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Bethanie

Random acts of kindness go a long way

Kindness is described by the English Oxford Living Dictionaries as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate; a kind act.

According to Healthdirect, an Australian Government-funded service providing quality, approved health information and advice, research shows that people who are kind and compassionate are more satisfied with their lives, have better physical and mental health, and have higher self-esteem.

Being kind can also help you and the receiver reduce anxiety, stress and depression and overcome loneliness and isolation, which is most valuable during these uncertain times.

Almost everybody feels good when someone is kind to them. We can’t make anyone else be kind, but that doesn’t have to stop us from aspiring to be kind, no matter what. We also feel happier ourselves when we act in the service to others. Even small acts of kindness have enormous power for both the giver and the receiver resulting in good mental health, stronger immunity, and even a longer life.

Healthdirect research also shows that the happiness people get from giving to others creates a ‘positive feedback loop’. The more you give, the more positive you feel. This, in turn, fuels greater happiness.

Popular random acts of kindness that are occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic which you could participate in, include:

  • Do someone’s shopping – if you have an elderly neighbour or someone in isolation, offer to shop for them.
  • Prepare a meal – you may have an essential worker close by or elderly friend or neighbour who would be so appreciative of a cooked meal – prepare it and leave it on their doorstep.
  • Setting up a supplies bench – excess vegetables, herbs and fruit from your garden can be placed on a bench or in a box and offered to the neighbourhood to help themselves.
  • Get artistic to demonstrate gratitude – create cards, paint rocks, write an inspiring poem and place in the letterbox of your neighbours.
  • Mow your neighbour’s lawn – they may be an essential worker, elderly person or a mum or dad coping with kids’ whilst working. Show them a kindness gesture by making their day a lot easier.
  • Inspire the community – by painting a different inspirational sign and hanging it on your letterbox, off your balcony, in your window or from your tree. A daily slice of inspiration is great for everyone.
  • Demonstrating pharmacy/supermarket kindness – acknowledging the various challenges the staff in your local pharmacy or supermarket go through daily by talking in a flower from your garden or acknowledge them by saying thanks.
  • Do something special for a friend’s birthday – for example set up some balloons, banners or streamers on the outside fence, have some flowers delivered, prepare a meal they can enjoy with their partner or schedule a group video call with friends to toast the birthday person.
  • Leave a thank you treat for rubbish collectors - with us all in lockdown, no doubt local council rubbish collectors will be doing extra runs due to trucks being filled quicker than the norm. So, say thank you.
  • Smile at strangers – smile at everyone you pass, whilst standing in a queue at the supermarket and to everyone you see when visiting a pharmacy or the doctors. Smiling is contagious, and it makes everyone feel better.

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