by Aakanksha Tangri, Founder of Re:Set
In what’s been a stressful past year for all of us, it can be easy to lose patience, snap or be irritable in our daily interactions. With mental health challenges on the rise and the blurring of work and home combined with blended learning, it can be overwhelming. However, it’s important to pause and reflect on how we can be kinder to ourselves and to each other as we navigate all that comes our way. With World Kindness Day on 17 February, Aakanksha Tangri, Founder of Re:Set shares simple ways to be kinder every day:
Take a breath
If you find yourself snapping at people or being curt too often, step back and introspect why you’re reacting the way you are. Can you say what you need to in a softer manner? Will your point still be valid if you aren’t losing your patience? It can be easy to get caught up in the moment and lash out – only for you to often regret or feel guilty later. How would you feel if someone spoke to you that way? Next time you find yourself getting annoyed, take a few deep breaths and a step back from the situation to reset yourself.
These can go a long way in making someone’s day happier and less stressful. If a friend or colleague is having a bad day, get them a coffee or their favourite snack as a pick me up. If you see a parent or educator struggling with distance learning, offer to run errands for them so they have one less thing to worry about or see if they need help with anything. Maybe schedule in a fun activity you can do together or go for a walk around the neighbourhood. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate – small actions can be impactful and turn around someone’s bad day.
If you find a friend struggling with mental health challenges or navigating a long to-do list, drop them a text, give them a call or schedule a virtual hangout to let them know you’re thinking of them and you’re there if they need to speak. We’re often so conditioned to say “I’m fine” when someone asks how we are even if we aren’t. People can be hesitant to reach out and let you know how they’re actually feeling. Take this opportunity to check in on your loved ones. It’ll also give you the support you need to navigate the tough times.
Be kind to yourself
Your relationship with yourself can often define your relationship with those around you and how they treat you. If you’re constantly stressed and impatient, you’re not going to be your best self with others. Self-love needs to be a priority and you can only help others when you also take steps to tackle what you’re going through. Be gentle with yourself, learn to let your mistakes go, and be mindful of how you speak to yourself.
Give people the benefit of the doubt
We’re all going through a tough time – some more than others. You often don’t know what’s happening in someone’s life offline and they could be dealing with juggling family, managing work, or being worried about the health of their loved ones. If someone hasn’t replied to your email, text or returned your call, don’t judge. Allow them the space they need and then check in to see if everything is OK.