25 Great Ideas to Celebrate Kindness Today

25 Great Ideas to Celebrate Kindness Today

“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” 

– Barbara De Angelis

 

By performing random acts of kindness, we not only brighten someone else’s day but also enrich our own life. This is the ideal day if you have been meaning to do something kind for someone but have been putting it off.

 

❤️ See below some great ways to be kind to somebody:

  1. Compliment the first three people you talk to.
  2. Write a hand-written note to your partner or child
  3. Say good morning to the person next to you in the coffee shop.
  4. Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a long time
  5. Pick up litter. Spend 10 minutes cleaning a park/beach or your neighbourhood.
  6. Place uplifting notes in library books, mirrors or on someone’s computer screen.
  7. Dedicate 24 hours to spreading positivity on social media.
  8. Surprise your neighbour/friend with some freshly cooked snacks or meal
  9. Go out of the way to make someone smile
  10. Leave a generous tip
  11. Give someone a genuine compliment.
  12. Send flowers to someone.
  13. Visit a dog or a cat in an animal shelter
  14. Donate for a good cause
  15. Write a positive review or recommendation for someone who provided good services for you
  16. Listen to someone empathetically 
  17. Set an alarm to go off three times on World Kindness Day. When the alarm sounds, stop what you’re doing a call/text/email someone simply to tell them how awesome they are
  18. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line
  19. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name.
  20. say “hello” to strangers and smile.
  21. compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is
  22. Send a gratitude email to someone who deserves more recognition
  23. Write a kind message on your mirror for yourself, your partner or a family member
  24. When you hear that discouraging voice in your head, tell yourself something positive — you deserve kindness too
  25. Bring a little bit more kindness in each and every day from today onwards. 

We each have the potential to improve each other’s lives through understanding and kindness. Whether it’s a friend, family member, colleague or stranger, our ability to show our humanity should have no limit. Be kind, be kind be kind. 

If you would like to speak with a counsellor about how we can support you, please contact us.

by Anoush Davies

Find out more about Anoush here

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Adapting to School

No Brainer Day

Adapting to School

Adapting to School

Happy September, everyone. May the new school year kick off on a positive note. Wishing calmness, strength and zen-mode to all of us (both children and parents).

Adapting to school 🙇 🏢📗📘🗓✏️🖋📝🙇‍♀️ can take a month or even more. And not only for children but also for ourselves, their parents. Here are some ideas on how to help us all get into school rhythm as painlessly as possible – learned from my personal experience, the experience of other parents and recommendations within the framework of positive discipline.

 

⭐️ Preparation for school starts in the evening

 

In the morning, it will be easier if the child knows what he is wearing and what he needs to bring with him. If you know that there will be something unusual at school the next day (doctor, meeting, photographer), it is best to talk it through and discuss it before going to bed. The younger the child, the earlier the bedtime, especially in the first weeks: due to stress from beginning classes (comparable to the stress from the birth of a new sibling). The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are already produced in large quantities and, if you add to this lack of sleep, then everything can end in a nervous breakdown. If classes are online, then it is best for your child to have a specifically allocated place to study. For example, a desk in a room, on which there is a computer and where all required supplies are easily accessible. In the evening, you can set up the computer and prepare all the necessary materials so that in the morning you just have to switch the computer on and log in.

 

⭐️ May the mornings be good

 

A good mood in the morning is the key to a good day. This is easiest to do when Mom and Dad are in a good mood and there is no mad rush. You can set the alarm 15 minutes earlier and have an early morning chat and cuddle. Exercising is another great activity to do together.

 

It is not necessary to have a bootcamp style workout; even a few minutes of stretching can be enough. You can also add a minute of meditation and visualisation of a cool day ahead. The kids love it.

 

⭐️ Morning routine

 

Even if the school is online, get up at the same time as on the days when you have to go to school. The morning programme should be repetitive day after day. As an option: exercise, teeth, breakfast, a little game, dressing up, going out. Maybe dress in school clothes before turning on the computer).

 

Another good rule is no gadgets or TV in the morning (right before the start of the online process), so that nothing distracts attention.

