5 Ways to be Kinder
|Datum:||13 november 2020|
November 13 is World Kindness Day, which means it’s the perfect time to reflect on 5 ways we can lead a kinder life! Kindness is something that seems obvious, but is still something that, in the midst of our busy lives, tends to be forgotten. It’s no lie that 2020 has brought alot of dismay, heartbreak, and soooo much stress. However, that is precisely why now more than ever, it’s important to show some kindness not only to others, but to ourselves as well! While I am no expert on kindness myself, I do love the super-cheesy thought that a kinder world equals a better world. Join me in reflecting on 5 (really easy) ways I’ve found are perfect to include kindness in your life:
1. Keep it simple!
To start off with, let’s clarify one thing: kindness doesn’t have to be difficult. Being kind doesn’t mean going out of your way to buy a gift, or even writing someone else’s part in the group project just to “be nice”. I find that some of the most sincere acts of kindness are also the simplest ones. During the day, there are a million opportunities for people to show their kindness, and it can be as simple as holding a door open for the person behind you! Personally, one of the things that I enjoy the most is when people smile. Whether I’m taking a walk, or greeting a cashier at a store, seeing someone smile at me always brightens my day, so naturally, I try to do it as well. This is almost always a safe and easy rule: if you notice that someone does something that makes your day even a 1% better, try to pay it forward, and do the same for someone else. Think: saying “please” and “thank you”, or even a small compliment! No need for grand gestures or (or crazy smiles!)
2. Stop being a stressed student for one second.
As I said before, I am no expert on kindness. As a student, my favourite word of the day is “stress”, and my constant state of mind is *busy*. This makes me susceptible to frustration, and sometimes I admit that it can get the best of me. However, one of the most important ways in which we can learn to be kinder is to learn to control how we act and connect with others while we’re under stress (to anyone who’s ever been in a group project, this one’s for you). If you’re feeling stressed and something is bothering you, try to take a deep breath and think before you speak. Try not to take it out on others. Sometimes, it’s best to take a second to gather your thoughts, try to understand the other person’s perspective, and then calmly react. You never know what other people are going through, and how one comment might affect them. Just be kind.
3. Tell someone you love them today
Have you ever made an effort to make someone’s day better and were then greeted with… absolutely nothing in return? Yeah, that’s a common symptom of living our lives at maximum speed. It’s extremely easy to take things for granted, especially when you’re busy worrying about something else. This means that sometimes we don’t stop to appreciate what others do, or how much they mean to us. Today, try to take a second and tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them. Whether it’s your friends, your parents, your co-workers, a professor… even your pet will love to feel appreciated. It doesn’t have to be a huge “omg you’re the best thing that ever happened to me”, but sometimes just a “hey, I’m grateful to have you in my life” can be enough.
4. Ask someone about their day
Social distancing has really changed the way we interact with others, and it’s nice to remember to reach out every now and then. One of the things that I notice the most about some of my friends is how they make the effort to reach out and ask how I’m doing, and how my day or week has been. It makes me feel like I matter, and it also makes our conversations more sincere! (It makes for a better conversation topic than just having small-talk about the weather). Even if 99% of the time the person just replies with a “good, not much going on”, there might be a 1% where they do take the opportunity to be more open. During these times where connecting with others is not as easy, it’s important to take just a second to reach out! You never know when someone else is having a bad day, and talking about it might make their day brighter.
5. Be kind to yourself
Let me put that in caps and in bold: BE KIND TO YOURSELF. Self-love and self-kindness are different for everyone, so I won’t try and pretend like I can give advice on this. But, we’re all students, so the one piece of advice I can offer is to not be so hard on yourself, and give yourself a break. Whether that means treating yourself to an evening of reading your favourite book, binge-watching a new show on Netflix, or getting absolutely trashed with your friends on Zoom, take some time to do whatever makes you happy. Make sure to check in with yourself and make sure you’re doing okay. Our studies may seem like the most important thing in our lives right now, but remember: you always come first! Being kind to others is important, but you deserve kindness too.
If you’re looking for some more random acts of kindness you can do, check out this page. What are your favorite ways of spreading kindness? Let me know in the comments below. Happy World Kindness Day!