Mental Health Awareness Week

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.

It is not possible to pour from an empty jug.
Photo credit Hayley Owens on Unsplash

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.

A thought for the day

What day is today? What do I need to do today? What didn’t I do yesterday?

Sound familiar?

It’s difficult for me to keep track of everything at the moment with no markers and a different routine to manage. I thought it would be good to remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be good enough for today.

Children’s Mental Health Week

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and there will be all sorts of events and information available at various schools and colleges across the country.  The aim of the week is to promote the idea of “being healthy inside and out” and this is the strap line of the campaign.

Most people know the benefits of a healthy body, taking enough exercise, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep.  It is just as important to look after mental health, to care for our bodies inside and out.  With all the pressures of everyday life, it can be difficult to “switch off” from our thoughts and feelings.  Here are five suggestions for you as a child, an adult and/ or to share with others.

  1. Turn on the radio or your favourite song and dance and sing along
  2. Doodle – draw – colour in.  Find some pens, crayons or pencils and make your own mark
  3. Read a book. 
  4. Talk to someone you trust, share your thoughts.
  5. Try a simple breathing exercise – in through the nose, hold for 3 secs, out slowly through the mouth.

More information for children, parents and schools can be found at the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week Website