“Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.” Kevin Heath
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place this week and is themed around showing kindness to one another.
Kindness is an important theme because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity and strengthen relationships, develop community and deepen solidarity.
There are many ways in which you can be kind to others, including letting people know you are thinking of them. ITV news published an article last week that highlighted the recent surge in people sending physical cards and letters, with postal workers saying it’s the busiest they’ve seen, even more so than Christmas!
Sending cards has always been a popular way of helping us get through hard times, and it is a lovely way to let someone know you are thinking of them.
Reaching out at times like this can really make a difference to people and especially those who are vulnerable or struggling.
So to help make this a little easier, we want to give you
In particular we are big fans of the official May The Thoughts Be With You Card Range.
Created by Charlotte Reed, the designs are based on her hand-drawn illustrations coupled with uplifting philosophical messages. Having been inspired by her own journey out of depression, she decided to draw and write a positive message each day as part of her own self-therapy.
So how can we be more kind?
We love these ideas that the MHF suggest to help spread some kindness:
- Call a friend who you haven’t spoken to for a while
- Send flowers to a friend, out of the blue
- Find out if a neighbour needs any help with shopping
- Ring someone who is on their own, or video call them
- Send someone a handwritten thank you note
- Tell your family how much you love and appreciate them
- Help with household chores
- Offer to help an elderly or vulnerable neighbour
- Check on someone you know who is going through a tough time
- Take time to reach out online to people you haven’t seen for a while
- Remember to say hi to colleagues and ask how they are – whether that’s face-to-face, or virtually if you are working from home
- Offer to support colleagues who may not be familiar with videoconferencing or new software that you have already used
- Set up a virtual coffee/lunch club – with your regular colleagues and with new ones
- Have a conversation with a colleague you don’t normally talk to
- Get to know a new member of staff – it is hard to join a new workplace under these restrictions
- Lend your ear – listen to your colleague who is having a bad day
- Say thank you to a colleague who has helped you
- Praise a colleague for something they have done well
- Write something nice or encouraging on a social media post you appreciate
- Think about what you share – look at the source of the online post, and the tone. If it isn’t kind, think twice. If something could upset others and you feel you need to post it, use a trigger or content warning
- Think about your comments and replies. Try not to say nasty things, or pile on where somebody questions another person’s actions
They also promote how important it is to be kind to yourself and give these great tips:
- Prioritise some “me” time, so you can relax and reflect on how you’re feeling and how your day or week has been so far
- Turn off from your social media channels for a day, or even a week
- Treat yourself to something small, such as buying or planting some flowers
- Do something you enjoy, like listening to a favourite song or dancing in your kitchen
- Spend some time in nature, which is good for our mental health
Please see below the links for some useful organisations if you would like to find out more about mental health:
If you have any top tips for sharing kindness to yourself and others, please do let us know as we would love to hear them 😊