This year, kindness is the focus of Mental Health Awareness Week.

‘How are you’ is a greeting that we use without a thought, but how often do we genuinely express our inner feelings? According to Government statistics, one in six of us suffers from a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression in any given week. As the Corona Virus outbreak forces us to isolate indoors, spending extensive periods alone can trigger feelings of anxiety and stress. Maintaining a healthy routine, eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water is necessary to support your mental health. Ensure to participate in a regular exercise program and to get at least 8-hours of sleep at night.

Like the old BT advert used to say it is good to talk. Expressing your emotions will help you to release any tension that you might be feeling. Reach out to your network of friends and family members if you are feeling lonely. If you are struggling to cope, national charities such as Mind and the Mental Health Foundation provide free, confidential advice,and telephone support.

Social Network

Expand your network online and connect with a group on Facebook. The internet is an asset if you are looking to socialise with people who share similar interests.

Practice Gratitude

Writing a daily gratitude list will help you to remember all of the reasons you have to be thankful. A study published in 2012 (Personality and Individual Differences) has shown that grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, increases happiness and reduces depression.

Be Kind

Above all, be kind to yourself, to others and to the environment.