New research finds that people were kinder during pandemic
- 41% say people were kinder during the pandemic than before
- Majority (89%) say we all need to be kinder to one another
- 42% say their mental wellbeing has disimproved since Covid-19
- People are exercising less (38%) and eating more (43%) since pandemic
- Maxol launches 12 Days of Kindness campaign for mental health charity, Aware
1 December 2021: Almost half (48%) of people in Ireland feel nervous socialising, 38% are exercising less and 43% are eating more since the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research commissioned by Maxol, which looked at the impact of the pandemic on physical and mental wellbeing. The research1 of 1,000 adults also examined how we view kindness, with two in every five (41%) of those surveyed agreeing that people were kinder during than before the pandemic.
The findings were released to coincide with the launch of the 12 Days of Kindness, which is part of Maxol’s annual Christmas campaign to raise much needed funds for mental health charity Aware.
During November and December, 10c from every cup of ROSA Coffee and hot beverage purchased in a Maxol service station is donated to Aware by Maxol. And, in a bid to blast this year’s €70,000 fundraising target and help spread some extra kindness, Maxol is inviting customers to buy a ROSA Coffee for a stranger in the 12 Days of Kindness.
How it works
From 1st to 12th December, customers simply buy two coffees at participating Maxol service stations, one for themselves and one for a stranger. The customer can also write a message of kindness on a little card to let another person know that there’s a free coffee waiting for them. All cards will be hung from the service station’s Kindness Christmas Tree.
The card can be used by another customer to pay for their hot drink and brighten up their day or it might inspire them to pay it forward and buy a coffee for someone else. Any cards of kindness not redeemed will be donated to local charities.
Most people (87%) feel good when they perform an act of kindness and there is widespread agreement (89%) that we need to be kinder to one another, according to the Maxol research.
Kindness is contagious
Three quarters (75%) of people say that kindness is contagious and that’s the essence of Maxol’s 12 Days of Kindness initiative according to CEO, Brian Donaldson. “This is our fifth year to support the work of Aware with our Christmas Coffee Cup campaign and with the help of our customers, we are hopeful that this will be our biggest fundraising year ever. If there is one positive to be taken from the past 20 months it’s the many acts of kindness, big and small, that we have witnessed or experienced during the pandemic. Aware is a vital charity that needs support, particularly as a result of the pandemic so it can continue to provide support, education and information services to those impacted by anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and related mood conditions.”
Give the gift of kindness says leading clinical psychologist
Dr Eddie Murphy believes that the best gift we can give this Christmas is the gift of kindness. “There are so many things out of our control right now but being kind is the one thing in our lives that’s within our control. There are many benefits to being kind to others but equally, the importance of self-compassion cannot be underestimated. 85% of people feel that we need to be kinder to ourselves and I echo that sentiment,” said Dr Murphy.
“Kindness doesn’t have to involve grand gestures. By being inclusive, generous of spirit or perhaps by buying a stranger a cup of ROSA Coffee, which in turn will benefit Aware, we can all cultivate and encourage kindness.”
The Covid toll – 45% more anxious more often
According to Dr Murphy a stress response is the body’s way of reacting to a threat, a challenge, or a barrier and this manifested in different ways for different people during the pandemic. Many of those surveyed agreed that they had noticed changes in themselves since the Covid-19 pandemic including:
- 45% feel more anxious more often
- One third are having difficulty concentrating
- 43% are more lethargic and 22% are sleeping a lot more
- 39% say they have lost interest in things they once enjoyed
- More than one quarter (27%) are losing their temper more often
- 23% are finding it difficult to hold a conversation
- 42% say their mental wellbeing has disimproved since Covid-19
“When a stress response is sustained over a long period of time, we react. We’ve been living with the pandemic for almost two years, which is a very long time, and our coping mechanisms are suffering from prolonged wear and tear. It’s only natural that the pandemic would take a physical and emotional toll and we can see this in people’s stress responses which range from eating more to exercising less. If this is becoming problematic, people should not be afraid to reach out for support and organisations like Aware are always ready to help,” said Dr Murphy.
1M accessed Aware’s website & social media channels in 2020
Aware, which provides free support, education and information services to people impacted by depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood-related disorders has reported consistently high levels of demand for its services since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stephen McBride, Director of Services, Aware said: “It is clear that the pandemic has resulted in more people experiencing anxiety or low mood, and we are hearing from people who are experiencing mental health difficulties for the first time. Last year more than one million people accessed our website and social media channels to avail of information and support, and we answered over 27,000 calls on our Support Line. Despite our best efforts, one in five calls to our Support Line still goes unanswered. Maxol has been a valued partner for many years, and its on-going support helps to ensure that we can be there for people when they need us.”
Almost 34,000 people were supported by Aware’s services last year via its free to access Support Line, Support Mail and Support & Self Care Groups. The charity also equipped over 5,000 teenagers with resilience building skills through its school-based education programmes.
Maxol has raised almost €600,000 for Aware since partnering with the charity in 2016.