How Kind Are You? Mental Health Awareness Week

Posted on the 18th May 2020

Do you hold doors open for other people? Do you donate to food banks or charity shops when you can? Ask people how they are with genuine interest?  And do you know that your small acts of kindness not only help others but are good for YOU too?

This is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is kindness. More than ever in these difficult times we all need to look out for each other and also take care of our own wellbeing.

Able Futures

We work with mental health support service Able Futures. Its webpages offer a wealth of suggestions on how we can all be a little kinder. They also explain the very real biological and mental advantages this produces for ourselves.

Two mugs of tea for a shared break

Time to chat?

Kindness and Health

Here’s a little science from Able Futures.

When we act kindly and with compassion our brain releases oxytocin. This causes other chemicals to be released that reduce our blood pressure and improve heart health.  Kindness can also stimulate the release of seratonin,  which is also helpful for improving mood and helping to tackle feelings of anxiety and worry.

Your Mental Health Awareness Week

Of course many people are very kind to others all the time – but not necessarily to themselves. We can be harshly self-critical, overwork or deny ourselves non-essentials. This week is a time to be mindful of both supporting others and being a little kinder to ourselves.

Here are a few more ideas that may help with both:

  • ring up a friend you haven’t seen for a while
  • ask a shop assistant how their day has been
  • post something kind on your social media and use the hashtags #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. Spread the word
  • have an early night
  • let someone elderly, vulnerable or with small children ahead of you in a queue
  • make someone at home a cup of tea
  • give yourself a break from self-criticism. When you do something wrong remind yourself it’s good to learn from a mistake.

Pure Wellbeing

Later this week we will be looking at the great work being done by our teams at Stockport’s Wellbeing and Independence Network (WIN) and Mental Health Network. (MHN) 

Today, remember that we are all human. Kindness matters.

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