It is striking that when most people hear the term "mental health" they associate it with something negative, an illness like depression instead of something positive like balance or happiness.
As we are halfway through the Mental Health Awareness Week (18th-24th May) in the UK, I was thinking of honouring this year's theme, kindness.
Why not shine a light on everyday examples of taking the time to go the extra mile for yourself and others?
I think this will be a great discussion for our community as a way of reflecting on daily acts of kindness, whether small or large. By sharing our stories we can inspire each other and become better and stronger.
@Nick , good theme Nick, I have to add, its tough to be kind to the greater world right now for those that are locked down so as they say, "all politics are local" and "charity begins at home". We need to be kind to the ones we are with right now even more than ever. We actually have time for each other like never before and there is really no excuse for not taking advantage of that often right now. Im going to see what Kind of Kind things I can do to add a posting worthy of the topic Nick, Stay well, JR
@NickI really like this topic. I'm a big believer in the power of kindness and try and practice random acts of kindness daily.
Before the pandemic started, I had purchased a sandwich board with a writing surface, and every day, I write a positive message on it. I live on a major road, so thousands of people see it every day. I enjoy doing them, and I've been approached by many people in my little town, telling me that they brighten their day. Especially now when people are having a hard time connecting with others, I think it's been positive.
Here's a medley of some of my favorites that I've done:
In terms of things that other people have done locally, our tiny local food bank has increased the number of families it serves from less than 500 to over 2000 in the matter of 8 weeks. It's just run by one person, but she does amazing work: in addition to a food bank, they also help people who can't cover their utility bills or rent, help connect people with community services, run a support system for migrant workers, and provide used clothing and household goods to people in need. To see the way the community has stepped up to support them during this difficult time is inspiring. Some of the things that have been done:
- A local nursery held a plant sale and donated their profits;
- One of the local wineries is donating their profits from their most popular line of wines;
- A local restaurant prepares free meals for those who need them;
- A local coffee shop (branch of Tim Hortons) donates treats every week so the people using the food bank get a treat with their food. A local flower grower does the same with bouquets and plants.
I think it's really amazing and inspiring to see the community step up to the plate to help those who are suffering.
@Alexandra316 - how did you see into my soul to find my mantra in life? 😛
@Stephaniethat's a good one for sure 🙂 obviously one I try and live by.
I'm actually also doing a big fundraiser with my Spanish dog rescue group. The shelters there are really hurting due to the pandemic and lockdown. Not really an act of kindness to other people, per se, but I think the dogs improve my mental health.
For me pet therapy was the most effective- once you have deets please let me know as to post this on IG (run a pet page for my furry nephew and he has a bit of a following). Thank you @Alexandra316 xx
@Yadira22Will do! Thank you. We're helping a total of 8 dog shelters specifically in this event, but we're also bringing attention to the issues they're dealing with right now generally. Any more exposure is good! Things are pretty rough there right now.
@Nick Are you a saint or something? 🙂
I love this. Especially as I live in a country led by a mean, ugly bully who inspires, mean, ugly behavior in his sycophantic followers.
I haven't seen anyone to be kind or unkind to, but while I'm quarantining in my Airbnb, I write a postcard to someone I love every day and walk down the steep dirt road to put it in the mailbox every morning. Then, of course, I have to walk back up. This is how I'm being kind to myself - taking some exercise (did I mention that road is STEEP?) and reaching out to people I love when I'm feeling alone.
Otherwise, trying (and largely failing) to follow @Alexandra316's exemplary and inspiring lead, I'm making monetary donations to an array of charities in need. Independent bookstores, our local ambulance corps, a trust that preserves land in Maine, and a Democrat who's running for the US Senate from Maine are a few of my recent choices. Oh, and I bought eight extra boxes of Girl Scout Cookies for health care workers. That was an easy one. 🙂
@Ann72I absolutely love your postcard idea, and that you're donating to independent bookstores. Here, there's an initiative called Sorry We're Closed that gives an easy way to donate to small, independent businesses that are suffering. I can't help but think that a lot of places aren't going to make it out the other side of this, unfortunately.
@Alexandra316 That is such a wonderful initiative! I took this picture at a small nail salon shortly before I left New York, but it has of course been up since the lockdown began. The longer it's there the more heart-wrenching it is.
@Ann72 That is rather heartbreaking.
I drive by the door of my yoga studio all the time and see the sign that says Temporarily Closed and that also makes me a bit sad. My studio is offering live classes online, but I still miss the in-person interaction.
One sign locally that makes me laugh is at a local church. It says "All services postponed until further notice". The "postponed" makes me thing that the minister is going to save up all the sermons for one giant mega-Sunday where he just powers through all of them.