As I opened up a new tab to write for this blog, I realised that it has been the longest time that I have taken away from sharing something with you all. Though it was with good reasons and intentions that I have done so, I felt complied to write a piece for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 since now more than ever we need to reach out to one another in any way we feel we can. This year’s MHAW theme was amptly chosen by the Mental Health Foundation to be Kindness.
It is needless to say that we are in very challenging circumstances. All walks of life have been impacted by an unprecedented global pandemic, that has changed every aspect of “normality” we once knew. The utterly devastating events, the restrictions of social distancing and social isolation, and the heartbreaking number of lives lost have effected us all in some way or another. So as you read on, I want to let you know that no matter what you are facing or feeling, I am with you all and sending my warmest wishes. Together we will get through.
Though despite the crisis, there is such a beautiful spirit amongst us, that has carried us this far and will continue to do so long after this is over, is the spirit of humanity shared through acts of kindness. Many of our communities up and down the country are united in supporting each other, lending hand to those who are more vulnerable or simply because they care. We have put up or painted rainbows to darn our homes with the notion that there will be brighter days ahead and that we are in this together. Also, there is a wonderful group of people painting rocks and leaving them everywhere and anywhere for a stranger to stumble upon to brighten there day (for more about this see ‘Love on the Rocks’ FB page). Though finally, I could not write this without mentioning the outstanding Colonel Thomas Moore who at the age of 100 years old has raised over £32 million for our NHS, inspiring and uplifting the nation.
As part of the 2.6 Challenge, I set out to write 26 letters to people in crisis with an eating disorder in honour of fundraising for Beat. So far I have been able to send 10 letters and raised £135 with the aim of continuing to keep it going until I reach my goal of 26 letters! Here is a link to my Just Giving Page
I am blown away by every single person who has been keeping this country going as well as it possibly can be. All our key workers are working around the clock to ensure that we are provided with the essentials to keep us going. Our emergency services are devoting their work towards protecting and saving lives at the risk of their own. No one could have anticipated the tremendous pressure and strain that presented to us in March, but I am truly grateful for the compassion that is thriving throughout this pandemic
Now for as wonderful as all those remarkable things are, there is more to kindness than giving our time for others. The definition of ‘kindness’ is to do something for others or yourself through a genuine desire to make a positive difference. Though we seldom associate the term with ourselves and just think of it as thoughtful acts we do for others.
In such uncertain, frightening and stressful times as the ones we are experiences right now, our health and well-being will be negatively impacted. When we feel under such overwhelming pressure and feel intense thoughts and emotions, it is very difficult to look after our physical and mental well-being. Therefore, this year’s theme of ‘kindness’ is even more important than one might think it to be at first glance.
We need to be kind to ourselves during this time as it is through doing so that we are better able to think optimistically, holistically and compassionately towards ourselves and to the world around us. For me, compassion is the most empowering thing we can hold when we are faced with adverse situations. Offering ourselves compassion is to acknowledge our struggles for what they are with no judgment as to why they are happening or there, just allowing them to be because it is a part of being human.
Life throws so many enormous obstacles in your path, that can leave you feeling as though there is no hope left to save you. However, no matter how dark it may be, there is always light there just waiting to be found, and that light is inside of you. When you tune into that light, you can learn the valuable lessons about yourself and the world around you. You are stronger than you realise, more capable of overcoming things that you believe, and most importantly you discover that you truly deserve to be kind towards yourself.
Be kind and go gentle.
Take care of yourself inside and out.