This is a truly challenging time for all of us. There are moments of hope: in the spread of the vaccine amongst the vulnerable in our community, in the seasonal signs of spring, in the care still being extended to each other. But many of us are exhausted and some of us facing increasingly difficult circumstances. The strain is beginning to show and is taking its toll on mental health and wellbeing. That’s why looking after ourselves, and encouraging each other to do so is vital this spring.
As we come up towards Ash Wednesday, I’d like to offer something in this vein that might help as a way of travelling through Lent 2021. Here are 40 self-care ideas to choose from to give yourself and others a burst of positivity. You can take them light-heartedly – some of them definitely raise a smile – but I think this also touches on something more profound: that you are of intrinsic value and are beloved. For all sorts of reasons, some of us may have a more fragile and less consistent grasp on this than others (perhaps true of all of us, some of the time). For me, this sense of value and beloved-ness is rooted in an understanding that each human being is known and loved by the source of all life and love.
Just before he was driven into the wilderness, Jesus heard a voice from heaven saying: “You are my Son, the beloved”. You are my beloved son; you are my beloved daughter: may you know these words spoken to you from heaven, especially on the wilderness days.
(With thanks to Together @ Home for this Lent resource.)
There are more ideas for Lent books and resources- both local and nationally available – on the Lent page of the Lordsbridge website.
A selection of organisations offering different kinds of help with mental and emotional wellbeing
- NHS One You, Every Mind Matters: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters
- Samaritans: www.samaritans.org; or call: 116 123
- MIND: www.mind.org.uk/coronavirus-we-are-here-for-you
- Centre 33 (for young people): www.centre33.org.uk; 0333 4141809
- Mind and Soul Foundation: www.mindandsoulfoundation.org
- CRUSE (bereavement support): www.cruse.org.uk; 0808 808 1677
- At A Loss (bereavement support): www.ataloss.org