Mental Health Awareness Week
This week is Mental Health Awareness week, and within this blog post I have chosen to focus on the topic of kindness.
We know that kindness towards ourselves and others makes us happier and we have seen so much kindness nationwide since the lockdown.
As we emerge from lockdown, what small shifts can we make in our lives to embrace kindness?
We have seen our keyworkers put their lives on the line for us, and people have been showing their gratitude in so many ways. Colonel Tom Moore walking for the NHS touched our nation as a whole and the inspiration has continued.
Would you like to be part of a world that inspires a kinder generation? Before lockdown were you time rich or time poor? In lockdown, our use of time has changed with the creation of different routines. As we adjust to this ‘new normal’, could this be an opportunity to use some of our time differently?
The pandemic has really shown random acts of kindness across communities, such as, cooking for the NHS, fundraising, delivering meals, to name but a few. Many of our shielded population have been supported by their communities and there is a real feeling of connection in the weekly appreciation claps for our key workers.
We have become more mindful of the needs of others, whether that be our family & friends, our neighbours or people in our communities, so how do we maintain the connections that we have formed during the pandemic?
With our need as human beings to connect, we have introduced virtual ways of communicating. We have had time to get to know our neighbours better and to look out for those that are isolated. As we get back into our lives, what changes could you make that would make you happier?
What one act of kindness did you introduce in isolation that inspired you or made you feel good about yourself? Have you found routines that you would like to integrate into your ‘new normal’ life moving forward?
What is good Mental Health?
· Creating and maintaining good relationships with others
· Connecting with your environment
· Feeling a sense of motivation
· Managing stress
· Managing uncertainty and change
Whilst the above is a barometer for good mental health, we know that life can very easily get in the way, throwing us off course.
Anxiety & Depression
Yours and your families’ health may have been majorly affected in this pandemic causing anxiety or depression. Some people have lost family members and have not been able to attend the funeral so they don’t get the closure they need. Others may have been able to attend but have not had the support of their family because of isolation.
Other circumstances for example furlough or redundancy could also be reasons for anxiety and depression during these times.
Fear about coming out of ‘your bubble’ may be causing you some anxiety. Having worked from home, you are now worrying about commuting and perhaps about how you are going to stay safe. So, what can you put in place to manage these worries? Recognising a fear and resolving it by talking is a good first step!
How difficult is it for you to be kind to yourself?
When you don’t meet the high expectations you set for yourself, do find yourself sitting in negativity which impacts your self-esteem?
Today I missed an appointment and my initial response was to beat myself up. Whilst anxiety peaked temporarily, I calmed myself down with a 3-minute meditation, made myself a coffee and reset the mindset button.
The impact of showing kindness to others is a healthy reminder to show ourselves that same consideration. It is the small acts of kindness that make a difference to others and to ourselves.
Mother Teresa once said, “We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.”