A Gift of Kindness
Della Massey, Community Learning Network
CALP staff are well known for extending kindness to their learners, volunteers and community members. Focusing on strength-based learning and learner-centred approaches are principles that naturally embody kindness. I have personally experienced the kindness of CALP communities in my new role as the West RSS. I have received many expressions of support and welcome, for which I am very appreciative. Quite honestly, receiving kindness is an empowering, validating, and even exhilarating experience. So, thank you for that!
I was delighted to see “kindness to yourself” included in the World Kindness Day description which is celebrated every year on November 13th. It prompts me to ask, "How good are we at being kind to ourselves? What does that even look like? What can we do to show kindness to ourselves? Perhaps we need to intentionally plan for this?" As Val Rathjen, East RSS wrote about in a previous blog (https://calp.ca/blog/push-the-pause-button.htm), taking a moment to pause and think about this is a good place to start. Taking time to pause and reflect on what we need in the moment is an important strategy to help us meet our own needs….which is definitely practicing kindness to ourselves (https://psychcentral.com/lib/meeting-your-needs-is-the-key-to-happiness#1).
In the Canadian Red Cross Psychological First Aid course, a significant amount of time is focused on developing a personal self-care plan (which is an act of kindness to ourselves). There are many reasons for this: to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue; to reduce stress; to improve job satisfaction and effectiveness; and to enhance our overall well-being. Spending time taking care of ourselves is essential for well-being, and, as Corrie Rhyasen Erdman, Training Manager talks about, "taking time to care for ourselves is an act of love and compassion" (https://calp.ca/blog/being-mindful-of-self-care.htm).
Benefits of Kindness
There are many benefits to kindness. According to Dr. David Hamilton these are the top 5 Side Effects:
- Kindness Makes us Happier
- Kindness is Good for the Heart
- Kindness Slows Aging (Yay, I really like this one!)
- Kindness Improves Relationships
- Kindness is Contagious
Dr. David Posen says in his book "The Little Book of Stress Relief" that our most valuable resource is...ourselves! Therefore, I encourage you today (and everyday) to give yourself the gift of kindness, because being kind to ourselves really does matter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9UByLyOjBM).
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