On Mental Health Awareness Week, and beyond – it’s time to be UNSAD!

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This week is mental health awareness week, the theme is kindness, and right now, kindness is exactly what we need. So Cardyard has commissioned International Laughter Yoga Ambassador, Sue Haswell to write this article for us:

On Mental Health Awareness Week, and beyond – it’s time to be UNSAD!

This week is mental health awareness week, the theme is kindness, and right now, kindness is exactly what we need

One of the best ways of being kind is in our actions to ourselves and others, and they don’t need to be even big actions.Here are a few small actions that you can take: We’ve called our list “UNSAD”.

UNDERSTAND – even if someone is having a melt-down, or not being themselves, it’s tough out there, so a little understanding will go a long way.Remember this is probably the best that they can do right now (even if it doesn’t seem very “best” to you).They may be wrestling with all sorts of stuff, from poor mental health to domestic abuse, they may be carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.So if we come from a place of Understanding, then we can go easier on our judgements of them, and that is easier for US.

NEEDS – we all have needs.Some people need to be quiet, others need to be the life and soul of the party (and there is no party!) Some people need a social distancing space of at least 12ft to feel safe. We also have no idea what other people’s needs are unless they tell us, so if you’re living with someone, open up a conversation.“How are you?What needs do you have that I can help you with by changing my behaviour a little?”Think of having the same conversation with neighbours too.

SMILE at someone – just acknowledging that they are there, nodding and smiling can make a great difference to them.But best of all – it can make a HUGE difference to how we feel too.Research* shows that just the act of smiling releases endorphins (the feel good hormone) that makes us feel happy too.

ACTIVELY look out for ways to be helpful – which immediately equates into kindness. For example, bring someone’s bins back in, or ask if someone is struggling and how you can help.

DETERMINE to be kind to yourself.We’ve all done it, told ourselves “you’re such an idiot” or “who are you to think you can…”.STOP!!!It’s time to be kind to ourselves too, and this means –

  • Self-talk – make it nicer (see above)
  • Awareness of our own needs – just know what you want, and communicate this to people.
  • Fun – is important, so build some into your life. Watch comedy, read a fun book, tell a joke.
  • Exercise – nice to do if you can feel like it, so do what you enjoy. And if you don’t want to do it, that’s OK too (remember your self-talk!)
  • Relax – take defined times to switch off.We don’t need to be running around all the time. Get some zzz’s.Enjoy a little sunshine when it’s out.

*https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2019/06/the-real-health-benefits-of-smiling-and-laughing


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[RIGHT: Sue Haswell, International Laughter Ambassador, and founder of www.CreativeLaughter.co.uk]


20th of May, 2020More blog posts