5 ways you can spread kindness using paper – Mental Health Awareness
This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week, set up by the Mental Health Foundation to raise awareness and drive conversations relating to mental health. This year, the theme is ‘kindness’ and you are encouraged to be kind to yourself and each other, especially during a time where the world seems turned upside down.
To support your mental wellbeing, we have come up with 5 ways you can switch off, connect with friends and family, or learn a new hobby, using the medium of paper. We want to spread kindness not just during Mental Health Awareness Week, but every week.
1. Take some ‘you’ time
It is easy to forget to take the time for yourself, and there is no better way to switch off and relax for a while than by reading a good book. There are so many reasons to enjoy reading including helping to raise empathy, improving cognitive development and reducing stress. In fact, a study carried out by the Cognitive Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis from the University of Sussex, has been proven that reading anything from a novel to a newspaper for just six minutes a day can effectively reduce stress levels by 68%.
So, grab that book you’ve been longing to read or see if you can borrow one from a friend.
2. Connect with friends
Grab your pens and paper and connect with friends and family by writing them a letter. Writing a letter has a personal, meaningful touch and can give the reader pleasure when they receive it. Much deeper than a quick text or phone call, for both involved.
3. Do some gardening
It does not matter if you live in a flat and only have a small balcony, have a garden or even an allotment. You can still enjoy the simple pleasures of gardening. The inner tube of a toilet roll or newspapers are a great way to make your own plant pots, which are eco-friendly and free. They are ideal for growing a whole variety of things from seed, including flowers and herbs. Check out this tutorial from The Spruce on how to make them.
4. Take up a new hobby
Paper crafts and origami are beautiful art forms that are extremely easy to get started on and great fun for the whole family! We have created some easy to follow templates which you can use to get you started. Or, if you want something a little more challenging, start by reading our blog with origami expert, Ester Thorpe, to be inspired.
5. Create some art
You don’t have to be the next Picasso to start creating your own art. A piece of paper, pens, paint or crayons and you can begin to create your own masterpiece. Channel 4’s Grayson’s Art Club is a great watch if you are a complete beginner to art, but need that push to get you started. Alternative, we’ve created a selection of colouring sheets for you and the family.
 Galaxy Stress Research. Mindlab International, Sussex University, 2009.