 

⭐️ Not wanting to go to school is normal

 

Sooner or later you will hear the phrase: “I don’t want to go to school.” Any parent should be ready for it on any day. There are a lot of reasons for reluctance: from superficial (got up on the wrong foot and it’s cold) to deep internal processes related to school fights, quarrels or even bullying. Here are several options for interaction: 🧩 Accept and mirror the child’s feelings: “I understand you so well, I also don’t want to go to work (to the store, babysit your younger brother)”. This phrase is often enough. The child sees that he has been heard and understood; 🧩 Accept and give an example from your life: “I totally understand you. I also often did not like going to school as a kid. Especially in winter. Imagine, I had to wear tights, leggings and woollen socks. Everything itched, and it felt hot at home, but so cold outside ” 🧩 Try to find out if there is a deeper reason, and offer to convey this to the teacher: “You really do not want to get changed for PE today and because of this you do not want to go to school? Maybe we will write Ms. Smith a note asking her to help you with your buttons?” To minimise the number of such days (as a preventive measure), you can also try other methods, for example: 🧩 Play school with your child on weekends with the help of toys: “Oh, look at this dolly Anabelle, she cries every morning that she doesn’t want to go to school. How can we help her?” Often, in the course of such a game, the deeper reasons would come out and you can suddenly hear something like: “She does not want to go to school because Mark pushes her against the walls all the time” or “She just does not like to have lunch at school, but they make her eat that food and that makes her sad. ” Children often automatically transfer their associations and emotions to the play situation. 🧩 Chat about the day ahead with your child on the way to school: “Who, I wonder, will be the funniest today? Will the teacher wear a red sweater or a green one?” Here, again, you can switch on your fantasy and say that it seems to you that she will be wearing an orange hat with an ostrich feather. Together you laugh at this picture, and the level of tension will subside. With an online school, there may be a similar reluctance due to lack of socialisation, screen fatigue, inability to physically move. The main thing here is to give your child a break and a change of activity. Switch his or her attention. 👆By the way, at the age of 8-9-10 years old, three hours of screen time per day is the maximum. Up to 6-7 years old the maximum is two hours.

 

⭐️ Teacher authority

 

At school, the teacher takes the position of a “significant adult”, which means that the child needs to establish a connection with this person. The focus should automatically be shifted to the teacher and their authority. Usually within 2-3 weeks it becomes clear whether the connection has been established. If the teacher was able to correctly communicate her authority and is being respected by the kids , then he or she becomes a source of instructions and rules: “No, Mom, Mr. Jones said that it has to be a green folder, not a red one.”

 

If this does not happen and the child cannot adjust to school even after a long period of time, it is best to contact the teacher and discuss what you can do together (an experienced teacher in such a situation will contact the parents).

 

⭐️ Everyone needs friends

 

Kids go to school for many reasons and, of course, socialisation is one of the main ones. It is very important for the kids to have friends. At least one or two. The sooner such person(s) appear(s), the better and easier the child’s school life will be.

Often this just sort of happens itself and you start hearing the name of a certain student more and more: “Jake brought markers, Jake gave me a carrot. Jake and I ran.” If the schooling is online and you do not have a strict quarantine, then it is probably worth organising playdates and other out-of-school activities with peers a few times a week.

 

⭐️ Promise you will be back to pick them up

 

Usually, this is dealt with in pre-school or nursery, where you establish with your kids that you will definitely be there straight after lunch or sleep or walk. But if your child did not go to kindergarten and is only just experiencing this big new life for the first time, the separation is scary, and it is better to discuss everything in advance.

Even if a child is eager to go to school and outwardly remains calm, remember that inside he can be tense and anxious. After all, it’s not difficult to discuss school hours and the end of the school day: “Look, it’s 8:30 now, I promise – at exactly 3 pm I’ll be waiting for you at the entrance.” At first, you can even leave a little memory of yourself (a little squishy toy or photo or key chain to instil positive feelings and your presence when the child is in school). And it is best to be in school at exactly 3 pm as those 5 minutes of lonely waiting when the rest of the kids have already gone, can seem like an eternity in childhood.

 

⭐️ Let off steam after school

 

Sometimes, when they start school, some other things can happen – like nightmares, nail biting or sleeve sucking. Kids get all sorts of colds and viruses. They might have upset stomachs and all sorts of other emotional and somatic reactions. This is all normal and will pass quickly if caused solely by adaptation to starting school.

Therefore, I suggest we parents be patient, get some herbal teas (or a couple of bottles of wine) and try to get through the first weeks as calmly as possible. The beginning of the new school year is a difficult time, but it is wonderful nevertheless. Children are discovering a new world for themselves, and in many ways, the mindset of the parents determines their long-term relationship with the school.

