Hi! My name is Sara, the marketing intern from the States. One of the current shows at the theatre is Can I Help You? which tackles the ever important topic of mental health. There are many people today who are living with or affected by mental illness, especially with the harshness of social media. According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in four people will experience a mental health issue within this next year. Whether that be dealing with depression, eating disorders or any other number of mental illnesses, these are real issues that people need help with.
I am not here to discuss the problems of the stigma around mental health nor am I an expert of any sort on the topic. I just feel that there must be a way that we can better connect with each other and make people feel a little less alone in the world, through changing the way we interact with people. If everyone just did one random act of kindness a day, we just might be able to make some real change in people’s lives.
The other day, I was hurrying along on my early morning commute, still wishing I could be in bed. While I was stopped waiting to cross the street, a man waiting next to me turns to me and says, “I hope you have the most amazing day ever”. I don’t know what it is about unprovoked and random kindness that just makes me smile every time. That simple sentence that a stranger said to me turned my rather crap morning into something slightly more inspiring and put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
I was interested in what random acts of kindness that other people have experienced, that had made their day. So, I asked around the office and this is what I found:
The Car Park Champion
“You know what I love? When you’re in the car park and someone still has time left on their ticket so they give it to you, so you don’t have to pay. THAT. Especially in hospital car parks because they’re very expensive.”
Zero to Hero Rider
“I was on holiday in Copenhagen and was in Tivoli Gardens, which is an old-school amusement park. To buy a pass to go on the rides was really expensive so we decided not to and to just have a walk around. Two strangers came up to us though and offered to give us their full park pass as they were leaving. I got to go on all the rides for free!”
Pizza Party Paragon
“After working in Italy for four months I decided as a final hurrah I would travel to Napoli to eat my bodyweight in pizza. On my last evening I went to a very famous pizzeria called L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele (known to some as the Eat Pray Love pizza place). When I arrived, there was a queue around the block (always a good sign) and after about twenty minutes I was crammed into this tiny restaurant. I was sat next to a young Brazilian couple and we enjoyed small talk and (the BEST) pizza ever. They then left and I went up to the waiter to pay, only to be told that the couple had paid my bill and passed on a message of good luck and safe travels. 😊😊❤️❤️”
To me there is nothing better feeling than making someone smile. And they say that kindness is contagious, so let’s start spreading it around. Here are some easy random acts of kindness that you can do:
Give a stranger a compliment
You know when you are walking down the street, sat on the tube or maybe at a café and you see someone and think wow I really like her hair or I love that outfit he has on. Next time instead of just saying it in your head, tell the person and give them a bit of a confidence boost.
Buy the person behind you their coffee or tea
When you are in line to pay for you coffee, tea or whatever you fancy, give some extra money to the cashier to pay for the person behind you.
Give someone a hug
I’m not saying to go up to a random stranger and hug them, that can be intrusive and possibly dangerous. Give your mate or family member a hug for no reason other than you care about them.
Write a list of things you love about someone and give it to them
Grab a piece of paper and write down a list of top 10 things that you love about someone and give it to them. It can be as simple as their laugh or the way they make a cup of tea, but there is nothing like having someone say what are all the best parts of you to brighten up the day.
Leave your favorite book with a note in it on a bus or train
Share one of your favorite books with someone else by leaving it on the bus or tube with a short note for whoever finds it.
These are just some examples of little acts of kindness that you can do every day to spread some joy. You don’t have to spend money or be super outgoing. Spread kindness in any way you can, get imaginative.
If you, a friend or family member is struggling with mental health – help is available. Know that you are never alone in this world. Talk to someone you trust or contact one of these resources below:
The Samaritans – 24-hour free to call hotline Phone number: 116 123
Shout – 24-hour free text service Text Shout to 85258
Rethink – information about mental illnesses