Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

The Mental Health Foundation is hosting Mental Health Awareness Week (18th – 24th May) across the UK this year. We wanted to show our support for this initiative and share some more details about what this week means and how important your mental wellbeing really is.

In light of all the COVID-19 uncertainty, this year’s theme is #KindnessMatters. The Mental Health Foundation would like us to focus on the community, support and hope that has come out of such difficult times. That being said, looking after our mental health means different things to each of us and that’s why it’s so important that we take the time out of our days to really focus on it.

What is kindness?

Kindness takes many forms, it can be as simple as calling a loved one to talk about their day, asking the cashier at your local supermarket how they are or even smiling at a stranger across the road. The Mental Health Foundation conducted a survey and found that two-thirds of people found that when they were kind to others or others were kind to them, it had a positive impact on their mental health. However, we must not underestimate the benefit of also being kind to yourself, whether that be taking the long walk you’ve been talking about for weeks, binge-watching a Netflix show or even baking a cake!

The benefits of kindness

Over the years several studies have been conducted  showing that being kind can significantly improve our physical and emotional wellbeing. Physical wellbeing? YES. Scientific studies  have shown that acts of kindness boost your immune system, reduce stress, slows down ageing and are good for your heart.

To find out more about these studies, be sure to check out this BBC article 👉 https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52557800

What can I do?

Take some time off! Be sure to utilise your annual leave during this time, even if you spend it indoors reading a book – sometimes you just need to switch off.

We’ve also found some apps which can help with wellbeing and kindness – Headspace (a guided meditation app), Moodpath (an app to reflect on your emotional and physical wellbeing) and Acts of Random Kindness (an app with tools to promote kindness towards others).

Look up local volunteering opportunities in your local community to spread kindness.

If you are experiencing any difficulties with your mental health, please look at the NHS resources available to you here, contact your GP or speak to your internal HR team.