Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week has started and it is running from the 18-24th of May…

This year’s focus is kindness in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, which is is having a negative impact on people’s mental wellbeing.

The Mental Health Foundation has led a study into kindness and the results show that about 66% of people feel that being on the receiving end of acts of kindness positively affects their emotional well-being.

The study also found that 66% of people who commit random acts of kindness feel a positive impact on their own mental health. While 48% of the individuals studied said being kind to themselves positively affected their mental wellbeing.

You might be surprised to hear that being kind to others actually has numerous benefits to your own health:

It’s good for the health of your heart

Being kind produces the hormone Oxytocin which in turn causes the release of the chemical nitric oxide. This lowers blood pressure and is the same thing that helps keep your heart healthy after exercise.

Kindness helps slow ageing

Oxidative stress is one of the key factors that plays a role in ageing and when you introduce more Oxytocin throughout your body the levels of Oxidative stress get significantly reduced.

Improves your happiness

Being kind also produces the chemical serotonin, this is responsible for an overall improvement in your mood, which can also reduces stress, anxiety and feelings of low mood.

Here are 10 acts of kindness you could do today in lockdown

  1. Donate some unwanted clothes to a charity via a clothing bank or freepost. The British Heart Foundation offers freepost for up to 10kg of items.
  2. Send a family member a message saying how much you miss them and are thinking of them.
  3. If you have housemates make them a hot drink or even better make them lunch.
  4. If you don’t have housemates or you just want to feed someone further afield you could arrange for a takeaway delivery to someone you care about.
  5. Send someone a joke to improve their mood.
  6. Donate to a charity or see if any of your contacts are raising money for any causes and donate to them.
  7. Send a message of encouragement or inspiration to a friend you know is having a hard time.
  8. Skill share with a friend over video call, teach them something and have them teach you something in return!
  9. If you have any vulnerable neighbours offer to go to the shop for them or just leave them some surprise goodies outside their door.
  10. Share a meal with a friend over video call, or if you are feeling daring you could do something like a hot sauce challenge, where you both buy a selection of hot sauces and try them out over video call on your food of choice.

To learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week watch the video below:

Visit the Mental Health Foundation for more information.

To learn more about the disabled students allowance.

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