This Mental Health Awareness Week, the theme is kindness, and we don’t think that could be more appropriate than right now. Whilst this crisis is a struggle for many of us, personally and from a business perspective, it has shown us how communities can come together and how much people are willing to help and support each other.
Whether it’s offering to do the shopping for an elderly neighbour who is having to self-isolate two doors down, or hanging out of our windows every Thursday to clap for the NHS and for key-workers everywhere, kindness seems to be all around us.
But kindness isn’t just outwards, and as the new normal redefines itself constantly, we must also remember to be kind to ourselves. So we’ve put together a little guide, with some top tips gathered from experts, on how to keep being kind to yourself during this crisis and as we transition out of it:
- Be patient with yourself. It took most of us a while to get used to lockdown. So it makes sense that as we start to come out of it, we’ll have to get used to that too! If what would once have been a normal work day feels more tiring today than it did three months okay, remind yourself that that’s okay.
- Be active. That doesn’t mean you need to be running marathons! Go for a walk every day, if you want to start running consider the Couch to 5K programme, or surf youtube for endless exercise classes you can follow that are suitable for all levels. And this isn’t about getting fit, it’s about releasing the stress and anxiety that builds up in your body during times of uncertainty.
- Even if you have more time than usual, it’s easy to never properly relax. So make sure you still set aside time to watch Netflix, or read a book, whatever relaxing looks like to you. Allow yourself to do it.
- Don’t bottle it all up. We are in a situation that is constantly changing, so it follows that are emotions might be changing more regularly than usual. Let yourself cry, let yourself get frustrated, let yourself feel happy.
- If you can, talk about it. Everyone on the planet is being touched by this crisis in some way. The chances are your friends, colleagues, the person you’re two metres behind in the queue are all feeling similar things to you. Talk to each other, share and then get through this together. And if you are an employer, create a culture that makes people comfortable enough to talk about their wellbeing, and gives you an opportunity to listen.
This Mental Health Awareness Week, let’s remember the people who were kind to us, the people who we were kind to, the community links we made, how easy it was to ask an at risk neighbour if they needed anything as you headed to the supermarket. Let’s make a promise to come out of this crisis full of kindness, for ourselves and for others.
Mental Health Awareness Week raises awareness, across the UK, of mental health and mental health issues, hoping to inspire a positive message around mental health.