This past week has been Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme this year is kindness. With the COVID-19 pandemic stirring up uncertainty across communities, being kind to one another is more important than ever before. And we have seen first-hand how the power of kindness has been helping those more vulnerable and isolated in our communities; from people picking up prescriptions for those shielding from the virus, to others delivering shopping and essentials to those in need.
Kindness is powerful, kindness is what unites us as human beings; it creates connections and friendships, it harbours trust and it lets people know that they’re not alone. It is also important to remember in times like these, to be kind to yourself.
We are living in uncertain times, and there is no blueprint for how we should be acting or feeling; sometimes it’s important to switch off from social media, and not worry about how other people are coping with the lock down. Some of us have turned to baking, and painting and decluttering our houses, whilst the rest of us are taking this time for ourselves, to simply ‘be’. It’s important for our own mental health that we try not to compare ourselves to others, and remind ourselves that it is OK if we are feeling overwhelmed, or lonely, or bored, or anxious. We are all weathering the same storm, but we aren’t all in the same boat.
This week, we have been sharing snippets of advice and guidance on how to be kind to yourself and others during the pandemic across our social media channels (and our newly-launched TikTok platform).
We have also posed the question to our supporters about the random acts of kindness that they have given and received during lockdown, here are some of our favourites…
“I have been sending surprise gifts in the post to those I know needed a little pick-me-up.”
“I was having a really stressful day at work and somebody bought me a Crème Egg – I was so happy.”
“I’ve been helping to research resources for a woman in another country who’s been struggling to access food.”
“I’ve been working with local schools to make and distribute ‘postcards of hope’ to those shielding and in care homes.”
“I’ve been getting my neighbours prescriptions for them.”
“A friends send me a card unexpectedly.”
“I’ve been taking a Sunday dinner round to an elderly neighbour who lives on her own during lockdown.”
“I’ve been writing postcards to my friends to let them know I’m thinking of them.”
“I’ve helped my grandparents with their shopping.”
“My boss did our weekly shop for two weeks when me and my family were self-isolating.”
“I listened as my friend completely offloaded, no matter how long it took, or what was said.”
“I gave my neighbour some flowers.”
“I have been checking in with and supporting my friends.”
“I’ve been giving nutritional advice with empathy to a stranger, for her partner who is dying of cancer.”
“I’ve been shopping for vulnerable members of my family.”
“My friend sent me some flowers for no reason.”
“My brother bought me Italian food on a really bad day.”
“My friends have been playing Scrabble with me online to take my mind off things.”
“I set up a funded art project for my Bradford community – over 100 people will contribute to paint a canvas.”