Mental Health Awareness Week 2020|18th – 24th May

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020. Since 2001, the Mental Health Foundation have campaigned around a specific theme for one week each May raising awareness of topics such as body image, stress and relationships. Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time and so mental health is everyone’s business.

This year, the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Kindness’.

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Why Kindness?

During these challenging and uncertain times, the positive news that we have seen is always one of kindness. The bravery of our NHS staff and key workers. Captain Tom Moore who walked 100 laps of his garden to raise funds for our NHS. Neighbours getting the shopping for their isolated elderly neighbours. People helping people. The everyday acts of kindness that we are seeing all the time. And we saw this right from the start of the crisis. It is what makes others lives better and makes our lives better.

Kindness can transform our schools, work places, communities, and our society as a whole. As Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation says: “Acts of kindness can help improve emotional wellbeing. This is true whether we are giving or receiving it.” Kindness is clearly good for our mental health – both giving kindness (acts of kindness) and receiving kindness from others. Both can make us feel better.

In yoga, the first of limb of the eight limbs of yoga is called Yama – self-restraints. The first of the five Yama is Ahimsa. Ahimsa means ‘non-violence’ or more simply ‘compassion’ or kindness. Such is the importance that it is the first aspect of the eight limb path of yoga that is discussed. This involves kindness to ourselves and kindness to others. During Mental Health Awareness week let’s think about how we can spread this kindness to ourselves and to others.

How can I get involved?

During Mental Health Awareness Week you can carry out or reflect on an act of kindness. This can be anything – big or small  – every act of kindness is important! It may be an act of kindness that you have done or that you have received. And we can learn from one another! You can post about this on social media and may even want to add a photo or video (with permission!) and use the hashtags #KindnessMatters #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. There is no need to stop at one act of kindness either! You can do as many as you would like! However, do remember that we must always be kind to ourselves too – don’t overstretch yourself by giving too much of yourself if you’re not able to, or by going beyond your personal resources. Acts of kindness can of course be to yourself – self-care, recognising what you need in the present moment – be that space, a treat, or just permission to relax.

You can also share on social media your ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society that would support our mental health using the same hashtags #KindnessMatters #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. Let’s start the conversation. We’ve seen how kindness is so important in all our lives, particularly over the past couple of months. How can we take that forward?

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Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

What are acts of kindness?

The possibilities are endless, and by sharing our ideas online, we can learn from one another. The Mental Health Foundation shares lots of ideas of acts of kindness that you can do during this week and going forward. You probably do many of these already without even realising how much your act of kindness means! Acts of kindness can be to others and also towards ourselves. Often we find it easier to be kinder to others than ourselves but we must remember that both are important

Some examples include:

Acts of kindness to others:

  • Give the gift of yoga with Yogasmiths to a friend for free during Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 – see full details below!
  • Call or have a virtual catch-up with a friend or friends – perhaps a friend that you haven’t spoken to for some time
  • Tell a family member or friend how much you love them and appreciate them.
  • Let someone know how proud you are of them
  • Say ‘thank you’ to someone  – show them you appreciate them and the work they do.
  • Surprise someone you live with to a homemade dinner. Or simply make them a cup of coffee or tea
  • Spend time playing with your pet! They’ll show you how much they appreciate it!
  • Give or send someone a small gift – something homemade or something you’ve grown is always nice
  • Offer support or just check up on your neighbours – many people are self-isolating and may be experiencing loneliness

Acts of kindness to yourself:

  • Relax and unwind by giving yourself time to do something that you enjoy – for example reading a book, listening to your favourite music, a warm candle-lit bath, a walk in nature, yoga, exercise, gardening, baking a cake, learning a new skill, etc. What helps you? Could you give yourself some time everyday just for you – be kind to yourself.
  • Self-care – look after yourself – perhaps this means having a routine, going to be bed earlier, giving yourself time to cook a healthy meal for yourself, exercise, yoga, mindfulness, etc. Taking time to care for your physical, mental and emotional health
  • Connect with others – call a friend or connect online. Join an online class or group.

Find our blogs on self-compassion here: Self Compassion by Kristen Neff – Book review and Mindful Self Compassion course certificates

What are we doing for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020?

  • Free Yoga classes

    A0AE55FB-5FBA-410D-B7FD-090CC0D7424CDuring Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 we are inviting anyone who has attended one of our classes to give the gift of yoga to one of their friends who has never been to one of our classes before! All you need to do is send an email to your friend (remember to copy our email into the email: enquiries@yogasmiths.org) inviting them to attend one of our classes for free! That’s it! Your friend can then contact us and let us know which class they would like to attend. You can copy and paste the template below into your email:

(Title of email – Free Yoga Class! Random Act of Kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020)

Hi

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 and the theme is Kindness. As my act of kindness, I would like to offer you to attend a free yoga class with my yoga teachers Yogasmiths before the end of May. The classes are taught via Zoom online video conferencing software.

