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Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 | Amy's thoughts
19th 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.


Amy Hyland, Head of Marketing at Richmond Villages shares her thoughts:

What does kindness mean to you?

Doing something for someone else that you know will help them in some way, give them a positive lift or make them happy. And you do whatever it is with no expectation of gaining anything or getting anything in return.


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

My little sons pick me a little flower or a ‘pretty stone’ every time we go out for a walk, it’s so sweet and they know it makes me happy. They really don’t have anything in this world they ‘own’ but when they choose to do something like this or share their last chocolate that melts my heart and is the purest form of kindness. In the wider world, there is so much generosity of spirit with many people wanting to make a positive difference, especially at the moment. The loveliest thing I’ve seen recently is the carer who printed the face of a resident’s wife who had passed away on a cushion so he could cuddle it instead of a photo frame that might have broken - that was just amazing. A simple idea that just made that whole man’s world. A total tearjerker.


How do you try to be kind to yourself?

Taking time outs during the day which can be a quiet sit in my garden, watching a good box set or movie with my husband when the kids have gone to bed, then reading a good book until I fall asleep. I love being with my boys but I’ve also recognised I need to spend time on my own to decompress and relax completely. Over the past year, I’ve learned more about aromatherapy – there’s an oil for everything and it really does help me calm down, get energised, sleep better and heal all sorts of problems. It’s my top tip at the moment! Out of lockdown, there is nothing better than spa day with loads of indulgent treatments. Usually, I horse ride every week which is a huge stress reliever so I’m really missing that regular interaction with my favourite animals.  My happy place is anywhere near a beach, it can be warm or cold weather, sunny or raining, I just LOVE being by the sea.


What advice would you give others this MHAW?

Always come back to what’s important and what really makes you happy. Slow down, take time out for both of these things and never feel guilty about prioritising them.  If things aren’t going great reach out and talk, speak to someone and lean on them to get through the tough bits. You’ll probably be surprised sometimes where this support can come from and underestimate people out there who care about you and wish you well, more than you might realise.


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

  • Family and friendships. I’m lucky to have a big, fun family and some really key friends in my life. We spend a lot of special moments together, holidays, milestones and nights out. They are some of the best times in my life and generate so many precious memories.
  • Music. It doesn’t matter what mood I’m in I can always pep myself up or wind myself down by putting the right tune on.
  • Food. Anyone who knows me well knows that I revolve around food and when it’s coming my way next. Huge passion, I’m never going to change.
  • Health. Being well physically and emotional health is everything. I worry about it not being there for me or anyone of my family in the future so I’m grateful for every day I get up and all is well with everyone I know.

Every day this week we will be sharing a blog post dedicated to Mental Health Awareness Week. Tomorrow, Ben Walker, Head of Sales at Richmond Villages, shares his thoughts on kindness.


Kindness quote of the day:
"Bring love wherever you go. Shine light wherever it's dark. Leave blessings wherever you have been. Be kind wherever you are."