News — Mental Health Awareness Week (18 – 24th May)
The Friary Guildford is taking part in Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week is high on the agenda for The Friary Guildford. It is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of a topic surrounding mental health problems by helping to support and inform those who might need it most.
This year’s topic of “Kindness” could not be more appropriate. In the recent weeks and months, we have witnessed an enormous sense of good will within our community and across the country whilst dealing with the coronavirus crisis. The nurses, carers and other key workers who continually put their own health on the line to look after the wellbeing of others is probably the most obvious example of selflessness.
However aside from these wonderful people, during difficult times, there have been a multitude of good deeds, a huge amount of community spirit, the spread of hope, moments of thanks and truck loads of KINDNESS!
Help to do good, by doing good!
Here’s a fun fact about being kind:
Did you know, doing good deeds has been scientifically proven to improve your mental health?
It can also reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing.
That’s right! It’s the perfect therapy, that can cost as little as a smile, a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on.
As part of the Mental Health Foundation’s work to help people lead mentally healthy lives, they have produced some tips and suggestions to help you get started on your journey to kindness.
How does kindness improve your mental wellbeing?
- The more you do for others, the more you do for yourself!
So they say, it is better to give than receive.
- By helping others, you can open your network of friends and connections
- New friends and community groups can encourage you to be more active, in turn increasing your self-esteem and confidence.
- Kindness can help to create a sense of belonging and reduces isolation
- It can help to keep things in perspective, giving you a more positive outlook on life.
- It helps to make the whole world a better place, kindness is contagious!
Things to consider before you start…
- Do something you enjoy so that it comes more naturally
- Keep others in mind and remember WHY you are doing it
- Don’t overdo it!
Here are a few ways you might think about demonstrating kindness within your community…
- Offer your expertise and support as a mentor for those who are struggling
- Check in with a neighbour who is feeling isolated
- Get involved in a charity which is important to you
- Involve your friends and neighbours in your community projects. Promote working together to create a communal project or you could start up a virtual book club.
- Volunteer to help in a crisis (if you are able)
- The best way to be kind is to listen to the problems of someone who needs to talk.
- Support your peers by sharing knowledge, experience and emotional help
- Mentor younger peers to help them to adjust to a new school, college or job
- If you’re managing a long-term condition such as diabetes, join a support group to help others
- People in later life can become socially isolated and lonely. Joining or helping someone else join a local group can build new friendships
Doing something for a good cause
- Getting involved with a cause that is close to your heart can be hugely beneficial for both the cause you are supporting and your own mental wellbeing.
- Follow your chosen charity on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and join in with the conversation
- Sign up to receive your charities newsletter and keep up to date with the work they are doing.
- Hold a virtual fundraising event for your local community or at work. Why not try a Tea & Talk event?
Random Acts of Kindness
Acts of kindness have the potential to make the world a happier place. You might want to do something for someone else or take note if you experience a random act of kindness.
Not sure where to start? We have put together some suggestions to help you out.
At home and in your community:
- Call a friend that you have not spoken to for a while
- Post a card or letter to someone you are out of touch with
- Send flowers to a friend out of the blue
- Find out if a neighbour needs any help with shopping
- Send someone a handwritten thank you note
- Walk your friends’ dog
- Tell your family members how much you love and appreciate them
- Help with household chores
- Check on someone you know might be going through a tough time
- Help a friend who wants to get more active
- Donate to your local foodbank
- Remember to say hi to colleagues and ask how they are
- Offer to make a drink for people in your house
- Lend your ear, listen to a colleague who is having a bad day
- Say thank you to a colleague who has helped you
- Praise a colleague for something they have done well
- Be a considerate driver
- Smile and say hello (from a safe distance) to someone you see regularly but have never spoken to before
It’s important to be kind to yourself
- Prioritise some “me time” so that you can relax and reflect
- Treat yourself to something small like buying or planting yourself some flowers.
- Do something you enjoy like listening to a favourite song or playlist
- Spend some time in nature, which is good for your wellbeing