If you would like to speak with a counsellor about how we can support you, please contact us.

by Anoush Davies

Find out more about Anoush here

Other Articles:

7 Weird and Fun Ideas to Deal with Stress

The Brain is not Hardwired

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How to Help Your Kids Make Friends

How to Help Your Kids Make Friends

One of the crucial components of friendly relations between people is attachment, to which the famous psychologist J. Bowlby devoted his theory. Affection is a basic human need. We all need a person by our side from whom we can receive support, recognition, care. In early childhood, the need for attachment is satisfied by the parents, later each of us looks for a close friend, and in adulthood, attachment transcribes into a loving relationship.

You can’t “teach” your children to be friends in the literal sense of the word, but here are a few tips to help mom and dad help the child feel confident in building friendships.

 

1. Beware of the age

 

Before 3

Family matters the most, a child needs secure attachments, and adult attention is crucially important. Playing alongside is preferred to playing with someone.

 

 

3-6 years old

At three years old, the child begins to share his toys for the first time and may try to help other children at the playground. At the same time, the first conflicts arise due to the inability to share appropriately, take turns or play together calmly.

6-9 years old

Friendships are usually based on shared interests, but they also start recognising that friends may not share the same interests. 6-9 children begin to understand that they need to include reciprocity to maintain friendships. Girls usually find “best friends,” and boys tend to stick to mini-groups. Friends fulfil practical needs, are helpful, and can be relied upon for assistance.

9-13 years old

At the age of 10, the need for empathy comes to the fore. A friend is someone with whom you are not afraid to share a secret, someone you can safely trust. Friendships are mainly gender split and based on similarity, shared experiences, and emotional support. Children recognise the thoughts and feelings of others and learn the importance of effective conflict management.

Adolescence

That’s the time when more time is spent with friends rather than family. Without an external adult mentor, the peer group can significantly influence decisions and the definition of personal identity. Friends differentiate – different friends for different purposes, and friendship arises between boys and girls, which becomes a kind of preparation for a romantic relationship.

 

 
 

2. Create opportunities

To make friends, you need to socialise and play with other children. Parents should specifically think about where the child can find a group of peers – this can be any place where children can freely play or do something fun or educational together in a safe space.

3. Talk about friendship

  • When talking with children, it is essential to touch on the topic of friendships. For example, it will be exciting for children to hear a story about parental childhood friends:

  • How and where you met.

  • What you loved to play.

  • What exciting adventures happened to you.

  • How you had arguments and made peace afterward.

 

Such stories by their example allow you to show your child how great and important it is to have friends! It is also beneficial to discuss friendship while reading children’s books, listening to songs, and watching cartoons.

4. Be a role model

Children copy their parents in many life aspects. Therefore, the only way we can teach our children to be friends is to be good friends to someone ourselves. Adults can show by their example how to treat friends, the ways to resolve conflicts, how important it is to compromise, and that it is not at all scary to be the first to start a conversation and get to know someone you like. In addition, several personal factors underlie friendship between children of different ages – the main ones among them, perhaps, are the child’s communication style and temperament.

 

 
 

5. Let them choose their friends

Of course, I want my child to be friends only with nice, polite, intelligent, and positive children. But life doesn’t always go the way we expect. Also, children’s logic is very different from that of an adult, and the parents’ expectations may not coincide at all with the wishes of the child. In this case, parents are better off keeping their distance, not giving unnecessary advice or criticising the child’s environment. Just make sure your child knows that they can, in any situation, turn to them and discuss the experience of his relationship, even if this experience is negative.

6. Be realistic about your expectations

Childhood friendships are full of ups and downs and the ins and outs. So, if your child is having some issues with his friends, try not to be too worried. Remember, making friends and being a good friend are skills that need to be learned. So, focus on helping your children build and practice their friendship skills. Eventually, everything will fall into place.

Also, be sure to keep the lines of communication open. Talking about how to be a good friend is just as important as learning how to make friends.

For more inspiration on how to become a more effective parent, please take a look at my other blog posts, or follow me on Instagram. I’m also available for personalised parent coaching, just use the contact form on my website if you’d like to know more.


If you would like to speak with a counsellor about how we can support you, please contact us.

