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Kindness At Home

Kindness is essential for a peaceful, happy and loving home. Kindness includes:

  • care for ourselves and/or each other so that basic needs are met, e.g. healthy eating, exercise 
  • making time for hobbies and interests 
  • listening and making time for ourselves and others; and treating others with respect and empathy
  • It includes celebrating birthdays and achievements; fun times; and  banter that is good natured rather than mocking. 

Within  such a context, family members are more likely to be happy and confident; they  are more likely to be able thrive and excel; and any instances of strife  or disagreement can be followed with genuine discussion and/or  apologies. Performances and relationships outside the home are also  more likely to improve.

BEING KIND TO OURSELVES - SELFCARE

Healthy Eating

Kindness begins with self-care and eating healthy and nourishing food regularly including eating plenty of fruit and vegetables a day (which can include growing our own). Healthy eating has many benefits:

  • can help us live longer 
  • keeps skin, teeth, and eyes healthy
  • supports muscles. boosts immunity and strengthens bones
  • helps many systems function better incl our digestive systems, and 
  • lowers risk of many health problems incl heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. 

Why wouldn’t we eat well? 

Getting hobbies and Interests back

Kindness also means making time for hobbies, interests and activities that are enjoyable and fun. People with hobbies: 

  • are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and low mood
  • are more likely to feel happier and more relaxed, especially when engaging in activities that get us out and about. 
  • have opportunities and mental space to come up with great ideas because hobbies can help stretch our imaginations, and enable us see the world in new ways. 

When we devote ourselves to a hobby, we take on new challenges that motivate us to learn new ways to improve.  

What is your hobby? What helps you be happy?

Exercise

Kindness also means taking time to exercise e.g. walking, dancing, gym, swimming; and looking after ourselves physically as these bodies have to last us decades. Exercise allows us to connect with others, and with nature and helps build resilience. It also helps improve our emotional health and can be fun and enjoyable, especially if walking outdoors and given this beautiful world we live in. Group activities like team sports can improve communication skills and relationships with others.  Do get outdoors, don’t miss out! 

See  also our "Walking Saves Lives" project and come join in in the fun! 

Offering Praise and Appreciation

Kindness also means taking time to be with, and really listen, to our families incl children and young people. It includes taking time to offer praise and acknowledgement - not just for getting good grades but for other things as well, incl showing empathy to or for others. The consequences of that praise and acknowledgement can foster further empathy, and more progress towards a kinder world.

On a related note, we need to remember to be respectful and kind in how we talk to ourselves e.g. to take time to acknowledge "you handled that well" or "you you were patient with X".

Active Listening

Active listening shows interest, respect and care in close relationships. Not being listened to or heard in contrast can be distressing and upsetting. Active listening can improve with practice and can involve some key steps: 

  • Find a comfortable setting and opportunity to have a conversation – which can mean agreeing in advance, e.g. “we need to chat about X, when would suit best”
  • Active listening means giving the other person your full attention - no scrolling. Instead, it can mean giving good eye contact, nodding, and/or asking appropriate follow up questions. It can also mean being OK with silences as sometimes these are needed as people gather their thoughts 
  • Do not bring the conversation back to you, and do not dismiss the feelings or experiences of the other e.g. something "small" to you can mean the world to another.
  • Do not stress about saying the right thing
  • In fact, say little – limit any advice; and limit any sharing of your personal experiences or views. 
  •  Instead, try to hear and understand what the other is saying and feeling which can include summarising back to them what they have said, e.g. “that must have been difficult” or “you are telling me that …. “
  • Potentially take a time-out if needed to consider all the issues and also possible options going forward e.g. "I need to think about what you said, can we come back to this later"
  • Apologies can be very helpful in family relationships; these can include summarising the others perspective or experiences to ensure understanding and so they know they have been heard  e.g, "when I said/did X it left you feeling Y; Im really sorry; going forward I will  ..." OR "how can I ensure this does not happen again?"

BARRIERS TO KINDNESS AND CARE AT HOME

"I dont have time / energy for selfcare"

What is behind this? What are we telling ourselves? 

  • No time for fun things? Ourselves? What are we valuing? 
  • Practical problem solving needed, e.g. a to-do list? 
  • Maybe we are spreading ourselves too thinly? Or spending time on things that are not so important? 
  • Do we need to ask for help?  Including professional help.

Self-care and kindness can include accessing CBT support, or attending one of our informal community Stress Busters courses. Equally, there is no assumption / need for anything to be "wrong"  to access these supports. Instead, it is quite fine to attend these even  for personal development, information and/or prevention.

What if we did selfcare? Is it worth it?

What if we showed ourselves the same kindness or respect that we show others? How would your day / life change? 

  • More time to do what you want to do?
  • Better quality of sleep? Better health? Potentially a longer life?
  • More purpose / fun / joy?  More hobbies and interests? More quality to life? 
  • Less concern about what others think? 

Recharging One Act of Kindness at a Time

Feeling too anxious or tired to selfcare?  Battery a bit low? 

  • It is OK not to be OK . 
  • Yet what if you were to do three acts of kindness and care tomorrow  e.g. a  healthy meal? A spa treatment, e.g. shower, body lotion, fluffy towels? And some exercise (even ten minute walk)? 
  • And imagine each of these three activities was worth three points each - and you did three? 
  • What would happen to your mood / battery? Might it increase or improve by nearly ten points (3 activities X 3 points each)? 

The more little acts of kindness and care you do, the higher up your battery or mood goes! Try it for yourself!