Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) 2020 at BBK

June 8, 2020
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It was Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) on 18th May 2020.  In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the theme for this year was ‘kindness’.  It was all about celebrating daily acts of kindness and being kinder to ourselves.

At BBK we wholeheartedly engaged in the conversation around mental health and kindness.

We have always had a strong focus on wellbeing at BBK.  We are always compassionate to others, but it’s so important to be kind towards ourselves too.  We must remember to take care of ourselves first, so that we are in a stronger position to help others.

To celebrate and raise awareness during MHAW, we focussed on the following:

Exercise

We started the week with an online Yin Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation and Relaxation session on Monday and ended the week with our usual Yoga session on Friday.

Sharing stories of kindness

We encouraged everyone to share their kindness stories, acts of kindness towards themselves and others, no matter how big or small.  There were many who enthusiastically participated.  It was uplifting reading and sharing the stories.  The reflections made us realise that often the simplest things in life brings most joy.  It’s about being in the moment and being mindful.

Listed below are a few stories.

Being kind to yourself: 

“….I have spent the last 12 months trying to be kind not just to others but to myself.  I have spent some time thinking about how I speak to myself and for a short period of time I wrote down the messaging I was telling myself.  I was shocked to realise the way I spoke and realised I would never dream of speaking to anyone else in the same way.  As a result I have made a conscious effort to be kinder to myself, to take a step back and limit the negative thoughts and I feel so much better for it”.

Being kind to others:

“My wonderful neighbours have installed an artisan bakery in their garage and produce the most wonderful bread products.  I have bought and delivered weekly to friends as a treat to cheer them up”. 

“My kindness for the week is sharing extra seedlings with neighbours where I don’t have space to plant everything…. One is a pharmacist at a local GP surgery so she is going to work every day, so she’s had raspberry canes from us already and I’ll be sharing broccoli, sunflowers and courgettes with her this weekend!”

“My best friend had put her mare into foal 11 months ago… My friend works in a lab at a hospital so couldn’t take time off work and has never foaled a mare before.  Instead she installed a camera in the stable with an app that gave a couple of us access to view and we did a rota… checked on the camera every 30 minutes night and day and then I did ‘midwifery’ advice by phone on the night…..”

Receiving kindness from friends (in pictures)

BBK Bake-Off

We organised a mid-week bake-off.  It coincided with UK experiencing their hottest day of the year!  This didn’t deter our bakers!  We had an enthusiastic crowd, some joined in with their families.  It was great to bake together (virtually) and share our recipes.  A few pictures of the bake off creations are enclosed below.  Food, cooking together, sharing with others, all goes a long way in making us all feel happy!

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