Kindness is all around us

Kindness has been important so far during the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown. Many of us have seen stories of people reaching out to neighbours, communities coming together online, heroes stepping up from all walks of life. Clapping on Thursday nights is an act of kindness and appreciation. Maybe we’ve received kindness, from a neighbour dropping off a bag of shopping or a community group giving us a call. Some of us are being kind, helping at a food bank or collecting a prescription for an isolating relative.

Because of all the kindness going on, the Mental Health Foundation decided to alter the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which is running this week. Kindness is the theme, partly inspired by Mark Rowland, the chief executive of the MHF, who was moved by a recent experience seeing a supermarket staff member bringing umbrellas for people queueing in the rain (even disinfecting the handles).

If we just sit for a moment and think about kind acts we’ve witnessed, experienced, read about or carried out over the last couple of months, it can be very moving. It’s helping us all feel more connected as we go through this difficult time. Kindness is reaching across the globe right now.

Our friends at local Leeds mental health website, MindWell, have declared Mental Health Awareness Week to be a Week of Kindness. They’re encouraging us to download their MindWell Week of Kindness Planner and join in with the daily themes.

This could be something you’d like to try with any groups you run, with your team, or maybe at home for yourselves or families. From ‘Be kind to your mind’ to ‘Spread kindness’, and ‘Be kind to your body’ to ‘Be kind every day’, there is plenty to choose from. They’re using Twitter to share ideas and tips every day this week.

MindWell and Time to Shine would love to hear if you’re joining in with this #WeekofKindness on Twitter, so please tag @MindWellLeeds and @TTSLeeds in your messages.

And remember, be kind to yourself!

Gillian Schofield
Time to Shine Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant

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