With springtime straining at the leash like an eager puppy, it feels like the broad sunlit uplands are once again within reach. The uncertainty, sadness and stress of the Covid pandemic is now, finally, receding. Happier times beckon and what better way to celebrate than celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Day?
What is Random Acts of Kindness Day?
According to www.auscharity.org:
“It all started in a Sausalito, California, restaurant in 1982 when Anne Herbert scrawled the words “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a place mat. From there it spread to bumper stickers, quietly at first, but with all the powerful momentum of something important–calling us to lives of caring and compassion. Random Acts of Kindness, true stories of acts of kindness, was published in February 1993 and set off a chain reaction”.
Here in the UK this kindness awareness day is gaining recognition. February can be a cruel month of grey skies and disappointed would be Valentines. Having a special day to reach out to others can brighten up a dull month and kick start a lifetime habit of exercising your “kindness muscles”.
Reasons for Sharing the Love
According to www.mentalhealth.org.uk,
“Evidence shows that helping others can also benefit our own mental health and well being. For example it can reduce stress as well as improve mood, self esteem and happiness”
So there is some science behind the age old saying, “it’s better to give than to receive”. As with having a pet to cuddle; being kind to others can result in lower blood pressure, a reduction in anxiety and increased serotonin production. To quote the mayo clinic (link)
Displaying kindness can ”…can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. People who give of themselves in a balanced way also tend to be healthier and live longer”.
Certainly, here at Honeybuns, whenever we deliver surprise one off cake boxes to unsuspecting recipients- the reaction is one of delighted surprise. This makes us, as a company, feel we’ve done something good and our team members love taking part too. Morale is thus boosted everyone.
Day to day, the work place can become dominated by number crunching and meeting deadlines. It does us good as a team to step outside of this from time to time and think of others.
So often, modern day life can be challenging and repetitive. Here in the West, we lead increasingly atomised and lonely lives with families spread out and single occupancy growing exponentially.
According to an article published in 2019 by the Guardian newspaper,
“Analysis from the Office for National Statistics also shows the number of single-person households in the UK is rising sharply.
The number of those living on their own increased by 16% between 1997 and 2017, to 7.7 million, said the ONS, which predicted that 10.7 million people could be living alone in 20 years’ time”.
How lovely (and vital) it is to reach out and reconnect, be it with a friendly wave, some handpicked flowers or offering to mow a neighbour’s lawn. We can each make somebody smile with the simplest of gestures.
Some of our favourite famous quotes about kindness
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love” Mother Teresa
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” Plato
Top ideas for Random Acts of Kindness Day
Actions can speak louder than words so how about these practical ways to demonstrate you care?
- Do you have an elderly neighbour who would appreciate help in the garden? Offer up and hour or 2 of your time and take some home made cakes, or spoil them with a box of gooey brownies.
- Send a picnic box of goodies round to a friend. Try searching small food business in your area who deliver to your door. You will also be helping a small, independent business to thrive. #supportsmallbusiness
- Know someone who has had a rough time, been poorly, lost a pet? A hand picked mini bouquet of wildflowers could be just the ticket. If you don’t have access to pick able wild flowers then how about sending something from Blackshed Flowers, our favourite eco friendly Dorset based florist?
- Know someone who loves books? Peruse your paperback collection and email them some of your favourite titles to see if they have read them. Package books up with pretty ribbon and have them delivered. A far more eco friendly option than using Amazon.
- Donate some time to a local good cause. Oftentimes grass roots charities need practical help just as much as they need hard cash. For example, Dorset based The Big Yellow Bus Garden Project welcome volunteers to help with tree planting, gardening and open days.
- Grant friends and family a “favour voucher” which can be redeemed over a year. For example, we have given a friend a voucher of three favours. She asked us to:
- Walk her dog on a day she needed to work
- Helped her clear some hedge cuttings up
The final favour is yet to be cashed in!
Don’t forget to look after your self too.
Treating yourself to some TLC is vital too. Over sharing can leave you exhausted. We all benefit from taking time to exercise some self care. Leaving you ready to face the world again, feeling refreshed and remotivated.
Top Tips for Self care:
-Tune out of the everyday routine for an hour or two whenever you can. Use this time to get out into nature, listen to an inspiring podcast or simply snuggle on the sofa with your dog.
-Haven’t got time for a pet of your own? Borrow someone else’s. Find a local animal rescue centre and offer your services as a dog walker.
-With social media blasting us continuously with “I’ve got a better life than you” type posts- how about taking a break from it for a day…or longer?. Constant life comparisons can be swapped for reflection and counting our blessings.
-Cosying up with a mug of tea and jotting down in a journal a paragraph each day detailing your highlights can be a great way of seeing the positives in amongst the not- so- good- stuff. The act of writing a journal in itself can be soothing and requires us to slow down some super inspiring and get offline. The Body Language Guy on Youtube has some fantastic advice on this.
-Turn a meal for one into a treat. Light a candle, pick some flowers and pop your favourite music on. Cook your favourite food. Treat yourself as you would a dinner guest. With true kindness.
-For inspiring, comforting dishes check out our own gluten free recipe blogs. They are free to access and comer complete with top tips.
Comment below and share what you thought of this! Be sure to share this delicious recipe with a friend too! Thanks for reading!
– Emma Goss Custard
If you have any questions, do get in touch via this blog in the comments section, or via facebook, email or telephone.
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