It’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 this week and this year’s theme is kindness. So, we wanted to share a few thoughts of small acts of kindness which could brighten the world, even if a little, of fellow divers and snorkelers.
Especially at this time, where our everyday lives have been altered so drastically, it’s important to remember that that’s okay for you to have bad mental health days. It’s also incredibly important to remember those around us who may also be struggling.
The focus on kindness was a response to the coronavirus outbreak, which is, of course, having a big impact on people's mental health.
Mark Rowland, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said:
We want to use Mental Health Awareness Week to celebrate the thousands of acts of kindness that are so important to our mental health. And we want to start a discussion on the kind of society we want to shape as we emerge from this pandemic.
The benefits of kindness
Being kind can significantly improve our physical and emotional wellbeing - whether we are giving or receiving it.
There have even been scientific studies into the effects of kindness, showing that acts of kindness help your immune system, reduces stress, gives you energy and are good for your heart! The power of being kind goes even further, it has been proven to slow ageing, improve relationships and it's contagious!
These simple things could really be the boost someone needs today…
1. Reach out to someone you haven’t heard from or spoken to in a while
We’re all busy people, even during lockdown life has been hectic, so maybe take a second to drop a text, a Facebook message or even a call to someone who you haven’t spoken to recently. Maybe it’s a fellow club member, someone you met on a diving holiday, or even an old friend you’ve lost touch with. You never know what someone is going through, and you reaching out could make all the difference.
2. Share a memory, a story or a photo
Going through some old photos or thinking of fond memories? Share them online or privately with the group who was there. Re-engage with old buddies, chat about happy memories and connect with people who may be uplifted by the memory as much as you are.
3. Suggest a trip or dive together once lockdown ends
Why not plan your dream post-lockdown dive or dive trip and invite your diving pals? Planning together and having something to look forward to is great for morale and gives you something to do in your downtime that is uplifting, for you and those you’re planning with.
4. Share interesting articles
It doesn’t sound like much, but that effort you take to drop a link to someone else shows that you’re thinking about them, especially if it’s something you know they’ll appreciate. Tag, share, and spread the knowledge along with kindness.
The kindest thing you can do for anyone is simply listen. Being there for somebody isn’t necessarily about trying to cheer them up or make things better, sometimes people just want to vent, to talk, and to be heard. Let your dive buddies know that you’re there if they need someone to talk to, and be okay with just listening without judgement or needing to find a solution. A lot of the time, there isn’t one or isn’t one easily accessible. Sometimes, all they need is to know that someone is available if they want to talk.
Being mindful of mental health
It’s Mental Health week now but mental health isn’t just something we should be talking about one week of the year, or even just for lockdown, it’s something we need to think about in all aspects of life. We hope you take these small things and try them out now, and maybe even keep some of them up once things are back to normal.