Launching: The Kindness Diary
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and what better theme when so many of us are struggling to cope with the impact of coronavirus than the one of kindness? An amazing thing to come out of the pandemic has been the way that you’re all supporting each other, your families and your communities.
We decided to find our what you were all doing to be kind during lockdown and the results have been pretty inspiring! We asked our community to tell us their stories of kindness and we also put out a survey on our site.
We’ve used this to launch our brand new kindness diary! This will be a feature that we publish each month, collecting your stories of kindness and sharing them to spread the positive vibes on a regular basis.
Kindness to others
90% of young people told us that they were being kind because they wanted to prevent loneliness and isolation.
Being kind to others can include anything from small everyday acts, like checking in on a friend, to joining a community support group or caring for a relative. Here are some of our favourite stories.
Staying in touch
“Everyday, I call my mum and family to check to see if they are alright and to try and make them laugh and to have a positive chat with them, to hopefully make them feel better during this lockdown.”
“Writing positive paragraphs to one another about how amazing the other person is and explaining how strong we are to be going through this ordeal together. Fun positive energy! It has shown me that, although people may not be physically there with me, they still care about me and want what’s best for my mental wellbeing, so it is that key element of support that I value the most.”
“I filled out some missing you cards and posted them with little paper flowers I made to some of my family and friends as a thinking of you gesture.”
“I had been finding lockdown very stressful as it went on, however I never actually told my friends about this and instead began to both physically and socially isolate; not responding to text messages and avoiding video calls with friends. My two best friends, Marianna and Becca, continued to reach out, but without bombarding me, or making me feel bad for not being as receptive to their efforts as I could have. Instead, a notification popped up on my phone one day whilst I was sat inside…
…The message was from Becca, who instructed me to check the bottom of my garden. I walked downstairs and down to the garden gate where I found a giant bag of things to make me smile which had been put together by these two friends. Calming herbal teas, my favourite dried fruit, handmade gifts and a card with the most thoughtful messages inside written by each of my friends. It was nothing elaborate or expensive; it was unbelievably kind and thoughtful.”
“I baked and sent a sweet treat basket to my local hospital for the key workers.”
“I helped my parents do chores. I helped my brother with his homework and also helped people in need.”
“Doing dishes and giving eggs to friends and family (we have chickens).”
Noticing when someone might need support
“My next door neighbour is an undertaker and he gets called out a lot to go collect those who have died due to coronavirus so me and my family talk to him over the fence of our garden just to take his mind off things.”
“I work in a supermarket and although I’m anxious to be working I try to spread as much positivity as I can and make sure to have wee conversations with customers who seem like they need it.”
Helping the community
“I posted a status on a Facebook group for people living in my village, although I’m shielding, I offered to call people to check in, if they’re lonely and just want a little company. I also became a volunteer for the NHS officially to do whatever I can from the safety of my home but still looking out for people.”
“As the streets are rarely cleaned during lockdown, I have taken it upon myself for the last 2 months to clean up trash for 5 hours a week, asking for any donations (for the job) that will then be donated to the homeless.”
“I have a friend who is a young carer for a person who is vulnerable to covid-19 so I have asked her at least every few days how she is coping. I am close with my Grandma so have visited her to deliver essentials and have a socially distanced chat in her garden. I have also delivered essentials to my elderly neighbour.”
“I cut elderly people’s gardens for free. I did this because they cant get out.”
“I’ve consistently rang lonely family members and sent parcels to friends who might be struggling, I’ve leafleted for support groups, donated food to food banks and assisted with picking up shopping for vulnerable people.”
Using technology to be kind
78% of young people told us that technology enabled them to be kind to others during lockdown.
We’re so lucky to live in a time where we can be connected to one another digitally; something that’s become even more important during lockdown, when staying in touch is crucial for our mental health. We asked you how you were using technology to be kind during the pandemic, and how this is helping to prevent isolation and loneliness.
“I got an app called Meetwo; it’s a peer support network for people suffering from any and all kinds of mental health illness, whether they’re diagnosed or not. It is simply a place to safely speak without any negativity (all posts are reviewed by mods) and they have a page including links to all kinds of professional mental health organisations and charities. It can be downloaded across multiple phone makes.”
“I have a Pinterest board where I share memes and funny pictures amongst other things, to hopefully cheer others up. Also, keeping in contact with those who live in different areas of the UK to see if they are all right, and are doing well.”
“Texting friends and family and face timing, taking part in support groups online for support and to help others.”
“I set up a safe place (on social media) where my friends, family and strangers can anonymously ask questions or tell us how they feeling. Say for example if someone was feeling lonely, they would text it and I’d put it up for everybody else to see in the hopes that someone would be able to aid them.”
“I have set up my own mental health page in which I have helped people with all kinds of struggles they are going through at this moment in time. I have just gained over 1,000 followers and started around a month ago. Built relationships with people all around the world.”
“Texting every day and checking up on people, used places like Pinterest to spread positive quotes to others and myself.”
“My family have a weekly quiz night on Facebook Messenger, where we spend time together and check in.”
“Bought my mum some flowers on Interflora and a Funky Pigeon card to cheer her up.”
“Honestly gotten a lot of kind messages from strangers on social media and I try to pass that along when I can.”
“I have made a depression account on Snapchat to help people. I’ve made a girl account to help girls with any issues they have, and I’ve got my boyfriend to make one for boys.”
“Whatsapped people that are anxious.”
41% of young people told us they were trying not to put too much pressure on themselves during lockdown.
Being kind to others is so important, but it’s also especially important at this time to make sure you are being kind to yourself too. You might not realise that you’re putting too much pressure on yourself, or that you’re spending lots of time worrying about things that are out of your control. We asked you what kind of things you were doing to look after yourself and give yourself a well-earned break.
“Trying to catch up on jobs I’d been neglecting, even ones that feel like such a mission, but I know will make me feel 1,000% better! Plus doing online courses to gain more skills, as I love learning!”
“Been getting a bit more time to chill out and relax when at my flat and cook some nice meals I’ve never tried.”
“Been trying to learn a new language and practice for my theory test.”
“Using my therapy skills and lots of self-care and distraction bits I’m finding important to help myself. I’m also taking this as an opportunity to get to know myself better and find new hobbies I enjoy and improve my life. Also making plans to look forward to after lockdown!”
“Trying to figure out a good diet, meditation, and taking care of my mental health.”
“I am packing my day full of activities that I enjoy, but I feel we as humans have stopped in this age. This includes skipping stones at the lake or fixing my bike for a nice cycle through the mountains :)”
“Trying to listen to my needs.”
“Learnt more about where my stress comes from.”
“Been using this time to try and process things. Get my life in order. I’ve been trying to forgive myself and others, which is hard. Meditation has helped with this.”
I want to know how I can help spread kindness
If you’d like some ideas on how to be kind during this time, read our article on how to help others. But remember, your own wellbeing is important too, so make sure you are also being kind to yourself. Read our article on how to look after your mental health during lockdown.
Updated on 20-May-2020
How to help others during the corona crisis
Want to know how to help your community during the ...
How to deal with corona-anxiety
A guide to looking after your mental health during the ...
Interview with Maddie Bruce: Recovering from self-harm
An interview with Maddie Bruce, who shares her ...
Having a self-harm relapse
Just 'stopping' self-harming isn't that straight ...
Is anxiety affecting your relationship?
Handling your love life with your anxiety and panic attacks.