It's Time To Talk Day 2024

01/02/2024

Time To Talk Day (TTTD) is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation. Happening every year, it’s a day for friends, families, communities, and workplaces to come together to talk, listen and change lives.

TTTD 2024 takes place today, on 1 February. It’s run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and is being delivered in partnership with Co-op for the third year running. Across the UK, it’s delivered by See Me in Scotland, Inspire in Northern Ireland and Time to Change Wales.

The more conversations we have, the better life is for everyone. Talking about mental health isn’t always easy, and sometimes it’s even harder to say how you really feel. But, a conversation has the power to change lives. TTTD is the perfect opportunity to start a conversation about mental health.

For TTTD, Spectrum staff shared how they focus on self-care and prioritise their own mental health. From keeping fit, to indulging in simple pleasures, or meditating – there are many ways to focus on yourself. Here are some of their thoughts:

“What works for me is to decompress from the events of the working day. As soon as I have finished work, I like to change into some scruffy clothes and take my dog for a walk. Being outside in the fresh air (and wind, and rain, and snow!) helps to clear my mind and bring my working day to an end. Throw in an episode of Downton Abbey and I’m all good!” – Dawn

“I do 10 minutes of mindfulness every day. There are all kinds of benefits; less anxiety, more sleep and greater compassion. The most important benefit is the ability to put issues into perspective, which helps you sharpen your focus – you’re able to recognise when you’re distracted.” – Chris

“When I mention I’m into fitness, I can almost hear the mental yoga mats unrolling in people’s minds. Little do they know, I’m all about Muay Thai. I love catching people off guard, showing them that under this chill exterior is someone who can kick some serious butt. I started this journey at 14, and it’s been a knockout ever since!” – Selena

“I learnt about CBT via my local CAMHS service when I was younger. I started using this technique due to depression and severe anxiety. After much practice and therapy, I am now able to challenge anxious thoughts, and respond healthily. Recently I’ve got into reading again, so I’m enjoying that ‘new hobby’ feeling – even though it’s probably just a phase! There are good days and bad days. Recognising this and being kind to myself is what helps me. You can’t rely on somebody else to cheer you up, it’s got to come from you first.” – Hashim

Spectrum colleague and proud single mother Sarah wrote a blog about the balancing act of self-care alongside her professional life. Here is an excerpt:

“My secret weapon: multitasking like a boss. Take my love (hate) of running, for example. Sure, I enjoy the endorphin rush and the sense of accomplishment, but let’s be real, the real MVP here is the opportunity to blast my favourite tunes and temporarily escape the chaos of everyday life. It’s like a mini music festival for one, where I’m a front girl in an indie band (apologies to anyone I pass), complete with sweat and sore muscles. And let’s not forget the power of pampering… whether it’s getting my hair done, treating myself to a manicure with my mini-me, or simply zoning out with a face mask on – these small moments of luxury make all the difference in maintaining my sanity.

Of course, self-care isn’t just about the external stuff. It’s also about tuning in to our emotional well-being and giving ourselves permission to say no when needed. As mams, we often fall into the trap of putting everyone else’s needs before our own, but trust me when I say that setting boundaries and prioritising our own mental health is not only okay, but absolutely essential to our own sanity and the happiness of our loved ones.”

There are many ways to help with mental health in the workplace. A few of these wins are:

  • Support around flexi-working requests – a positive impact on home/work life balance helps support individual well-being needs.
  • Team members feeling able to have open and honest discussions without judgement, and that their feelings are validated.
  • Being kind to each other and checking in with each other at the start of each day.
  • Acts of kindness, such as making colleagues a cup of tea, or taking lunches together.
  • ‘Walk & Talk’ 20 minutes – time to chat about work whilst stretching legs and getting fresh air.
  • Responding to emails in a timely manner.
  • Good communication between us and partners.
  • Team meetings with a realistic agenda, that allow for check-ins and discussions.
  • Seeing that our voice is listened to and actions are followed.

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