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Mental Health Matters: Remember Kindness this Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is the Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week, giving us all a chance to shine a light on the importance of keeping a check on our mental health and the mental health of others too. As so many of us are still under full lockdown conditions and everyone is subject to much less time spent outdoors and in the company of family and friends, it is understandable that many find their mental health is impacted. This year’s focus and theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is Kindness, and it really is true that a little kindness can go a long way.

The community spirit in the North East and further afield is definitely alive and kicking but there are also many things we can do as individuals to promote happiness, kindness and better mental health for all. While hugs and face-to-face comfort may not be possible, there are many small ways you can make an active difference and brighten up someone’s day. American author Henry James said: “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind” and it is true that in attempting to be kind, you can support your own wellbeing and that of others.

Here are a handful of creative, heartfelt and sometimes fun acts of kindness you could carry out, even under lockdown conditions:

  1. Review a small business whose services you’ve used
  2. Keep a compliments journal
  3. Have a fun online quiz night with your friends and family
  4. Send your loose change to a local charity in need
  5. Chalk up your driveway or wall with positive messages and rainbows
  6. Adopt an animal online as charities need support now more than ever
  7. Sort through your old clothes and bag up anything unwanted for donation
  8. Leave water out for wildlife – the bright spells of weather means birds and other wildlife will be thirsty! Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call
  9. Tell someone you know that you are proud of them
  10. Tell someone you know why you are thankful for them
  11. Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
  12. Send someone you know a joke to cheer them up
  13. Send someone you know a picture of a cute animal
  14. Send an inspirational quote to a friend
  15. Send an interesting article to a friend
  16. Arrange video lunch dates with your friends and colleagues
  17. Donate to your local foodbank
  18. Send a loved one a takeaway meal
  19. Pop a note through a vulnerable neighbour’s door so they know you’re there to help
  20. Message your children’s teacher to thank them for their hard work in these difficult times