Anoush Davies

Find out more about Anoush here

Other Articles:

The Brain is not Hardwired

Five Elements for a Happier and Healthier You

What is PTSD

10 Things to Prevent and Fight Alzheimer’s

10 Things to Prevent and Fight Alzheimer’s

20 June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Day, and it’s a great opportunity for all of us to be reminded about brain health, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of death which can’t be cured, can hardly be prevented or delayed and can potentially affect everyone who has a brain. 

There are an estimated 47 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias worldwide, with that figure likely to rise to 76 million by 2030 if nothing changes. However, everyone can make a difference and take a part in combating this debilitating disease. 

Here are 10 things you can start doing now to prevent and fight Alzheimer’s!

1 Get physical

Engage in regular exercise that elevates heart rate and increases blood flow/ studies have shown that physical activity reduces risk of cognitive decline.

2 Continue learning

All types of education help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Enrol for courses online or find a class in your local area. 

3 Use your hands (and brain)

Challenge your motor skills. Take up a hobby that requires using both your brain and your hand. Build a piece of furniture, paint, carve out something or take up knitting or sewing. 

4 Call a friend

Staying socially engaged supports brain health. Share activities with friends and family and become an active member of the local community.

5 Get enough sleep

Not getting enough sleep may result in problems with mood, memory and clear thinking. Make sure you are having a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep every night. 

6 Look after your diet

Eat a balanced diet that is higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

7 Safety first

Brain injury can raise the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt and use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike.

8 Quit smoking

Smoking increases the risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce risk. to levels comparable to those who have never smoked.

9 Look after your heart

Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke – obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes -negatively impact your cognitive health.

10 Take care of your mental health

Growing evidence indicates that it is possible to reduce the risk of cognitive decline by adopting key lifestyle habits including those above. When possible, combine these habits to achieve maximum benefit for your brain and body.


If you would like to speak with a counsellor about how we can support you, please contact us.

Anoush Davies

Find out more about Anoush here

Other Articles:

The Brain is not Hardwired

Five Elements for a Happier and Healthier You

What is PTSD

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

After a stressful and traumatic experience, it’s quite usual to have disturbing flashbacks, feel anxious, stressed and/or depleted and have difficulties sleeping. It may be hard at first to carry out routine everyday tasks, such as going to work, school, or spending time with and paying attention to people you care about. However, after a few weeks or months, the majority of people begin to feel better. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms for more than a few months and things are still not looking brighter, you may have PTSD. PTSD symptoms may appear later in life for some people, or they may come and go over time.

Symptoms of PTSD

There are four distinct diagnostic clusters of PTSD:

  1. Reliving the event
    At any point, unwelcome recollections of the trauma can resurface. They can feel quite real and frightening as if the event is happening again.  Those feelings are referred to as flashbacks and usually they are happening because of a trigger. A trigger is something that reminds you of the event and can bring back memories of the trauma. Anything can work as a trigger: smells, sounds, and people are just a few examples. 
  2. Avoiding things that can bring up memories of the event
    You might try to avoid situations that bring up memories of the event. Someone who was attacked in the lift, for example, could only use stairs or never share the lift with others. Alternatively, a person who survived a car crash might avoid driving for years as it feels dangerous. 
  3. Feeling generally more negative than you did before the trauma
    Feeling sad for no apparent reason or losing interest in things you used to enjoy, feeling numb and emotionless – all could be signs of PTSD. Lack of trust in the world and the people in it could also be another sign. Another feeling that often accompanies PTSD is the feeling of guilt and constant wondering if there was something you could do to prevent the event from happening. 
  4. Feeling on edge
    Experiencing extra levels of anxiety and feeling like it is impossible to relax are common for PTSD. Sudden outbursts of anger and irritability are also possible. Those symptoms are called hyperarousal and they often drive those who suffer from PTSD to search for relief in unhealthy ways, such as drugs and alcohol. 

The only way to find out whether you suffer from PTSD is to speak to a mental health professional who will talk to you about trauma, symptoms you are experiencing and treatment options available. Even if you don’t have all the above symptoms but have experienced a traumatic or life-changing experience, reach out for help. And remember that all people are different and it is not only abuse, assault and accident that may cause PTSD, for many major life changes such as relocation to another country, loss of a friend who moved or change of job could also be traumatic and cause subsequent PTSD. 


If you would like to speak with a counsellor about how we can support you, please contact us.

Anoush Davies

Find out more about Anoush here

Other Articles:

The Brain is not Hardwired

Five Elements for a Happier and Healthier You