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.

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

Services available for staff

Remember that looking after your physical health can really boost your mental wellbeing. You can sign-up to YMCA Gym online classes using the links at the end of this article (cite your name and department when registering for a session).

Confidential counselling is still accessible for staff members registered with Westfield Health or via Riverside Natural Health Centre, and our workplace chaplain Jo Tatum is also available to provide support on jo.tatum@southwell.anglican.org or 07528641320.

Mental Health support links:

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

Register for YMCA Gym Online: Fitness Classes

Monday 12:15
HIIT with Danny
Zoom: link to HIIT
Password: 568191

Tuesday 12:15
Glute Workshop with Emma
Zoom: link to Glute Workshop
Password: 2o6dwM

Wednesday 8:15
Circuits with Danny
Zoom: link to Circuits
Password: 3GTfw0

Wednesday 12:15
FitSteps with Emma
Zoom: link to FitSteps
Password: 062197

Thursday 14:00
Strong30 with Emma
Zoom: link to Strong30
Password: 9uw9mS

Friday 15:00
YMCA Gym Quiz
Zoom: link to YMCA Gym Quiz
Password: 152060