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Kindness is thriving

While it may not feel like it from watching the news right now, carers from the Mobilise Hub have shown that kindness really is thriving. We share some of the acts of kindness our community have either taken part in, or had happen for them, and explore the benefits of kindness for us as individuals.

Illustration of two friends chatting at a park. The friend on the left is on a wheelchair, whilst the other friend is standing next to her dog.

Carers and those around them caught in the act of kindness

Sometimes one simple act of kindness is all we need to turn a hard day around. We hope it will be inspiring to honour and share a few of the kind deeds we have witnessed in the Mobilise Community.

Driving to the rescue 

Someone shared a lovely story of a carer who has a son in supported living, following a severe stroke. He lives some miles away from her, and she is not currently able to drive. So many people have come forward to take her to see her son (including on Christmas day). It makes a huge difference to them both.

Another story that stood out was when a carer shared in our community that they would have to cancel their first holiday in years due to being unable to get to the airport. Within hours her post had received over 200 comments, with suggestions on how to get from her place to the airport, advice on where to get financial support for transport, tips on different options, and even an offer to drive her (which she gratefully accepted). This is such a testament to the power of a supportive community. 

"It’s amazing how many of us really do care and, if we are able, WILL help out because we are the ones that truly understand what your everyday is like!"

This means the carer will be able to get to her much needed break abroad, and to visit an old friend. She said:

‘I’m overwhelmed by the support from you guys. When I posted this it was out of despair and I knew people in this group would understand. What I didn't bank on was just how amazing you guys are. People in this group have done more to help me than my whole family have, and you will never know just how grateful I am.’

A slice of kindness 

A carer shared a sweet story about a slice of cake that turned her day around.

With her husband's appetite declining, she went to a local cafe to grab him a slice of cake. Something she knew he would actually eat. On talking to the barista she discovered they were also a carer, who on learning of their shared role refused to accept any money for the order. 

"Her kindness really was wonderful on a difficult day."

Someone else told us of a time she was grabbing a coffee for her husband when visiting him in hospital. On hearing of her situation, the waitress insisted she have the coffee on the house.

The waiting list for freedom 

Having been on a waiting list for a long time for a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) to enable a carer from our community to get her husband out the house, she met another carer whose husband had just had to move into a nursing home. Even though they hardly knew each other, she kindly allowed them to borrow their WAV until one of their own came through. 

"It was lovely of her, and her husband. She hardly knew me, and it made a lot of difference for us."

The benefits of being kind

Kindness seems to be one of those magic things, the more we use it the more there is available. But why does kindness matter?

Illustration of a helping hand

Especially when our lives are so crammed full each and every day. When so much is out of our control as a carer, "giving kindness" is something we can control. And what’s more, we directly benefit from being kind to other people.

"Giving also connects us to others, creating stronger communities and helping to build a happier society for everyone. And it's not all about money - we can also give our time, ideas and energy." - Action for Happiness

Aside from just being a lovely thing to do, being kind has proven benefits for our mental health.

What does kindness look like?

Kind deeds can vary in size, but all bring benefits to both the person receiving and the person giving kindness. Examples can include:

  • Thanking someone for their help and sharing what it means to us

  • Volunteering with a charity (even as a one-off!)

  • Making the person we care for a cup of tea in bed

  • Expressing forgiveness

  • Changing and freshening bedsheets

  • Running a bath for someone after a hard day

  • Being aware and inclusive of those around us

  • Asking our family or neighbours if they need something from the grocery store

And how are we showing kindness to ourselves?

Here's a little list of ways carers are finding to be kind to themselves - there might be something new to try:

1. Something frivolous

A cheeky can of cocktail with the supermarket shop, in the fridge ready for later; buying a new notebook (I’m sure it’s not just me that gets joy from stationery!) or a chocolate cake

2. Meet up with a friend or family member that we have been missing

This may not always be possible with our limited time. Perhaps we can arrange a video call that works for both.

3. A takeaway coffee

Yes, coffee from our kitchen would mean we get to save money. But an odd takeaway coffee here and there won't hurt - plus the bonus of stepping out for a little while and getting some fresh air.

4. Words of kindness to ourselves

Take each day as it comes - not every day will be one where we tick things off and achieve something - that is ok. Take the time to tell ourselves “I am alright, I am enough”. Our inner monologue makes all the difference to our state of mind. Rather than comparing ourselves to others, or the expectations that others have on us. It might be that journalling is one way for us to express our inner thoughts.

5. Things to add to our weekly routine

  • A nice long bath

  • Take a quick stroll outside 

  • A bit more structure about when people can call (mastering the art of setting boundaries)

  • Spending time in the garden (maybe even planting something)

  • A yoga session or playing some sports

  • Diving into a new book

Plus, a lovely tip shared by a carer in our community,

"Even the tiniest thought that we could do something about making time for ourselves - that's the one we tend to forget about when writing our diaries and "things to do" lists. The easiest way to solve that is to use a different colour pen for everyone you care for, including your self. The aim is to have an equal amount of all the colours, even if the self ones are made of fun and frippery like jigsaws and reading a chapter of a book"

Finding more things that we could include in our lives to be kind to ourselves with 30 simple things that can help us feel great.

Visit the Random Acts of Kindness website

There really is no end to random acts of kindness. Visit the Random Acts of Kindness website which has a kindness calendar with daily ideas, and lots of fun resources for both adults and kids, some of which we can add to our 'to-do' list. And with that, we may get a little boost in the process too!

What else would you add? We would love to hear more carer kindness stories over in the Mobilise Community! There are so many uplifts for us to share. What act of kindness have you received or given lately?

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