YMCA promotes kindness this Mental Health Awareness Week

‘Be the reason someone smiles this week’

To mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Nottinghamshire YMCA is urging every person to create at least one small act of kindness for someone in your life.

Whether you send a text to someone who is living alone during lockdown, buy groceries for a self-isolating neighbour, make a donation to a homeless charity or paint a rainbow in your window to help keyworkers feel valued – be the reason somebody smiles this week!

As the quality of being ‘friendly, generous and considerate’, kindness is an endlessly undervalued attribute that warms our lives with the belief that others consider our wellbeing to be valuable. With the template of our everyday lifestyles rewritten due to COVID-19, the concept of ‘kindness’ now seems more instrumental to our community’s survival than ever before.

Social distancing and isolation affects everyone differently, and it is easy to become increasingly insular and cut off from those around you as the lockdown continues. Depending upon your home, health, family, financial situation, job security and support network (among many other factors), every individual’s personal challenges in this pandemic are circumstantially bespoke.

For many, this means that finding textbook solutions to any mental health issues that may arise during lockdown can prove tricky as there is ‘no one size fits all’ answer. It is worth remembering that tailored support is always available to help you and your loved ones navigate these difficult days, and perhaps by inspiring acts of kindness in our communities we can help to make life feel that little bit more manageable for ourselves and others.

Mental Health support links:

As a movement devoted to promoting wellbeing and healthy living for all, Nottinghamshire YMCA offers a programme of mental health support which is available for all employees and can be accessed online through the Staff Portal (where a full list of our Mental Health Champions can also be found).

As a young person’s charity, we would also like to stress the importance of making sure we are being extra kind and sensitive to the troubles that children may be experiencing during the pandemic. Young people of today may not remember the death rate statistics, but the ways in which their parents, carers and mentors respond to this crisis may leave a lasting impression upon their memories, personalities and own crisis management skills as they grow into adulthood. We have an opportunity to teach and inspire the next generation to lead with kindness and make human empathy a priority in every life scenario.

It is only through showing deep care and respect for one another that we can ensure compassion triumphs in this crisis and that history remembers us as the community which refused to leave anyone behind.

To end with a feel good message this week, we would like to leave you with a quote from the classic children’s book, The Hobbit, in which author J.R.R Tolkein writes: “I have found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

#BetterTogether #KindnessMatters #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek