This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year the theme is ‘kindness’. Random acts of kindness help us to connect with others, and boost everyone’s mental wellbeing. Mental Health Awareness Week is a great time to start making kindness a habit…
Acts of kindness you can do during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- If you’re able to, donate to your local foodbank or to a charity that is close to your heart. The Trussell trust operates a national network of emergency foodbanks. You can find your nearest donation point on their website. Lots of small local charities are struggling at the moment, so help them if you can.
- Post a note through your neighbour’s door or give them a call to check in with them, particularly if they are vulnerable. There are some handy templates, but just a handwritten note to let them know you’re thinking of them will make a big difference.
- Have a virtual tea or coffee break with someone you work with. Check in regularly with your colleagues and ask how they are feeling with the change in working routine – you’ll both benefit from a chance to offload.
- Lend an ear to someone who is having a tough time, and remember that you don’t have to have the solution. The young campaigners at WE WILL in Cumbria say that the simplest and most effective way of helping people to cope is to JUST LISTEN. Their new short animation explains how people can make a difference by listening better:
- Tell someone how much they mean to you. Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them. Tell someone you know that you are proud of or thankful for them.
- Send someone a joke or cute picture to cheer them up. It’ll let them know that you are thinking of them, and might be just the boost they need at a difficult time.
- If you’re able to, volunteer to help others. Lots of local authorities have set up volunteering systems to safely get help to where it’s needed most. Most tasks are straightforward, like picking up food or medicines for people. Be sure to always follow the government’s guidance on offering help safely: uk/safehelp.
Volunteering in Cumbria: https://cumbriacvs.org.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-volunteering/
Volunteering in Newcastle: https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/public-health-wellbeing-and-leisure/public-health-services/coronavirus-covid-19/citylife
Volunteering in Gateshead: https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/article/1837/Volunteering
Volunteering in Sunderland: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/17108/Covid19-response-how-can-you-help-
Volunteering in Northumberland: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/coronavirus/Northumberland-Communities-Together.aspx
- Share reliable and helpful information about the pandemic with people. That could be the latest health guidance from the NHS, financial tips from MoneySavingExpert.com, or mental health advice. Your Facebook post or WhatsApp message has the power to reach someone who really needs that information – just make sure you’re sharing things from a trusted source.
- Smile and say hello to people you pass if you’re able to get out for exercise. We may have to keep our physical distance, but now more than ever it’s important to make social connections with people in our neighbourhood. A simple smile and ‘hello’ could brighten the day of someone going through a dark and lonely time.
We hope that these ideas help you to spread kindness and feel more positive during these difficult times. Don’t forget that it’s important to be kind to yourself too. We’ve put together another list of ways to show yourself compassion and kindness during Mental Health Awareness Week.