World Kindness Day – 13th November 2021
By Dr Elaine Beaumont
Kindness Day UK and World Kindness Day falls on the 13th November annually and it’s a day that aims to encourage and celebrate acts of kindness. Among other things I have planned for the day, I will be delivering a training workshop for Anxiety UK Approved Therapists exploring how creative interventions can help boost wellbeing.
When we ask people about what kindness means, most people reply by saying ‘doing a kind act for someone’. Of course this is important but we can also do something kind for ourselves.
Why should we focus on being kind to ourselves? It’s important because life can be stressful especially when we’re juggling many different roles (employee, parent, carer, partner, colleague, friend etc) and life events (illness, menopause, relationship breakup etc).
One way to help cultivate kindness is to note down all the things you are juggling – you could do this by using the juggling balls or just write some notes or a list on a piece of paper. Adding words to one, or more than one, of the juggling balls is a good way of recognising the things you’re balancing – even if you’re not as ‘in control’ of them as you would want to be.
Another technique to help you tone up your kindness skills is by exploring the K.I.N.D.N.E.S.S mnemonic. This memory aid can be used as a reminder to be kinder to ourselves and others, and is a prompt to help people focus on the key (kindness) ingredients that help build and maintain physical and mental health. The “kindness ingredients” are:
- Keep learning
- Support others
So, on World Kindness Day, can you treat yourself the same way you would treat a good friend? Can you practice self-care and offer yourself self-compassion and kindness? Self-care is a way of taking time out to do something for ourselves. It could be something small like writing about something we’re grateful for, it could be buying ourselves a bunch of flowers or it could be going for a mindful walk in nature.
The Kindness Workbook explores the importance of being kind to ourselves by exploring the idea of creating a Kindness Box. This could be a place where we store photos of places, pets or people, lyrics, playlists, Vision Boards, Mind Maps, quotes, beads, soothing and calming objects, letters, fluffy teddy bears, shiny stones, a list of music that you like, a list of TV programmes that uplift you or make you laugh, pamper products and anything else that will help boost your wellbeing. Your Kindness Box will help you during the course of your kindness journey and can help in years to come, especially when things aren’t going to plan.
If you’re not a ‘stuff person’ then could you use technology such as The Self-Compassion App (which aims to help people cultivate compassion for themselves and others), or your phone to remind you to be kind to yourself? For example, could you have prompts on your phone asking: ‘what have you done for you today’, ‘what one thing would you like to do for yourself today’ ‘what three things are you grateful for today’, or ‘take time for a break’.
The important thing is to treat yourself like your own best friend and create something that’s of benefit to YOU, so it can be whatever you want it to be!
All images – The Kindness Workbook © Elaine Beaumont, Mary Welford & Phoebe Munday (2020)
Dr Elaine Beaumont (psychotherapist, lecturer and researcher). Elaine is co-author of The Kindness Workbook: Creative and compassionate ways to boost your wellbeing, The Compassionate Mind Workbook: A step-by-step guide to developing your compassionate self and The Self-Compassion App.
The Kindness Workbook written by Dr Elaine Beaumont and Dr Mary Welford and images by Phoebe Munday can be purchased from our online shop here –