Considering kindness, with Emma

In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, Emma Browning – Livability Wellbeing Programmes Manager, based at Livability Holton Lee – is offering top tips for considering kindness.

At Livability we take wellbeing, mindfulness and happiness as top priority for the people we support, our staff and our wider community. Emma’s message has been shared with staff this week, and we would love to invite you, our supporters, to explore the value of kindness too.

A message on kindness, from Emma

“This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and I was really pleased to see that the theme is kindness, because kindness can shine a light into the darkness for all of us.

Many people choose to work in the care sector because they are naturally kind and caring people. Livability is no exception and looking deep within the charity you will find an enormous amount of kindness flowing throughout. The light that we bring to the people we support both directly and indirectly is something we should all be proud of.

The greatest and most visible act of kindness has in the last few months been our willingness to stay inside and protect our health services during this time. Although it has come at a cost, the depth of compassion shown for people who we will probably never meet has been truly awe inspiring.

Being kind has such incredible wellbeing benefits because it is a win-win situation for all.

In every act of kindness, there is the potential for one person to feel supported and cared for and the other to feel valued and useful. The act of giving and receiving bonds us with others.

Kindness and compassion can also be used as an antidote to negativity.
It is very easy to be critical about the things we don’t like about ourselves, others and this world. Choosing to respond to life with kindness and compassion, will help to dissolve unhelpful critical thinking and the bad feelings they create.
Being kind to others can feel easier than being kind towards ourselves.
We must value our own wellbeing to be able to show self care. It can be a useful experiment to see what it feels like to treat ourselves as we would our best friend. Feeling warmth and compassion towards ourselves, can have a dramatic effect on our general wellbeing so, it is always worth a try.
One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is ask for help when we need it.

There are many complex reasons why some people find this challenging. We can perceive it to be a sign of weakness or incompetency or that by asking, we somehow lower ourselves. Because of this, it is common for people to struggle on in silence. However, if we can reframe the concept of asking for help as a way that we can support the other person to increase their wellbeing, through feeling valued and useful, it can lighten the weight of the ask.

Life is always in balance, when we are up, we have the strength to help others and when we are down, we will need support from others.  Asking for help is in fact a great show of courage.”

Acts of kindness

Reflecting on the kindness in your life and, planning more kind acts for the future can be very uplifting. Here are some suggestions that you might want to consider today:
  • Pay someone a compliment
  • Put out a bowl of water for the birds
  • Thank someone for the little things they do
  • Remind a friend of their best qualities
  • Make a photo montage for a loved one
  • Plan to plant some bee friendly plants in your garden/window box
  • Call someone you know is feeling lonely
“Kindness is the language which a deaf person can hear and a blind person can see.” Mark Twain
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