We’re all collectively going through the COVID-19 crisis, and it’s a jarring experence, to say the least. But like all adversities that we have faced and will face in the future, there’s a silver lining in this chaos as well — exceptional acts of kindness and generosity happen in times of crisis.
The challenge for us as individuals along with protecting our physical and mental health is to remember to be kind when we feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.
First of all, we must be kind to ourselves. Our old routines and schedules have evaporated, our previous patterns have been thrown out of the window, so it’s obvious that living in the new normal can be difficult to cope with. And that’s why it’s crucial that we take care of ourselves. This is not the time to be hard with ourselves, beat ourselves up or blame ourselves for things undone, errands not attended to or tasks not accomplished. Sometimes, we might not be in the mental and/or emotional space to be and do our best. As I said before, productivity is a privilege during this time. We must push hard, and make the most of our time, but we must also take our foot off the gas pedal and allow ourselves to relax and rejuvenate whenever needed. Cultivating kindness for ourselves, incorporating healthy habits and self-care practices and adding structure and flow to our days can work wonders for our overall health and performance.
Next, we must ensure that we are always kind to others. These are times when people may not show up as their best selves, and we must be okay with that. Don’t take anything personally and focus on being kind and compassionate as much as possible.
A good way to make sure that you practice kindness consistently is to make it a daily habit. Commit to performing one random act of kindness, either for yourself or others, every day. You might be amazed to see the results of doing one such act for yourself, your family, your neighbor, your community or your city. It doesn’t have to be something big; a small act of kindness works just fine.
Studies have shown that acts of kindness not only benefit other people, but they also bring about what neuroscientists label as “helper’s high” in the person who performs those acts.
So, no matter what you go through today, remember to be kind and do your part. It’s these random, daily acts of kindness that can help us cope with this crisis and heal the world as we step into the new future that awaits us.