Everyday we've been taking a look at the pressures of the pandemic, on our NHS staff, on the old and the young across our region.

In the last of our special reports for Mental Health Awareness Week, we're looking at how we've been working hard at being 'kind to ourselves' during times of pressure, anxiety and stress.

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian's Sarah Saunders:

In his darkest days, discovering the power of physical activity stopped firefighter Greg Lee him taking his own life.

Thankfully, it's still a passion.

  • Greg Lee- Kent Fire & Rescue Service

You feel like you've achieved something, however small or big, it just s a good thing for well-being.

Greg Lee- Kent Fire & Rescue Service
Greg Lee even persuaded his children to run with him Credit: ITV Meridian

Gardening has also been recognised as reducing stress and improving our mood.

Carol and Mike Price were looking forward to open their garden in Long Crendon, as part of the National Gardens Scheme this year. Instead, they are sharing it online.

  • Mike Price- Gardener

Mike and Carol Price find sanctuary in their beautiful garden Credit: ITV Meridian

The garden is my favourite place to be. It's my solace, it's my peace my quiet, its the best place in the world.

Carol Price- Gardener

Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to have an outside space.

Even indoor plants have been reported to have positive mental health effects. Mercy Morris from Herne Bay has hundreds of them.

Mercy has over a hundred house plants Credit: ITV Meridian
  • Mercy Morris- Houseplant grower

Across the region people are volunteering to make sure others don't feel isolated.

Olympian and diving coach Lindsey Fraser was going to be a judge at this years games. Instead she's using her time befriending in Southampton.

Communication is really important. As human beings you need to communicate so being able to just pick up the phone and talk to somebody who otherwise would have no communication is invaluable.

Lindsey Fraser- Befriender
Lindsey likes to make the most of the sun while befriending people on the phone Credit: ITV Meridian

The message from these volunteers like Lindsey is that if you reach out, there are people there to reach back.