Yogasmiths are Paul and Stephen Smith and are based in West Kirby, Wirral. To see the weekly Yogasmiths yoga timetable just visit:

https://pauls93.sg-host.com/shop/

And then email Yogasmiths at enquiries@yogasmiths.org to let them know which class you would like to book on to. They can then send you the details to access your free class!

For more details about Yogasmiths classes just visit https://pauls93.sg-host.com

Thanks and enjoy your free yoga class!

Terms and Conditions – you are only eligible for a free class if you have not attended an indoor Yogasmiths class in the past. One free yoga class per customer. The free class must be used by Sunday 31st May 2020.

  • Virtual Pub Quiz with Yogasmiths

Saturday 23rd May. All profits from this quiz will be donated to the Mental Health Foundation. You can book on to this quiz at: Charity Virtual Pub Quiz. Cost is £5 per person. If you’ve attended one of our quizzes before you know it’ll be lots of fun and it’s the taking part that counts! It’s just nice to all get together and have some fun.

  • Daily acts of kindness 

    We’ll be posting acts of kindness posts daily during Mental Health Awareness week using the hashtags #KindnessMatters and #Mentalhealthawarenessweek. These posts will include acts of kindness we are giving to others, to ourselves and acts of kindness we’ve received. Look out for these and let us know what acts of kindness you have given and received. We’ll also consider how we can all build a kinder society.

What else can I do?

Virtual fundraising:

If you do hold a fundraising event please let The Mental Health Foundation know about it – including any photos/videos. These can be sent to events@mentalhealth.org.uk. Fundraising or separate donations can be made to The Mental Health Foundation at http://mentalhealth.org.uk/donate

The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival has a special programme of online activity running all this May. Artists and audiences will be exploring what kindness means to them. For more information visit: http://mhfestival.com

Spread the word – spread kindness

The Mental Health Foundation has lots of posters, graphics, booklets and more available at http://mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw

Stay up-to-date with what’s going on during Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond – follow @mentalhealthfoundation on Facebook and Instagram, and @mentalhealth on Twitter.

You can read more about the Mental Health Foundation’s innovative programmes, campaigns and transformative mental health research at: http://mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work

Check out our previous Mental Health Awareness Week blogs;

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 – Body Image

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 – Stress

Yogasmiths Paul and Steve

Yogasmiths Charity Christmas Raffle 2019

Yogasmiths third annual Charity Christmas Raffle raised £1,353 for Wirral’s Homeless CIC.

Raffle and Party

The Christmas spirit was in full swing on Thursday 12th December in West Kirby at our annual Yogasmith’s Christmas party and charity raffle. The event raised £1,353 for local charity Wirral Homeless CIC, double what was raised the previous year.

There was a great turnout with around 100 of our yoga class students in attendance at Tanskey’s Bistro on South Parade in West Kirby.

We are truly overwhelmed with the generosity of our yoga students in both providing prizes, purchasing tickets and donations. We are delighted to be able to support the great work of Wirral Homeless CIC.

As a result of peoples generosity, the raffle had nearly 100 prizes ranging from vouchers donated by local businesses to hand made gifts made by our class attendees.

Yogasmiths Paul and Steve, Yogasmiths charity Christmas raffle
Yogasmiths Paul and Steve

Robyn (one of the founders of Wirral’s Homeless CIC) and Graham Wilson, from the charity attended the event and said;

“Wow… just absolutely overwhelming amount raised! It was a great night and such a fun atmosphere. This amount of money will make a difference and put smiles on the faces of people who don’t get to smile often. We can take a few of the guys shopping and support our ongoing treat night too amongst other things! We salute the Yogasmiths and all their members and supporters, what a beautiful yoga community”.

Paul and Steve from Yogasmiths with Robyn and Graham from Wirral's Homeless CIC, Yogasmiths charity Christmas raffle
Paul and Steve from Yogasmiths with Robyn and Graham from Wirral’s Homeless CIC

Cheque and donations handover

Yogasmiths charity Christmas raffle
Paul & Steve handing over the cheque to Georgie from Wirral’s Homeless CIC

On Friday we met with Georgie from Wirral’s Homeless CIC to hand over the cheque of all the monies raised and also the donations of hats, gloves, scarves and underwear. We hadn’t realised quite how much we had collected until we came to put it all in the van to take round. Check out the picture below!

