“At times like these, when the world feels upside down, kindness can be the key to turning things around”
This is the key message for this years Mental Health Awareness week – in which taking care of our body and mind has never been so important. During the current covid-19 pandemic, many people are experiencing changes in their day-to-day lives and activities. Therefore, it is even more crucial to ensure that we are looking out for our wellbeing.
From the 18th to the 24th May, the importance of this issue will be highlighted across the week, with the main theme being kindness. The first ever Mental Health Awareness week ran in 2001, with success on emphasising the importance for the issue. Events like this stress the idea of ‘it’s nice to be nice’, stating that even small random acts of kindness can improve your mental health as well as someone else’s.
First and foremost, it is of course necessary that you are aware of the importance of your mental health in a time when routine and regular appointments are non-existent. Whilst it is important to carry out good deeds for other people, it is also important to take care that you don’t overdo it or give more than you are emotionally able to give. There are many ways you can get involved with the campaign.
Join in Online
Creating or joining in on discussion is a brilliant way to get involved with the cause! By giving yourself a voice and showing people that they are not alone, it means you can reach people from around the world. Whether you’re capturing a moment of kindness on camera or just have something nice to say, use the hashtags #KindnessMatters or #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek to participate.
Conversations online can spark up talks and debate with people you may not have spoken to much – this is obviously a great thing to come out of the movement but highlights how important it is for you to keep in touch with those you already know. Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while, tell a family member how much you love/appreciate them, or reach out to someone you know is struggling; they will appreciate it more than you know.
Make a difference at home
Some of us are lucky and have been isolating with friends, family or a partner. This can only help your mental health and also give you someone to discuss it with when you are feeling low. If you are fortunate enough to be in this situation, why not make them a cup of tea or work on chores together? Maybe help each other out with work you have to complete from home?
If you are unfortunately isolating alone, now is as good of an excuse as any to declutter your home or give your kitchen a make-over! It will give you a great opportunity to work on your home décor skills whilst improving your health and keeping you busy.
Helping the community
Remember that whilst you may feel separated from neighbours and friends during lockdown, the community spirit is very much there. Due to the loss of jobs and other money-making methods, many people in your area will find themselves relying on foodbanks and the such. With your donations, organisations like this can continue to improve the lives of those who may not currently be able to afford all the food items needed to adequately feed their family.
Similarly, you could offer a takeaway or a cooked meal to someone you know is in need or simply just deserves a break. If you have nothing physical to offer, you could even lend out a helping hand or knowledge of a skill such as guitar.
Catching up with workplace environment
Some of us are continuing workplace duties from home, some of us are still travelling to work every day, and some people are furloughed at home. The best thing you can do in a time like this is to lend an ear to a work colleague, maybe ask how they’re finding the change in routine or how they’re doing in general. It is bound to be appreciated and may even improve your day or work output too!
Missing lunch with your favourite colleagues? It is just as easy to do this over skype. Sit down at your computer and catch up on office gossip whilst keeping a distance and making a difference.
It is hoped that this year’s MHAW will show that amid the fear, there is still kindness, hope and community passion.
How are you going to make an impact this Mental Health Awareness Week?