This week is Mental Health Awareness week and the theme is kindness #kindnessmatters
We are being encouraged to look out for everyone and to be kind to others – taking the time to connect with someone and perhaps pass on random acts of kindness. The benefits of doing so are two-fold – research suggests that the act of compassion and reaching out to others has benefits for the givers mental health, as well as hopefully helping the receiver.
Whilst reflecting on this over the week, I thought it was worth pointing out that it is also important to be kind to ourselves. In order to be able to give out, we have to have the energy and resources to give. Or putting it simply, it is not possible to pour from an empty jug, so keeping our own jug topped up is important.
Being kind to ourselves
Some days, this can feel harder than others.
Try to tune out the sound of judgement and focus on achievements. This can be as simple as saying “well done” for getting out of bed and having a shower.
Here are some other ways.
Do something you enjoy. This could be listening to music (or trying a silent disco in the living room), drawing, reading a book or watching TV.
Try to find things you are grateful for each day. Perhaps using a journal to record them in.
Spend some time looking at nature. Perhaps on a walk, notice the sights, sounds and smells.
Talk to someone. This could be reconnecting with someone you haven’t spoken to for a while.
Spend some time focusing on your breathing. Notice the pattern of your breath and how it changes when you draw your attention to it.
If you would like more information on Mental Health Awareness week you can find it here at the Mental Health Foundation.