Mental Health Awareness Week has approached again and this year’s theme is kindness.
The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability in some social groups and the difficulties they may be facing. The elderly and people who have compromised immune systems and certain health conditions have been advised to stay indoors for 12 weeks.
But what does kindness mean in a time like this? A lot of people that have been advised to stay at home aren’t able to physically make their way to supermarkets to buy groceries and essentials. Being unable to go outside and see people, spend time in nature and go for walks can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health. It’s important at this time to show kindness to people that are struggling if you are able to. Offer to drop off groceries, speak to them on the phone/FaceTime etc. A little kindness goes a long way.
It’s pivotal to also show kindness to your self as well as other people. A lot of people have been let off work temporarily and are furloughed which means they will be paid 80% of their wages. This means being stuck at home for an indeterminate amount of time and this can trigger poor mental health in some people. Patience with yourself is key. A lot of people feel pressured to spend this time upskilling, looking for remote/other work and building on businesses. This can keep people motivated with a routine which encourages learning and expanding on skills and career goals. But at the same time, it’s important to use this time to pause and take a step back to work on self-care if you are struggling. Be kind to yourself and give yourself warmth and rest if you are struggling. Read that book that you never had time to read before. Pick up that Netflix show you never quite finished. Use this time to unwind, sit in your garden and take in those smells and sights you overlook. For people suffering from burnout, this is the perfect time to take a step back from the fatigue of everyday life and lighten the load. If you want to know more about the importance of self-care, check out my post here.
I’ve seen a post circulating around social media criticising those that don’t reach out to people who are suffering and belittling those that don’t check up on people who may struggling. I feel that this point of view is one sided as it doesn’t let people take care of themselves. By all means, check in on your friends and FaceTime those that are not coping. However, you must also nurture your own mental health and take time out for yourself if you are not in the right state of mind to be in contact with people. A balance between looking after yourself and others is crucial.
Hope my post was useful! Let me know what you think. Also, to anyone struggling, please message me <3
P.s. Awareness is all good and well, but when are you gonna put some money in the NHS mental health funding Boris hmmm?