During these months of heightened uncertainty, sharply reduced social contact, and greatly increased stress we’re all challenged to safeguard our emotional well-being. Some days are better than others, right?
Fortunately there are many ways to see to it that we have more good than difficult days, some of which I’ve written about lately. Here’s one more.
Do Something Kind – It’s Good for You!
Being kind, compassionate and caring to ourselves has great merit. It’s only through taking good care of ourselves that we can be there for others.
At the same time, doing something kind for someone else – when we don’t overlook the need to also take care of ourselves – is one of the best ways to also strengthen our own happiness and well-being.
Even small acts of kindness can have profound effects on others and on us. Even better, those acts ripple out to the wider community, so in offering them we’re doing more than helping one other person and supporting ourselves. We’re doing something real to build a better world.
Being kind to toward others is good for our physical health as well for our emotional well-being. For instance, those with supportive, friendly bosses recover more quickly after a heart attack. Loving-kindness meditation, which strengthens compassion for self and others, may protect our bodies from the effects of stress and aging.
Connecting Through Acts of Kindness
Our wellness and resilience are supported through networks of mutual support. Even the introverts among us – and I’m one of them – do best when we’re connected to such networks. Holding this in mind, what if we each regularly did things that help build and strengthen our social connections? Things like:
- Keeping in touch with others, or getting back in touch, through texts, emails or even handwritten notes and letters
- Sending a small “thinking of you” gift
- Asking a neighbor how they’re doing these days, and stopping to hear the answer
- Keeping an eye out for pedestrians’, bicyclists’, and other drivers’ safety when you drive
- Doing an errand for someone who is in self-quarantine
- Sharing our abundance with others. Give away something you no longer need; donate to a food bank; buy local when possible for yourself and others
Offering and accepting small acts of kindness is something that’s within our power, even at a time when so much feels out of control. What acts of kindness have you offered during the pandemic? What acts of kindness have you received during this time?