Yogasmiths Christmas charity collection of hats, gloves, scarves and underwear

You can check out details of all the prizes that were donated and up for grabs here; https://pauls93.sg-host.com/2019/12/07/yogasmiths-christmas-party-charity-raffle-collection-for-wirrals-homeless-cic/

You can find further details about Wirral’s Homeless CIC here: https://www.facebook.com/Wirralshomeless/

Yogasmiths Christmas Party, Charity Raffle & Collection for Wirral’s Homeless CIC

Hi Everyone! We would like to remind everyone that it is less than a week until our Yogasmiths Christmas Party & Charity Raffle in aid of Wirral’s Homeless Community Interest Company.

Our party will be held at Tanskey’s on South Parade (on the prom) in West Kirby on Thursday 12th December starting at 7:30pm. It is free to attend and you do not need a ticket. There will be the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets (£1 per ticket) on the night and the raffle will be drawn at 9pm. This will be a lovely evening to escape from the all the craziness of the General Election TV coverage and an opportunity to socialise, support a worthy local charitable organisation and to have a dance!

This is the 3rd year on the run that we have supported this local Community Interest Company who tirelessly work all year round to support our local homeless and other vulnerable members of society. We firmly believe that a society should be judged on how it treats its most vulnerable members and initiatives likes this one should be highly valued by all Wirral’s residents.

(Check out the blog from the 2017 Yogasmiths Christmas Party here https://pauls93.sg-host.com/2018/01/13/yogasmiths-christmas-charity-raffle-donation-to-wirrals-homeless-cic/ )

In Yoga the Bhagavad Gita details the 4 paths of yoga, one of which is Karma Yoga. This is the Yoga of selfless action and charitable donations and charitable work are examples of this path of yoga.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our class members for their support, we have a huge number of wonderful prizes for this raffle, the best so far since we started in running them in 2017. Many prizes have been donated by class members and also from local businesses. Check out the list of prizes at the end of this blog and also links to the local businesses that kindly donated prizes.

Wirral’s Homeless Community Interest Company are based in Birkenhead feeding and supporting local homeless people and other vulnerable members of society. They provide fresh, healthy home-cooked meals to the homeless community in Birkenhead each night, along with packed lunches and snacks at the weekend. They also provide tents, sleeping bags, toiletries, underwear, socks, hats, scarves and gloves. They are often looking for volunteers to cook food; volunteer drivers to pick up meals from addresses on the Wirral and deliver to Birkenhead in the evening; as well as donations of the above items along with microwavable plastic tubs for food.

You can follow Wirral’s Homeless CIC and all the great work they do on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Wirralshomeless/ and on their Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/wirralshomeless

You can also donate directly to Wirral’s Homeless CIC via their Paypal at https://www.paypal.me/wirralshomelesscic

The following local businesses donated prizes for our raffle, thank you to them all;

Susan Maire Sports Massage https://www.facebook.com/susanjmaire/
Ground Cafe in Hoylake https://www.facebook.com/groundhoylake/
Dancing in the rain – https://www.facebook.com/DancingintheRainIrby/
Sweet Pea Cafe – West Kirby https://www.facebook.com/thesweetpeacafe/
Karma Indian Restaurant – https://www.facebook.com/karmaindianfood/
Spectacle Warehouse – https://www.facebook.com/thespectaclewarehouse/
Tanskey’s Bistro – https://www.facebook.com/tanskeysbistro/
Nail Elegance – https://www.facebook.com/nailsmostelegant/
C Saw Hair – https://www.facebook.com/csawhair/
Kerry Clegg Montgomery Hairdressing – https://www.facebook.com/KerryCleggMontgomeryHairdressing/
Designed by Mel – https://www.designedbymel.co.uk/
Eden Floral Design – https://www.edenfloraldesign.co.uk/
Esperanza Holistics – https://esperanzaholistics.com/
Tropic Skincare by Suzi – https://www.facebook.com/Tropic-Skincare-by-Suzi-545434092461828/

Below is the list of Raffle Prizes that we currently have, there are lots of lovely things to win! The Raffle will be drawn at the Yogasmiths Christmas Party.

Vouchers
Yogasmiths block of classes gift voucher
Yogasmiths block of classes gift voucher
Tanskeys afternoon tea for one voucher
Tanskeys afternoon tea for one voucher
Karma Indian Food voucher
C Saw cut & finish hair voucher
Susan Maire Sports Massage voucher
Susan Maire Sports massage voucher
Dancing in the Rain £30 gift certificate 
Sweet Pea Cafe coffee and cake for two voucher
Amazon voucher
Ground £20 voucher
Fox & Hounds voucher
Evans Shoes voucher
Nail Elegance gel nail polish voucher
Kerry Clegg Montgomery Hairdressing voucher
Posh Hair and Beauty voucher
Esperanza Holistics voucher
Tropic Skincare by Suzi Facial Voucher x 2

