNESS TO OTHERS?

There is no doubt that kindness is one of the most priceless qualities a person can have, especially as being kind does indeed cost nothing! With World Kindness Day fast approaching, it is valuable to realise the huge impact even the smallest act of kindness can have on others. Whether it be smiling at a stranger, volunteering or simply checking in on a neighbour, friend, or family member. Life can be difficult, and we are all guilty of taking people for granted, but if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of being kind. From now on, we could all benefit from making kindness a part of our daily routine. Breakfast may be pivotal in setting the tone for the day, but so is starting with a kind gesture. Start your day on a high by committing to one act of kindness before you settle in your desk. It truly is the prescription to a happy and healthier life.

@jen_mcdonalddesigns

KIND TO OTHERS, AND TO OURSELVES

Small acts of kindness can change our lives for the better. Admittedly, life can get overwhelming at times; we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle that each day brings, feeling swamped by the obstacles we face. Many of us are kind to others but forget to be kind to ourselves. Self-care is just as important, if not more so, than looking after others. Showing ourselves some love reduces anxiety and depression, boosts our confidence, and helps us to reach our full potential in life. Meditation, exercise and doing things that make us happy are the best way to nurture our body and mind. Even keeping a gratitude journal can make you appreciate yourself and those around you.

DIGITAL KINDNESS

As we brace ourselves for a winter of uncertainty, it is all too easy to become disillusioned by the harsh realities of our current predicament. We have seen the world change dramatically before our eyes and we have been forced to adapt to the new normal – a world with different rules and regulations. These are indeed strange times but not entirely unprecedented. From 1918 to 1920, the Spanish Influenza affected 500 million people, with fatalities estimated at between 17 to 50 million. Some estimates put this figure much higher, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history ever to be recorded. All of this took place in a world devoid of social media, smartphones, and television. In this digital age, we are increasingly interconnected and aware of global events. For most of us, modern technology has become our lifeline, allowing us to stay close with loved ones even when physical interaction and our old ways of life feel so distant. It has also allowed us to witness a wealth of acts of kindness, both large and small. Within communities, people are helping those more vulnerable, either directly by doing their shopping or indirectly by raising money for charities or frontline health care workers. Undoubtedly, kindness has always existed, it is a fundamental part of human nature after all. But with the power of social media and modern technology, we are becoming increasingly aware of its necessity in society, and are hopefully inspired to show more kindness in these difficult times.

@jen_mcdonalddesigns

SPREADING KINDNESS THROUGH 2020:

Although 2020 is not quite the year we all imagined, it is certainly the year we saw kindness spread like wildfire, through communities and countries all over the world. These unpredictable times have taught us that it is better to stick together and help one another. It is inspiring and heart-warming to see the compassion people are showing each other, not to mention the selflessness from frontline health staff. Many of these workers have sacrificed their own lives to protect the most vulnerable in our society – the ultimate act of human kindness. Of course, kindness comes in many forms, from small deeds to grand gestures, but each act has one thing in common… an overwhelmingly positive effect on people and their wellbeing. Kindness costs nothing but is invaluable to those recipients of our kindness which makes for a better world.