According to the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Doing Good?’ survey, 76% of respondents agreed that society has become less kind, and more selfish and materialistic.
Organised by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual campaign aimed at raising awareness of mental health and “inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.”
In response to the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the theme of the event will be focusing on the relationship between ‘kindness’ and our mental health.
Mental health & kindness
Due to the ways in which the outbreak has affected our daily lives, the Mental Health Foundation has decided that we spend mental health awareness week celebrating the acts of kindness that have emerged while the world has suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic.
By focusing on the importance of kindness and the role that it plays in our mental health, the goal of the campaign is to help shape our society’s outlook on mental health as we return to normality in the future.
Benefits of kindness
Studies have shown that practicing kindness can boost serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain, which are known as the “feel good, happy hormones.” While negative emotions such as anger and jealousy contribute to the production of cortisol – the ‘stress hormone’ – which in turn, can lead to a weakened immune system and weight gain.
Simply put, being kinder in our daily lives can reduce stress and improve our emotional wellbeing and physical health.
How do I get involved?
With the COVID-19 outbreak causing much distress and concern around the world, it’s the ideal time for us all to show each other more kindness and compassion.
From residents singing on their balconies in Italy, to people clapping in their doorways for the NHS and key workers in the UK, there has been an inspiring amount of kindness seen around the world during these uncertain times.
If you need some suggestions on how you can get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, here are a few ideas:
Random acts of kindness – Use the extra time we have at home to make the world a happier place by carrying out random acts of kindness. These can be as big or small as you would like, as long as they come from a place of sincerity and compassion.
For example, you could; reach out to friend who you haven’t spoken too in a long time, make a cup of tea for someone you live with or make a donation to a charity close to your heart. The possibilities are endless!
Be kind to yourself – It can be easy to forget about yourself while practising kindness, however, self-care is essential in maintaining healthy general wellbeing. Treat yourself to something you enjoy, such as watching your favourite film or spending an evening relaxing with a bath and a book.
Spread the word – Use the hashtag #WorldMentalHealthWeek on social media and share any stories that you have found inspiring during these times. The more positivity and kindness that we can spread via our social channels, the better.
If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact the Health Assured 24/7 confidential helpline.