Looking after our mental health has never been more important. As we focus on the threats currently being posed to our physical health, we must remember the toll that this can take on us mentally, especially as we spend more time at home and our regular social activities are put on hold.
This week (18th – 24th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week. The UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all’. The focus this year is on the power and potential of kindness a fitting theme given the current situation we face as a global society. In my opinion protecting our mental health is going to be central to us coping with and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.’
Whether it’s picking up the phone to an elderly relative, choosing to shop locally, or even the efforts of Captain Tom Moore raising money for the NHS, acts of kindness have been all around us throughout the past few months.
As part of the co-op family we have all been working extremely hard at finding new ways of spreading positivity and tackling loneliness and isolation during lockdown and this week, i am hoping that kindness will spread even further.
Kindness can be something you do for another person, but it can also be doing something for yourself, whichever it is, acts of kindness are motivated by a genuine desire to make a positive difference. Research shows that kindness and our mental health are linked with altruism (helping others) being proven to have a positive impact on your own mental wellbeing by:
– Promoting physiological changes in the brain that are linked to happiness, improving our feelings of confidence and control
– Creating a sense of belonging by connecting us with our community, even if we can’t all be together at the moment
– Putting things into perspective by helping you to see the bigger picture and the things that you are grateful for in your own life.
Looking after your own mental health
But besides helping your mental health through acts of kindness, there are so many ways we can prioritise our mental wellbeing and ensure we are doing our very best to protect it throughout this time. Many of our support networks are providing fantastic tips, advice and activities to help us all to improve our mental wellbeing, whether in our working or personal lives.