Mental Health Awareness
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2020. In response to the coronavirus outbreak the theme for this year’s national campaign is Kindness.
Recent research carried out before full lockdown was introduced, showed that even then there were clear indications that the pandemic was beginning to have a significant impact on the nation’s mental health. We know from studies that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships. Kindness can even improve feelings of confidence, optimism and make a positive difference.
At Bromley by Bow Health we are doing the following – join us to spread kindness and improve the health and wellbeing of yourself and those around you.
During Mental Health Awareness Week you can show your support and do any of the following:
Random act of kindness
- Leave a short message with someone who you appreciate and/or admire – via text, email, poem, drawing or any other way you prefer (you can do as many as you like). If you are on the receiving end and receive a message from someone then please leave a message for at least one other person
- Check out the list of random acts of kindness for more ideas… https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/random-acts-kindness
- Be kind to yourself, it is one of the best things you can do. Take some time out for yourself. Do something you love.
- Share your ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society that would support our mental health
- Share your stories and pictures (with permission) of kindness during the week using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek if uploading on social media. @mentalhealth
- Remember to tag Bromley by Bow Health too – @bbb_health on Twitter or Instagram!
Steps to better Mental Health
Studies have shown us that if we do the following things they help promote people’s wellbeing. Five ways to be kind to yourself and others, shaped around the Five Ways to Wellbeing
o Be Active
o Take Notice
o Keep Learning
Connect with people
Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can: help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth give you an opportunity to share positive experiences provide emotional support and allow you to support others. There are lots of things you could try to do different today and help build stronger and closer relationships:
Be physically active. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by: raising your self-esteem helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood.
Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. It allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivation. Practising mindfulness mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Read more about mindfulness, including steps you can take to be more mindful in your everyday life.
- Have a clear the clutter day
- Take notice of how your colleagues, friends or family members are feeling or acting
- Get a plant or something you like for your workspace
Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by, helping you to build a sense of purpose, helping you to connect with others and boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
There are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life.
- Try learning to cook something new
- Try taking on a new responsibility at work
- Work on a DIY project, such as fixing a broken bike, garden gate or something bigger. There are lots of free video tutorials online
- Consider signing up for a course at a local college. You could try learning a new language or a practical a new skill
- Try new hobbies that challenge you, such as writing a blog, taking up a new sport or learning to paint
- Read a book
Research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by creating positive feelings and a sense of reward, gives you a feeling of purpose and self-worth and helps you connect with people
It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community
- Say thank you to someone for something they have done for you
- Ask friends, family or colleagues how they are and really listen to their answer
- Spend time with friends or relatives who need support or company
- Offer to help someone you know with DIY or a work project volunteering in your community, such as helping at a school, hospital or care home