What is Mental Health Awareness Week?
Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual campaign coordinated by the Mental Health Foundation
, which is taking place 10th – 17th May 2021 and aims to raise awareness of mental health and usually has a targeted theme which changes each year.
This year the campaign will be focusing on the power and potential of kindness. The theme of kindness has been chosen because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Through this years campaign there will also be awareness raising of ways that kindness is already flowering at this time.
A change of theme – from Sleep to Kindness
Sleep remains an important subject with a close relationship between sleep and mental health and there is a lot of stigma around the subject. Living with a mental health problem can affect how well you sleep and poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health. Sleep problems affect more than 50% of adult patients with generalised anxiety disorder and are common in those with post traumatic stress disorder. Studies similarly estimate that between 65% and 90% of adult patients with major depression experience some kind of sleep problem.
For more information on; the relationship between sleep and mental health, what you can do to improve your sleep and activities, particularly targeted at workplaces but can be tailored to suit all, which you can do to raise awareness of sleep and it’s effects on mental health, click here
Random Acts of Kindness to improve your wellbeing
Being kind to others and completing random acts of kindness, can really change someone’s mindset and help boost their wellbeing. Some examples of Random Acts of Kindness include:
- Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
- Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them
- Arrange to have a cup of tea and virtual catch up with someone you know
- Tell someone you know that you are proud of them
- Spend time playing with your pet
- Offer support to vulnerable neighbours
3 types of kindness and remember to be kind to yourself
Often when we think of kindness, our mind immediately thinks of this as being kind to others. However that is not the only way of being kind, others can be kind to you and you can be kind to yourself. It is always so important that we are kind to ourselves however this can often be forgotten about. Being kind to ourselves can be done through simple acts and taking time out for yourself.
Self-kindness lead to a change of your inner voice, instead of being critical, our inner voice is supportive and warm. Research has shown the many positive consequences of self-kindness on our well-being, including a greater; emotional intelligence, connectedness with others, wisdom, curiosity, happiness, and optimism, with less need to compare ourselves to others.
Ways that you can be kind to yourself are very individual and there is not one activity for everyone. However, here are some examples for you to take inspiration from:
- Read a book
- Get creative through arts and crafts
- Enjoy a nice long bath
- Get active
- Take a break
- Listen to your favorite music
Why not take some time out for yourself this Mental Health Awareness Week?
The number of advocates for mental health awareness is increasing
Paul Jay Fink