Time to Talk Day has arrived! 4 February 2021
It’s Time to Talk day on 4 February! A day I support each year. I’ve be suggesting one thing everyday this week over on the Facebook page for Via Vitae Counselling that you can do to support either yourself or someone else this week in a bid to start supportive and compassionate conversations. Here’s the full collection in one place for you:
Reach out to just one person today; write a letter, send a text, pick up the phone or have a video call. Interaction and communication are so important and speaking to someone different will help your day feel less groundhog and more interesting which will help stimulate the happy hormones.
Find a book, song or film that expresses how you feel; if you are struggling to verbalise your feelings then let the chapter, lyric or plot tell your story. If you can connect to the emotions they capture, then it can help you work through your own feelings.
If you feel you can share your chosen expression then suggest a friend or family member checks it out too. You can then start to explore the meaning with them tentatively. It can be a good way to sound out your thoughts without diving straight into ‘this is my biggest problem right now,’ which can often feel too overwhelming to just blurt it out.
Taking small steps to finding ways to speak out will empower you and give you the confidence to share the load of the weight you are carrying.
Small steps are still steps forward.
You don’t have to be a professional to start a conversation on mental health or a person’s wellbeing. Here’s the thing- the majority of people don’t want you to fix their problems, they just need a sounding board, one that won’t judge, won’t advise and one that won’t make them feel like they are doing life ‘wrong.’
Listening is one of the most powerful skills we can possess. If you can do that genuinely with the only agenda item being compassion to another human then you’ll certainly make a positive and lasting impact.
If you haven’t heard from someone in a long time and you sense something might be wrong then you can try the following:
Treat them as you normally would do and get in touch.
Be prepared to not hear back- they may need you but don’t know how to answer or explain. Be patient. It’s likely they appreciate your message or call, but right now being social can be hard when you feel low and sad or out of control.
Silence is not necessarily a sign that things are not ok, but follow your instincts and keep in touch regardless of not receiving a reply. Consistency will show your friend/ relative that you genuinely mean well and are there for them. That will be life saving if they are indeed in a dark place.
Let’s make today count! If you’ve tried any of the tips please let me know which ones worked for you in the comments section. Let’s get talking.