Bottles
Three Mills Rose wine
Casa Turano Pinot Grigio
Co-op fairtrade Chardonnay 
Baileys
Ron Miel La Indiana Honey rum
Sainsbury’s Asti
Liverpool Gin
Freixenet Prosecco
AlliNi Prosecco
Spumante Prosecco
Bottega Gold Prosecco 
Highland Black Scotch Whiskey
Hardys Crest Shiraz
Captain Morgan Rum 1L
Captain Morgan Rum 70cl
Carlos Rodriguez Tempranillo
Lamb’s Navy Rum
Christmas Prosecco
Toro Loco Wine and olive oil set
Sainsbury’s Mulled Wine
Bella Cucina Prosecco
Green Mountain IPA box
Famous Grouse Whisky x 2
Ballycastle Country Cream
McQueen Gin
Jean Juviniere Sloe Gin
Famous Grouse gift set
Martini Prosecco
Cockburn’s Port Set
M & S Prosecco
Gluhwein Mulled Wine
Etienne Dumont Champagne

Chocolates
Box of Roses
Thornton’s chocolates 
Linder White chocolates 
Chocolates with hand knitted Xmas jackets
Quality Street
Hotel Chocolat Prosecco & Truffles

Toiletries 
Bath House Feel Gorgeous gift box
Esquire shower gel gift set
Ted Baker body spray for her
L’Occitane shower gift set
Bayliss & Harding sweet mandarin and grapefruit gift set
Ragdale Hall Spa gift set
Spa shower gel collection
The White Company hand and nail gift set
Rituals gift set

Candles
Oud & Bergamot candle
Yankee Candle simply home gift set
Torc velvet rose candle
Yankee Candle Medium Jar Candle
Alusi Multi-flame candle
Yankee Candle scented tea light candles
Parks Aromatherapy candle

Miscellaneous 
Amazon Echo dot 
Dirty Dog Sports sunglasses
Richardson Sheffield Cheese Knives
Mr Lister’s Quiz box
Doll with home knitted clothing
Lavender eye pillow
Lavender eye pillow
Notepad gift
Ladies scarves bundle
Perfected Fusion hair styler
Crofton glass Bon Bon jars
Melinera Storage jars
Yoga Cats Calendar
Designed by Mel print – Phone Box
Designed by Mel print – Telephones
Eden Floral Design – Xmas table centre piece
Warrior Yoga Mat
Green bottle water bottle

Yogasmiths Christmas Charity Raffle Donation to Wirral’s Homeless CIC

Thank you to all those who took part in our Yogasmiths Christmas Charity Raffle. As we discussed in class, Christmas and the start of the new year is a great opportunity to practice Karma yoga via charitable giving.
There were many prizes on offer;
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The winner of our top prize, a block of 6 Yogasmiths classes and a box of After Eight mints, was Lisa Shaw from West Kirby;
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We raised nearly £80 from the raffle. We have donated £100 to a local Community Interest Company that feed the local homeless. They are called Wirral’s Homeless CIC. They have a facebook page at;

Wirral’s Homeless CIC

They can also be contacted by email at:

wirralshomeless@hotmail.com

If you would like to donate any money to the group they would be most grateful to receive it and they accept bank transfer of a Paypal. Wonderful local groups like this are dependant on the generosity of others.

Namaste

Paul & Steve

West Kirby Light Opera Society – Stars in their Eyes night!

Tia and Ben, two of our regular yoga students at our weekly Hoylake Yoga class kindly invited us to attend the West Kirby Light Opera Society Stars in their Eyes night.

It was held in Westbourne Hall and was a fantastic night out. Steve and I took my mum to see it and we all had a great time.

All of the performers were wonderful. There was Johnny Cash, Kate Bush, The Supremes, Michael Buble, Dean Martin, K D Lang, George Michael, Roy Orbison, Shirley Bassey, Taylor Swift, Bewitched, Tina Turner, Cindy Lauper, Nancy Sinatra, Grace Jones and more! The Winner was the very fierce Grace Jones. She had everyone on the edge of their seats wondering if they were going to be picked on from a very in character temperamental Grace Jones!

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We were overwhelmed by Tia who performed as Shirley Bassey, Kate Bush and Diana Ross and the Supremes. Our personal favourite was her turn as Kate Bush performing Wuthering Heights complete with the famous dance!

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The Yoga has got to help with a dance routine like this;

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Ben too was in fine voice as the man in black Johnny Cash performing Ring of Fire, complete with a Tijuana Brass man in the background!

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Tia is heavily involved in putting the night together and is also a key member of the West Kirby Light Opera society. The night was a great success and we will be sure to return next year!

Check out the website for the West Kirby Light Opera Society and their up coming events here;

West Kirby Light Opera Society

Paul