Blog: Mental Health Awareness Week – Are you being kind to yourself?

Founded by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) is an annual campaign with its aim to get everyone talking about Mental Health. Now more than ever is it a time to stand up and acknowledge that Mental Health is just as, if not more important than the physical illness/injures we encounter.

It’s safe to say that in this time of uncertainty, our mental health will have been significantly affected and we will all have a story to tell. Some of us may never have experienced mental health and the effects it can have day to day, but in a time when how we feel is becoming more apparent and decisions have to be made, we find ourselves looking for resources to help us process and validate how we feel. There are many resources out there that we can reach out for in our time of need.

As I reflect on the theme for this year’s campaign, I wonder how many of us really figure ourselves and our own feelings in all of this. I mean we can be great at reaching out to others, showing kindness, strengthening relationships, develop communities and deepen solidarity, something we can all say we have witnessed at a time when the demand on the NHS has been high, but what have we done to be kind to ourselves?

For many of us, our working lives have changed, we may be working from home, we may be worried for our jobs as a result of furlough or because business decisions cause concern and not to mention the change for our children, away from their friends, their norm. Our anxieties and those of our families become heightened too, so I want to share how we can be kind to ourselves and those around us:

4 Tips to be kind to yourself

  • Take a moment to recognise how you are feeling, how has your day/week been so far or if with a family member, how are they feeling, how has their day/week been?
  • Turn off the noise. By this I mean the media channels, we can be overwhelmed by how much information is out there.
  • Treat yourself, something you like will always give that boost – we all deserve a reward from time to time – perhaps it might be a collective treat for the family.
  • Inject a small change in your daily living, allowing for some time to listen to music on your own, to read a book or even to listen to music or read a book with a child

By creating moments of calm, we can reduce our anxious feelings and know that it will pass!