Being kind to other people might not be the first thing on your mind right now – especially if you or someone you care about is struggling with their wellbeing. But kindness can make the world a happier place. And some evidence suggests that being kind to others can boost your wellbeing too.
Of course, it’s not that being kind is an appropriate approach to treating mental health difficulties – it’s not a replacement for other strategies or professional support.
But, if you’re looking for a way to show friends and family that you care – or a good distraction – random acts of kindness might be just what you need.
Random acts of kindness for other people
Write a note or a card to tell them all the reasons they’re brilliant – you could even get creative with paints, coloured pens, or stickers.
Offer to help with something they’ve been putting off. Sometimes the small tasks can seem overwhelming, especially if people are struggling with their wellbeing.
Use technology to share a smile next time you spot an uplifting interview, encouraging post, or funny animal GIF.
Do an extra chore – bonus points if it’s something you can safely do without telling them you’re helping out.
Ask them how they are – and then ask them again. It’s so easy to automatically reply with ‘I’m fine’ – but we can normalise giving people a moment to think, take a deep breath, and share what’s really going on.
Say thank you – and mean it. You could thank supportive friends or family members, or just focus on brightening the day of someone you meet in a shop or on the bus.
Share your story, time, or thoughts with Best For You.
Slightly less random acts of kindness for yourself
OK – there’s no element of surprise, and you’ll definitely know how much effort you put in… but who says acts of kindness have to be reserved for other people?
Spend some time focusing on what you enjoy. Life can be busy – put aside your to do list, silence your phone, and give your full attention to something creative, sporty, or just plain fun.
Use the unfollow button on social media. If you’re still following accounts that don’t make you feel great, take care of yourself by hitting unfollow (or mute).
Move in a way that makes you feel good – if that’s possible for you. Dancing around your room, going for a gentle walk in nature, or trying out a team sport can be part of looking after yourself. But physical activity isn’t always helpful for everyone. Mind have more information about developing a healthy relationship with physical activity on their website.
Give yourself 60 seconds to name things you’re thankful for. Sometimes our brains need a helping hand to spot the good stuff, from the little joys to the people we care about.