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  • Jan Ockendon


One of the themes for this year's Mental Health awareness week is being kind. In a year where we have all been tumbled into a strange and almost apocolyptical world. One where many people are being told not to go out at all and the remainder are being told to only go out if absolutely necessary. This world has brought about a community spirit that has been ebbing away from us prior to it's arrival. We are standing on our drives clapping for our keyworkers, waving and calling to our neighbours. Neighbours are coming together to help others in their community who are sick or not able to out for other reasons. Neighbourhoods have started groups on Social Media to come together to offer and ask for help or to share resources. All this is fantastic and long may it continue, let's work to keep this going in our new normal.

When we return to our own safe space and close our doors what then becomes of the kindness? Being kind is not reserved for us to give to others so what do we do to be kind to ourselves? What does being kind to ourselves look like? It could be as simple as taking time to enjoy a hot bubble bath or read a book. It could be doing an online exercise class or meditation class. One of the things we can easily overlook is the monologue in our mind. Often that is telling us we are not doing enough or everything we have done is wrong or just not good enough. Monitoring that voice and checking it when it is becoming too loud or seeking help from somebody else is a way we can show ourselves the ultimate kindness. It really is ok to not be ok, what is not so ok is not forgiving ourselves when we are not feeling ok. Expecting too much of ourselves and pushing too hard. Sometimes it really is ok to sit on the duvet and read a book or watch that box set. It might take a little practice but this Mental Health Awareness week try to be kind to yourself.

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