“To give or receive kindness is an act of courage.”
We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. So perhaps being courageous isn’t quite what you feel up to right now. That’s understandable.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re not suggesting that you try and fundraise millions of pounds for a local charity or whip up thousands of face masks.
Whether you’re working from home or not, these are strange times that are putting a real strain on even the most basic of tasks.
And so, it’s increasingly important that you check in on your own mental health and that of others. That, in itself, is an act of kindness.
Here are just some ideas as to how you can spread the message of #KindnessMatters throughout Mental Health Awareness Week.
Call, text or video call
Whether someone is struggling or not, it’s more important than ever to keep connected. Why not arrange to have lunch with a colleague or a video call? Or arrange a family quiz night? You could send a motivational text to your friend or simply pick up the phone to elderly relatives. Isolation can be really frightening for people so your reaching out could really make their day!
If you know of a family member or neighbour who is perhaps struggling with their grocery shopping, you could volunteer to safely deliver their groceries. They could read a list to you over the phone, for example, and you could pick up what they need (observing all social distancing measures). You can then safely drop this off on their doorstep.
Baking or cooking
If you’re living with your partner or family, why not surprise them with a home cooked meal (like a indoor date night) or bake something sweet for you all to enjoy? Baking and cooking are known to relieve stress and boost concentration – two things everyone could probably use a hand with right now. And the best bit? You get to tuck in and enjoy your efforts.
The simplest – and safest - way to help a charity right now is to donate to a foodbank or to give money online. Helping others has been proven as an excellent way to help yourself – doing good is good for you!
This entire situation is incredibly draining so it’s really important that you don’t forget about yourself in all of this. Self-care is never selfish. It’s simply a way to help the body and mind relax and re-charge. You could organise a home spa day with candles and face masks; go for a walk; read a book; do a jigsaw or a puzzle book; undertake a digital detox and give your brain a rest from endless social media updates.
However you choose to express kindness this Mental Health Awareness Week, we hope you remain safe and well.
If you are struggling and need support, charities such as See Me Scotland
, Breathing Space
and the Samaritans
have great online resources and can still be reached via phone call.