Written by: Louise Ingham
A little kindness goes a long way, especially during such uncertain times. This is why Peace Partners have chosen to start the Wellbeing and Positivity campaign with the theme of The Power of Love and Kindness. Helping others is beneficial for everyone. Love and kindness will not only support those around you but it will also improve your own wellbeing. It can have a hugely positive impact – it can combat fear and make us all feel a little less alone.
It has been proven that being kind and taking positive action is good for our mental health. These loving acts reduce stress and can activate the ‘pleasure centre’ of the brain. Hugging your loved ones is great for your health too; it produces Oxytocin - the ‘love hormone’ – and helps to bond us together. Even though we might not be able to see or hug loved ones right now, Dr Michelle Sands suggested some wonderful hug alternatives. Hugging or petting a pet produces the same hormones - what a great excuse to allow the dog to sleep on the bed!
Listening to music and finding ways to be creative can also effectively relieve stress. There are so many different ways to be kind. They can be the smallest of actions, or the largest. You could drop food round to a vulnerable neighbour, call a friend who is struggling or donate to a charity. Online #ViralKindness Facebook groups have been created to spread care and kindness in communities.
It is also vital that you are kind to a very important person right now – you. We suggest that you take time for yourself doing things that make you happy, whatever they may be. That might be doing yoga, reading, watching your favourite show or gardening.
This week is also Mental Health Awareness Week and The Mental Health Foundation has chosen kindness as their theme. Our mental health and wellbeing is always important but even more so right now. The pandemic is making it more difficult for those struggling with their mental health. It can be scary when there is so much change, isolation and uncertainty. But love and kindness can help us come through this. It is normal to feel anxious right now and it can help to share your worries with people you trust.