Being kind doesn't have to be a big deal. Remember when you learned about the Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's that easy. You don't have to be sacrificial or a martyr to be nice to other people.
Usually being kind doesn't have to cost you anything more than a smile or remembering your manners. And it's easy to develop a kindness habit. Once you get into the ‘mood’ of being kind to people, it just gets easier!
The challenge is how to be kind in time of pandemics and time of self-isolation when you are supposed to avoid all possible physical contacts with other people.
Here are some suggestions to help you get started or to add to what you already do..
1. Smile is probably the easiest way of demonstrating kindness.
Smiling is easy, cheap and sustainable. It's also (positively) contagious - smile at someone and his or her immediate reaction is to smile back. The act of smiling is relaxing and floods your brain with endorphins. As a bonus, smiling lowers your blood pressure and your stress levels.
As you are probably at home with your immediate family, you can smile at them only under the circumstance. Smile at your kids, husband, wife, pets, and plants… Smile at everybody and everything. Smile when on Skype, Viber or whatever technology you use to communicate with family and friends on distance. Smile if you are recording a video for any audience.
Smile is re-assuring. Everybody seeing you smile will feel a little bit better.
By making eye contact and giving a genuine smile, you are showing respect and making / empowerring connections.
2. Reach out
Don't wait for people to contact you to inquire about your well-being. Send a message, call someone you haven't seen for a while. Chances are you'll brighten their day. During this rough time, check in with an 'are you o.k.' message.
Check with your neighbours by phone or any other no-physical-contact way to see if they need anything you can provide.
If you live on your own, you can join social media group formed for the members to support each other during this trying period. Or you can form one for that purpose.
3. Give the gift of time
If somebody calls you expressing lots of concern and fear because of this current situation, and you know they don’t have somebody else to talk to, listen. Try to lighten up the conversation without dismissing their concerns. Listen to and be patient with members of your household. Share duties, take part of in their favoured activities.
Give the gift of your time and your support. That may be the most precious gift you can give.
4. Be a kindness role model
Think back to the people who have shown your kindness, maybe a teacher or a boss or mentor. How did they affect your life?
Stressful situations are usually remembered for long time if not forever. By including kindness in your life now, you can be an excellent role model for your colleagues, friends and family. They will remember that being kind is a priority for you.
5. Give some random compliments
Notice when someone does a good job or is looking great. You have the power to lift their day by noticing and acknowledging their efforts.
You can compliment somebody’s calm behavior these days, some constructive ways they sail through their confinement days, the fact that they haven’t lost their spirit due to sudden change of daily dynamics etc. You can also compliment somebody’s look, particularly women's look because there will be some challenges in the area of physical appearance due to no availability of hairdressing, beauty and similar services.
Be sincere. I recommend the phrase “under the circumstance”. Otherwise it wouldn’t be convincing for me.
I wish you good health and smooth sailing through unknown waters.
You can do it! We can do it!
We will do it together. We will get out of this challenge stronger and better in many ways. Individually and collectively.