Stuck inside away from our friends and families, with mounting financial, career and health stresses weighing on our shoulders, it’s a challenging time that can be incredibly draining on our mental health. So, with May being mental health month, there’s never been a better time to take some time to reset, recharge and make sure we’re all looking after our mental wellbeing!
This year’s theme is kindness, and in recent weeks we’ve seen some incredible displays of this from our front-line workers, working tirelessly around the clock to help keep us safe and well. But there’s also those smaller acts of kindness that we experience on a daily basis, that can make all the difference in boosting our morale and general wellbeing during lockdown. It might be receiving a thoughtful text from a friend, a care package from your parents or the goodwill of a stranger who shares the last two packs of pasta with you in Tesco. So, in the spirit of this year’s theme, it’s time to spread a little compassion to help us all get through this together! Here’s some kind acts you can do for both yourself, and for those around you to boost your mental wellbeing…
Check In On Friends & Family
We’re all lacking a sense of connection right now, so get on Facetime to see those smiling faces that you love so much! As we all try to put on a brave face, it can be hard to tell who’s really struggling to cope, so even just a quick 5-minute check in every couple of days could make all the difference for someone who’s having a rough time. Plus, having a good laugh with your Grandma or best mate is sure to brighten your day too!
Use Your Phone For Good!
With all of us glued to our phones in an attempt to communicate, why not do something good for your mental health whilst you’re at it? Headspace, Happify & Clementine are all awesome apps designed to improve your wellbeing and give you a much-needed sense of calm during the storm that is COVID-19! There’s plenty of free meditations and exercises to choose from, but if you want to spread a little kindness around, how about gifting a friend a membership or plan to help boost their mood too?
Get Moving & Grooving
There’s a huge link between movement and mood, so stretch, walk, run, dance around your kitchen – whatever movement makes you feel good! Let go of rules around how much or how hard you should be exercising and listen to your body… if your body is sore or your mind feels tired, swap that intense strength class for a gentle walk in the fresh air or a good old stretch on your living room floor instead. It’s time to treat yourself with the kindness you truly deserve!
Journaling might sound a little ‘hippy’ but hear us out; it’s incredibly therapeutic and calming to get your whirring thoughts out on paper. You’ll be surprised to feel a huge release when the words start flowing and your head starts to clear. It’s also fun to look back a year later and see just how far you’ve grown – and what a weird time you went through back in 2020! A story for the Grandkids for sure…
Not one with words? Try an adult colouring book instead! It’s great way to introduce a little mindfulness into your life, especially if you find the idea of meditating intimidating or if you struggle to tap into your creativity. We promise as soon as you get into the flow with your pencils, you’ll suddenly start to feel all your stresses drifting away.
Send Something by Post
Receiving a thoughtful text is great, but it really doesn’t beat the feeling of when the postman turns up with a surprise for you! Go old school and become pen pals with your loved ones, sending letters, cards, photos and even a smoothie care package to give them a surprise that will light up their faces all day! The more people you send to, the more you’ll get back – giving you a little boost when you need it most too.
Anyone else feel like they’re turning into their Grandma during lockdown? Well it turns out she has the right ideas to keep you both entertained and in a mindful state during lockdown. It’s time to embrace your inner OAP and turn your hand to a bit of knitting, or even to making homemade cards so that thoughtful postal gift is a little more special! Trust us, putting on your headphones and working your way through a craft project or a 1,000-piece jigsaw is a surprisingly wonderful way to get some much-needed headspace!
Treat Yourself & Support A Small Business
Foodies, if you’re desperately missing your favourite restaurants and local coffee shops, it’s time to step up and support them during this time of need! Many are getting creative to offer you your favourite treats whilst keeping their precious businesses afloat, whether that’s with special care packages from their suppliers or new delivery offerings to spread their meals far and wide. Give yourself a night off cooking and order your favourite sourdough pizza or some baked goods from your local bakery. A treat for you and a treat for someone else – that’s a pretty great act of kindness if you ask us!
Switch Off from Social
With the constant need for connectivity, all this extra time spend on your phone can start to take a toll on your mental health. If you’re feeling frazzled & overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to switch off and step away from it all to recharge your batteries. Try taking a social media detox over the weekend to give your brain a break from the constant stream of opinions, news and comparison. Technology has us moving faster than ever before, but now is the perfect time to embrace a slower pace of life instead!