It’s mental heath awareness week this week and this year the Mental Health Foundation is promoting the theme of kindness.
Kindness has been such a big part of the community response to the coronavirus pandemic in the road where I live. Neighbours who had never spoken before were suddenly reaching out to support one another with small acts of kindness. Leaving meals for a man self-isolating on his own after a return from hospital, picking up medication for someone else’s son, banging pots and pans on a Thursday evening to let the essential workers on our road know we appreciated them, dropping off groceries and doing countless other kind, thoughtful things. Once this is all truly over, it would be a shame if this kind of connection with each other were to stop as suddenly as it started.
Evidence suggests there are five steps you can take/ things you can do to improve your own mental health and wellbeing. Trying any of these things can help you feel more positive. The first of those five things is connection. Connecting with other people is important for your mental wellbeing. It gives you a sense of belonging, builds your self-worth, allows you to be supported by and support others, enables you to share positive experience and provides a source of help in difficult times. Despite not being able to meet physically with each other during lockdown, I saw so many connections being made in our neighbourhood. That same level of community connection and support has been demonstrated all over the world. It’s up to us as individuals, and as societies, to keep it going afterwards.
Personally, I intend to keep the connection going with my neighbours and with the groups I became a part of online during lockdown. Some of those groups will transfer back out into face to face meet ups in the real world. Professionally, I’m also going to get my women’s writing circle going again – I see it developing as a space where I can facilitate connection with other women, where we can grow and explore together and write our way to wellbeing in a group. Please get in touch by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’re interested.
What will you do to facilitate your own or others sense of connection to each other going forward?