This week, 18-24 May, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. This year’s theme is kindness, so today we’re looking at 5 ways you can be kind to yourself and those around you – from simply listening and offering support to managing your mental health and wellbeing.

Kindness is the cornerstone of our local communities and the common thread which helps us to grow stronger together. We really value kindness, especially during these challenging times.

Why is kindness so important?

Protecting our mental health and emotional wellbeing is central to coping with difficult situations such as the coronavirus pandemic. In these tough times it can be easy to feel lost and overwhelmed with worry, concern and fear for the future – so more than ever it’s really important to show yourself some kindness and try to enjoy the brighter moments whenever possible.

Kindness is about building relationships, growing communities and deepening our understanding of one another. It’s one of the main pillars of our mental health – both collectively and as individuals.
We’ve already seen so many incredible examples of kindness, from veteran Captain Tom Moore walking lengths of his garden to community groups coming together to support one another. Amongst all this, it’s really important to be kind to ourselves too.

Being kind takes courage

Kindness is about doing something for yourself or someone else with a genuine desire to make a positive difference. It could be a tiny thing or something big. A physical action or an uplifting word. Anything that brings a sense of joy, comfort or optimism to the day.

Here’s our 5 tops tips for spreading kindness and supporting your mental health:

  • Give yourself a break. In these challenging times please remember that you don’t have to be as organised, productive or motivated as normal. It’s totally normal to struggle or have a down day, so just remember you’re trying your best and to show yourself some kindness every day.
  • Boost your wellbeing. If you’re struggling, take some time to support your wellbeing. Whether it’s going for a run, switching off your phone, taking a long hot bath or watching something fun and trashy on TV, you deserve more moments of brightness in your day.

Check out our 6 top tips for boosting your wellbeing here.

  • Have a chat. Chatting to a friend or relative is a brilliant way to bring some kindness to your day – and theirs! A quick phone or video call to check in and chat can make the world of difference. Often just listening can be really important. Reading between the lines and understanding when someone needs some extra support – even if they’re not saying it directly.
  • Have something to look forward to. Even with social distancing in place, you can find ways to create special moments for yourself and your friends. How about organising a team quiz or a birthday party with a fun theme and dressing up theme? More fun than another night of Netflix!
  • Care for your community. Kindness in your community can be as simple as smiling and waving at neighbours when you’re on a walk, offering to help with someone’s groceries or planting some beautiful bright flowers for everyone to enjoy. And spreading a little kindness to the people around you is a guaranteed way to brighten up your day, too.

We hope these kindness and mental health tips have been useful to you, in addition to the financial and mental health support links we’ve been posting this week. Please check out our Facebook page for all our latest Mental Health Awareness Week updates.

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