Monday 18 May marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. This week the theme is kindness. The Mental Health Foundation has chosen kindness for “its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity”.
Kindness is so important for all of us. Acts of kindness make us feel connected to others and that’s good for our mental health. It can be something simple like holding a door open to a parent struggling with a buggy or – particularly at the moment – ensuring our elderly neighbours are able to get the food and medication they need. The great thing about kindness is that it feels good for the person being kind and the person on the receiving end of the kindness.
It feels a bit weird to be talking about a week devoted to raising awareness of mental health issues at the moment – probably at a time in all our lives when we are more aware of the state of our mental health than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive effect on the mental health of everyone.
- We may be feeling anxiety and fear, for our own health and for that of our loved ones.
- We may be suffering from the loss of someone close to us.
- We may be feeling the strain of trying to work while providing school work for children.
- We may be worried about what will happen to our job.
- We may not be able to see the people who really matter to us.
So perhaps we all need to show some kindness to ourselves. Acknowledge how tough things are. It’s ok to feel this way. It’s ok to be upset, to be scared, to be angry. Talk to someone. Share how you’re feeling. Be kind to yourself. Do something you really like to do – read, take a walk, watch a film, take a bath.
How will you be kind to yourself this week?
18 May 2020