Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 - #UnwindToBeKind with our new mindfulness audio

This year's Mental Health Awareness Week will run from May 18th to 24th and will focus on Kindness this year. The week will celebrate all the acts of kindness that have taken place during the covid-19 outbreak, and how these have a positive affect on our mental health.

Over the last few months we’ve all been inspired by the acts of kindness we’ve received and seen in the media. Neighbours checking in on each other and picking up shopping, people volunteering at foodbanks and giving their time, raising money for local charities and the NHS, the list is both huge and heart-warming! All of these acts work directly to cheer up the person on the receiving end and can improve their mental health; reducing stress and anxiety around getting hold of the basics, easing isolation and loneliness, and giving them a sense of hope and optimism.

The act of being kind to someone in need also has a huge benefit to mental health; we feel more connected to other people and our communities, happier and more positive about ourselves, and more aware and grateful for the positives in our lives.

It’s easy to see how somebody being kind to you can improve your mental health, and there’s plenty of research about the positive impact of giving acts of kindness, but how do we sustain being kind to others without burning out?  And how do we give ourselves permission to accept acts of kindness without feeling helpless?

As well as sharing research and local stories about kindness and its impact on both the giver and receiver, CASS will use Mental Health Awareness Week to remind people that kindness starts with yourself! Looking after our own mental health and being kind to ourselves is the foundation of lasting and sustainable kindness towards others, and allowing ourselves to accept kindness from others can be a gift in itself, allowing the giver to feel the benefit of their actions.

So, we’re encouraging people to reach out to local services for mental health and wellbeing support if you need to – our directory of services is a great place to start if you don’t know where to look. Or just give yourself 10 minutes to listen to our #UnwindToBeKind Mindfulness audio which you can download here.