• Michelle Smith

In a world where you can be anything, ALWAYS be kind.

As Winston Churchill said “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

All too often when we are faced with the news of a friend, a colleague, a distant contact or even a celebrity taking their own life we are filled with sadness, confusion and enter a world of unanswered questions. We wonder what could have made a difference, what actions could have been taken to stop this tragedy from unfolding?

The simple truth is we will never know unless we have personally been placed in a situation where it feels like we have no one left to turn to and all the options have run out. Many of us will find this scenario incomprehensible, whilst for some of us we might remember a time when we or someone close to us were pushed to their most extreme limits.

It is more common after the event that we ask ourselves why we didn’t follow that hunch, why we didn’t make time for that coffee and catch up, we didn’t answer that text, or we didn’t notice that social media post. We live in a world where we know people are facing more stress, more financial hardship, more pressure, isolation and experiencing more difficulties with mental health than ever recorded before.

To address this, we could all make small changes now, by challenging ourselves to ALWAYS be kind, not just being hard on ourselves when it is too late to make those changes or make a difference to someone’s life.

Here are some steps we can take:

Kindness to ourselves

- Set yourself small achievable goals no matter how big or small

- Sometimes just getting out of bed and getting through the day can be enough

- Recognise that it is okay not to be okay

- If you don’t feel you have family, friends or colleagues you can turn to there are helplines who can lend you that listening ear

- Celebrate your successes

- Find time for you – whether that’s a hobby, a coffee or just a present for yourself

Kindness to others

- Leave a hug in a mug for a friend or colleague – anonymously leave a mug filled with mini bath treats, lotions and box of chocolates on someone’s desk or doorstep with an invitation to pass the gesture on.

- Encourage your staff or workplace to take a volunteering day so that the workforce could help at an animal centre, foodbank, dementia day care centre or soup kitchen.

- Pay for the coffee for the person behind you

- Send a text message or call three friends you haven’t heard from in six months.

- Notice the person sitting alone in the canteen, ask them if they would like some company

- Pay a stranger a compliment

- Ask someone how their day is

- If a friend or a colleague has experienced a loss, send them a note, card or flowers

- If a friend or a colleague is balancing caring responsibilities and a job, why not offer some of your time to act as a respite.

Ultimately your greatest gift of kindness is giving your time.

If you have other acts of kindness you would like to share, why not let us know.

Useful Links:

Samaritans -

Mind -

Carers UK -

Heads Together -

Stonewall -

BulliesOut -

Women’s Aid -

Rethink Mental health -

Saneline -

Men Said -



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