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Mental Health Awareness Week 18-24 May

Published on: May 18, 2020

A TIME FOR A NEW TYPE OF KINDNESS

By Nadine May, Wellbeing Worker for Scarborough, Whitby & Ryedale

During this time we are being flooded with amazing stories of how people are being kind to others, whether this is through helping a neighbour who is self-isolating, money being raised for charities, free classes being put on or the lovely rainbow pictures put in windows to thank the NHS for their hard work. However, while this is lovely to see, this time has also posed the question, how kind are we to ourselves?

Showing kindness to ourselves is not a notion that comes easily, instead we prefer to be kind to others while simultaneously putting ourselves down or minimising our own achievements. Going forward this needs to change and with the lack of social interaction now is a great time to start practicing a new form of kindness where we can look to ourselves for kind words and actions. Why not start to make these changes during Mental Health Awareness Week, below are our top five tips to get you started:

  1. Allow time for yourself

It is understandable to feel that there is not enough hours in the day to get your jobs done and that sometimes your needs have to be put on the back burner in order to get things done.  However, it is important that this does not become a daily recurrence and instead make sure that you take some time out everyday to do something that you enjoy or that will boost your mood. This may be having a soak in the bath or standing out in the garden for five minutes, no matter how big or small, set this time and stick to it, enjoying the moment, you deserve it!

  • Be proud of your achievements

We are very good at highlighting others success and playing down our own or focusing on our failures. This has to stop. Instead take the time to focus on your own achievements and allow yourself to feel proud of them; it may be that you feel proud for allowing time for yourself today. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you have made, we are only human and they are going to happen, so rather than dwelling on them tell yourself “It’s okay these things happen but at least I have learnt for next time”.

  • Take care of yourself

Spending all this time at home can cause havoc with our daily routines which can have a massive impact on our wellbeing. Therefore, make sure you are having proper varied meals, getting enough exercise and getting a good night sleep – not staying up too late watching films. We may not be able to get to the gym at the moment but this does not stop us from being able to go for a walk outside, following an online video or just having a dance around your kitchen.

  • Treat Yourself

Don’t feel guilty about the occasional treat; we all need to indulge every now and again. This may be buying that top you have had your eye on for a while or just allowing yourself a piece of chocolate cake. Whatever the treat, allow yourself the time to enjoy it without the need to justify it, if it makes you happy that’s all that matters.

  • Be your own best friend

As stated at the beginning, we find it a lot easier to be kind to others compared to ourselves and are usually there for a friend with an encouraging statement and some positive words. Therefore, next time you want to put yourself down or have a negative thought ask yourself ‘What would I say to a friend going through this?’ Apply this answer to yourself. If it’s good enough for someone else then it is good enough for you!

Times are hard and uncertain for many of us right now, however, applying these self-kindness tips can really make a difference and allow you to see yourself in a new way, so give it a go today!