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  • Writer's pictureFiona McNally

Acts of Kindness

Acts of Kindness come in many different forms, although they can usually be categorised in one of five ways – Words of Affirmation (a compliment or words of encouragement that can be spoken or written), Gifts (these do not have to cost money; often a handmade gift or a flower picked from the garden, for example, is more touching), Acts of Service (volunteering your time for a charity or spontaneously cooking a meal for the family), Quality Time (spending time with those you love) and Physical Touch (many of us are really missing the simplicity of a hug during the current pandemic).

All of us are likely to have a way of showing kindness which feels most comfortable. Similarly, when we are fortunate to be a recipient of an act of kindness, there will be those we feel more comfortable receiving compared to others. Think of the last time you received a compliment – did you feel yourself shrink inside and then try to reject it or did you welcome the compliment and fully accept it? Or maybe when a colleague offers to drop you home after work one day you decline even though it is raining because you know it adds an extra 10 minutes to her journey.

I have included a range of ideas below so hopefully you will find one that feels comfortable for you. They are all acts you can do whilst the current restrictions are in place but that doesn’t mean you have to stop when the guidelines change – you can use the same ideas or adapt them for the weeks and months ahead! Before you start, remember to keep others in mind – although carrying out good deeds for other people can make you feel good, try to remember the primary focus is their benefit. And don’t overdo it! If you find that you are giving too much of yourself or have gone beyond your personal resources, take a step back. Start small so that you don’t become overwhelmed or give more than you are emotionally or in other ways able to give.

  • Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them

  • Smile at and / or say hello to a stranger when out walking – you may be the only person they see that day

  • Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling

  • Make a family member breakfast in bed

  • Offer to do a sibling’s chores

  • Make a cup of tea for someone you live with

  • Tell someone you know that you are proud of them

  • Let someone else pick what to watch on TV

  • Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while

  • Arrange to have a cup of tea and virtual catch up with someone you know

  • Send an interesting article to a friend

  • Offer to cook a meal for your partner / housemate / family

  • Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call

  • Spend time playing with your pet

  • Pick up a piece of litter when out walking

  • If you or your children enjoy drawing, create pictures and send to your local care home

  • Take the day not to complain

  • Arrange to have an online lunch with a colleague

  • Water your plants!

  • Send a card or letter to a friend instead of a text

  • Offer to send someone a takeaway or a meal

  • Donate to a foodbank

  • Support a local business

  • Help with a household chore at home that you do not normally do

  • Donate to a charity

  • Give praise to a colleague for something they have done well

  • Reach out to call a friend, family member or neighbour who is experiencing loneliness

  • Send an inspirational quote to a friend

  • Offer to skill share with a friend via video call

  • Let someone go in front of you in the supermarket queue

  • Participate in a fundraiser

  • Tell someone you know why you are thankful for them

  • Instead of posting negativity online, spread some encouragement

  • Recommend someone your favourite book or movie

  • Hug a member of your household

  • Lend your ear – call a colleague and ask how they are finding the change in routine

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