Acts of kindness during the pandemic

Page last reviewed: 13 December 2021

The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak. Government advice designed to keep us safe is under constant review and will be different depending on where you live: more details and up to date information here.

Is the pandemic leaving you feeling a little weary? If yes, we want to remind you that the acts of kindness and community that helped us at the start of the pandemic, can still help us today. Explore our coronavirus and mental health hub for more tips on ways to look after your mental health during the pandemic.

Where do acts of kindness come in?

In March 2020, when the pandemic first hit, we saw kindness spread all over the world. People came together to sing on balconies in Italy and others set up mutual aid groups to offer support to the elderly or vulnerable.

We learned that amid the fear, there was also community, support and hope.

And that this community, support and hope is still alive today.

Did you know that an added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own mental health and wellbeing? Kindness can help reduce stress and improve our emotional well-being. In short, doing good does you good.

Acts of kindness make the world a happier place

The change and uncertainty of the pandemic can be difficult to cope with. And kindness can be a way to find the community, support and hope to help us through these difficult times.

Together, let’s make the world a happier place through kindness.

Get involved

It will help to try and see this as a different period of time in your life, and not necessarily a bad one, even though you didn’t choose it. And there are still lots of things that we can do for other people to inspire kindness in unforeseen times:

  1. Pick an item from the list below
  2. Take action
  3. Share the kindness on social media
  4. Tag @mentalhealth on Twitter and @mentalhealthfoundation on Instagram and Facebook
  5. Use the hashtag #KindnessMatters

Acts of kindness

Please follow the current coronavirus guidance in your local area when taking part

  • Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them
  • Make a cup of tea for someone
  • Arrange to have a cup of tea and virtual or in real life catch up with someone you know
  • Help with a household chore at home
  • Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend on a video call / or arrange to go to the cinema with a friend
  • Tell someone you know that you are proud of them
  • Tell someone you know why you are thankful for them
  • Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
  • Send someone you know a joke to cheer them up
  • Send someone you know a picture of a cute animal
  • Send an inspirational quote to a friend
  • Send an interesting article to a friend
  • Contact someone you haven’t seen in a while and arrange a phone catch up / or in-person catch-up
  • Spend time playing with your pet
  • Reach out to call a friend, family member or neighbour who is experiencing loneliness or self-isolation
  • Donate to a charity
  • Lend your ear – call a colleague and ask how they’re finding the change in routine
  • Give praise to your colleague for something they’ve done well
  • Arrange to have a video lunch with a colleague / or a lunch in real life
  • Donate to foodbanks
  • Offer to skill share with a friend via video call / or in real life - you could teach guitar, dance etc.
  • Offer support to vulnerable neighbours
  • Offer to send someone a takeaway or a meal

The Mental Health Foundation is committed to bringing readers reliable and relevant information. All our pages are written and regularly reviewed by our mental health experts, in line with official advice on the coronavirus outbreak.

We need your support to keep providing vital information during this time.

Please consider making a donation today

If you want to develop a personalised plan for supporting your mental health you can visit the Every Mind Matters site, developed in collaboration with the Mental Health Foundation.

If you need to talk confidentially you can call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time. We also have a resource on how to get help for your mental health.