As we continue to make our way through these unprecedented times, many people will already be aware that I’ve been trying my hardest so stay connected with my colleagues. When lockdown was announced, I immediately thought about how people might feel not coming into the office every day. Yes, the prospect of home working was initially appealing to many, but what about when reality set in? Would people still feel able to talk? Would they feel able to open up about how they were feeling?
Something I try to pride myself on is having open communication both in my professional and personal life. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t always easy, and there are times I don’t want to have an ‘honest’ conversation. However, I can almost guarantee that I never feel worse for opening up, yet I can sometimes feel deflated or down heartened if I don’t.
I wanted to get something down on paper regarding Mental Health Awareness week but I haven’t found it easy. Yes, I think it’s fantastic that the theme this year is kindness, however, shouldn’t this be something we aim to exude all year round?
Now, more than ever, those around us need our support, whether that be in or out of work. So, if I can encourage you to do one thing this week, it would be to be kind. Something as simple as liking someone’s post on social media, sending them a message to check in or even smiling at someone in the street can make a positive difference you don’t even know about.
Personally, I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness I’ve felt over the last few months. Whether that be my business coach offering his support outside of our regular sessions, my colleagues simply reaching out to check in, or the afternoon tea my Grandad had delivered to my house earlier today (I’m eating far too many cakes!).
Equally, I’ve tried my hardest to show the same kindness to those around me. These aren’t actions I’ve felt the need to share, but it’s been incredibly fulfilling to see the joy you can bring to another person with a simple act of kindness. When I sent my colleague flowers last week as I knew they were struggling, with the accompanying note, “we’re in this together’, the response I received was overwhelming and makes me feel like keeping going throughout all of this is worth it. I don’t always get it right, and there are times I don’t want to engage in conversation with anyone, but we need to remind ourselves that’s okay too.
I think now more than ever we also need to remember to be kind to ourselves. Personally, I’ve felt more pressure than ever working from home and have doubted myself on numerous occasions, despite the support I’ve received. I’ll admit that I’m always questioning myself; Am I doing enough? Can people see that I really do care? Taking a step back, I know I’m doing the best I can and sometimes need to remember to simply breathe through it (then beast out a home work-out which always helps me feels better).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that being kind should be something we strive for all of the time, because now, more than ever, we all need each other.
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