Kindness is something we are proud to encourage and cultivate every day in our school. A post about kindness is easy - much harder is to commit to kindness every day in our words and actions. As we all have competing stresses going on in our lives, not to mention the Covid-19 pandemic, this can see kindness pushed to one side in favour of what is urgent now.

Yet we can reap emotional dividends by taking the time to be kind to other people. Studies have found that acts of kindness are linked to increased feelings of well being and that helping others can improve our support networks and self esteem. There is also evidence that suggests that when we help others, it can promote changes in our brain that are linked with happiness.

Old Girl and Assistant Clinical Psychologist Kate Harbour (Class of 1998) shares with us the importance of also being kind to oneself. Kate suggests some resources with examples to help make clear what this may involve:

For Junior School students

Berkeley's well-regarded Loving-Kindness Meditation

Mindful's introduction to mindfulness:

Mindful's explanation of self-compassion

“During these challenging times where we are physically distanced from others, the positive impact on emotional wellbeing from acts of kindness becomes even more valuable. When thinking about the theme of kindness, we must also remember to be kind to ourselves. Self-compassion is important in building and maintaining mental wellbeing, resilience and happiness. So during this Mental Health Awareness Week I challenge you to practise an act of kindness towards yourself each day. Doing good does you good. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself.”

Thank you for your contribution Kate.

Watch this space as our students start to share their images showing how they give and receive kindness in support of the kindness theme at the core of Mental Health Awareness Week this year.

Learn more with the Kindness Matters Guide