Mental Health Awareness Week occurs between 18-24 May and is organised by the Mental Health Foundation. The theme for 2020 is kindness.

The world is currently a little uncertain and chaotic. We all have so much going on in our lives right now. Many of us are working from home while trying to maintain some sense of normality for our families. There is a palpable sense of fear and worry. At times like these it easy to see kindness pushed to one side and focus on our own lives.

However, there are clear benefits to kindness. It has been shown in numerous studies that people who are kind and compassionate to others see clear benefits to their wellbeing and happiness. There is even some evidence that those people will live longer! Kindness improves out own emotional wellbeing during these tough times.

The coronavirus has forced all of society to pause their usual activities. This uncertainty has been difficult to deal with, but it also gives us the chance to imagine what type of society we come out of the other side with. We could all create a kinder society if we make individual commitments to showing kindness in our words and actions.

The virus has had some awful moments but there have also been some shining examples of just how compassionate humans can be for each other. People have rallied around to help neighbours, there has been overwhelming support for key workers, people who are missing loved ones are making efforts to show support from a distance. 

Small actions can lead to wonderful things. Here are some easy suggestions:

  • Call a friend you have not spoken to for a while
  • Post a letter to someone
  • Send someone a small gift out of the blue
  • Donate to a charity
  • Find out if anyone in your local community needs help with shopping
  • Video call someone you know is having a tough time
  • Say thank you to someone
  • Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you
  • Have a conversation with someone you know but don’t normally talk to
  • Listen to someone who is having a bad day
  • Praise people for things they have done well
  • Be a considerate driver
  • Write something encouraging on someone’s social media post
  • Think about what you share online and the tone in which you write

What are you going to do today to help build a kinder world?

If you are struggling with your own mental health during this time, don’t forget at IQBar there are people to talk to via the support e-mail. There are also some great resources on the Mental Health Foundation website (https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/)