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Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 | Laura's thoughts
18th May 2020

Mental Health can affect anyone, any day of the year. Now more than ever, it’s so important to be kind to one another. The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is kindness, so we’ve asked our leadership team what kindness means to them and their experiences of kindness.

First up is Laura Taylor, Operations Director at Richmond Villages:

What does kindness mean to you?

To me, kindness is about taking the time to really think about others, about how they might be feeling no matter what the circumstance. Kindness is saying or doing something that shows another person that they are important to us so that they feel supported, loved, cared for and a reminder that they are not on their own.


When was the last time you gave or experienced kindness? Or what acts of kindness have struck you, either during COVID-19 or ‘normal’ life?

During the COVID crisis there have been so many incredible examples of kindness but the one that probably has struck me most has been the coming together of communities to support our frontline health care workers. All of our staff going into work every day throughout the crisis have shown kindness, compassion and dedication and the weekly clap for carers has been one way that we have been able to show our thanks and appreciation for them.


How do you try to be kind to yourself?

I try to keep life in perspective, and I know where my limits are and when I’ve reached a point where I need to take time out or have some downtime. That’s when I’ll get outside with my horse and cut off from technology, social media, the news and reprioritise. I think that it’s really important to try to develop that level of self-awareness and share it with other people so that they know what your limits are too. For me, doing physical work at the yard every day such as mucking out, filling haynets, sweeping up etc. is an opportunity to think and channel energy into something productive. It’s tricky to prioritise and take control if your mind is scrambled with background noise.   


What advice would you give others this MHAW?

It’s okay to not be okay all of the time, it’s okay to feel a bit broken and most importantly to be able to recognise it on ourselves or in others. Sharing how we feel inside our own heads is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of courage and strength. If in doubt, talk about it.


What’s something you feel grateful for – either at home or work?

I am grateful for working with people who have a shared passion for making a difference to people’s lives and who I know have got my back in the best of times and the worst of times. I am equally grateful for being lucky enough to have my horse and a hobby that forces me every day to make sure that I strike a good work-life balance.


Every day this week we will be sharing a blog post dedicated to Mental Health Awareness Week. Tomorrow, Amy Hyland, Head of Marketing at Richmond Villages, shares her thoughts on kindness.


Kindness quote of the day: 

Kindness is seeing the best in others, when they cannot see it themselves.