Being kind to yourself this Mental Health Awareness Week

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To say that 2020 has been a strange year would be somewhat of an understatement. We are living through a pivotal moment of human history and can be forgive for feeling overwhelmed during this time.

Whilst precautions are being taken to protect our physical health, it is important that we also take precautions to protect our mental health

18th – 24th May is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is kindness.

We are adapting to a new way of living, become more reliant than ever on digital technology to remain connected to our friends, families and colleagues, but one thing that has remain the same is the importance of our public green spaces to provide areas for us to escape to (whilst adhering to physical distancing measures) and take a break from the ‘new normal’.

But it is important that during this time of adjustment and uncertainty, we remain kind not only to others, but to ourselves too.

“We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops communities and deepens solidarity,” says Mark Rowland, CEO of Mental Health Foundation.

Many of us are already exhibiting kindness within our local communities, however with increased physical distancing measures in place and some people being classed as ‘at risk’ by the NHS, the inability to be active in their communities during this time may cause an increased decline in mental health.

Staying healthy, following Government guidelines and protecting our NHS is itself a social act of kindness. What is kinder than potentially saving lives?

At The Conservation Volunteers, we are advocates of spending time in nature as a way to feel happier and healthier. Spending time in nature has been proven to alleviate the effects of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. 

We have been sharing ideas of how to spend more time outside whilst adhering to the Government lockdown measures, and our team have been sharing how they are spending connected to nature whilst working from home.

Whether it be talking daily walks, growing your own produce, bringing nature inside or carrying out activities in your own green space, connecting with nature is a simple way to be a little kinder to yourself.

It is important to remember that we are all doing our very best to get through this pandemic together. With an increased reliance on social media, it is easy to see what others are doing during this time and compare ourselves to on-screen personas.

So please, if you can do just one thing today, be kind. To others, and to yourself.

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