Time to Change has organised and designated 1 February as the Time to Talk Day.
It is all about allowing ourselves the space and opportunity to tell people how we are feeling. These people may be friends, work colleagues or indeed family.
Why do we need to talk?
In this increasingly pressurised world we are all working and living in a stressful environment. As we know stress can affect our lives, our minds and our bodies.
We talk about Mental Health – which is actually what we aim for. Sadly too many of us are experiencing problems maintaining or mental health and can so easily slide towards mental illness if we aren’t careful.
Mental Illness is NOT a stigma and can be prevented in many cases by caring for our mental health, just as we care for our physical health, our bodies, by healthy eating, exercise and all that sort of thing.
So how can we look after our mental health in a similar way? And indeed what are the signs of sliding into Mental illness ?
I will talk about the signs and symptoms later. First let’s look at how Time to Talk can actually be such a benefit. We all try to pretend all is OK and sometimes wear a mask to disguise the feeling that we are actually struggling to survive and like the proverbial duck paddling like mad below the surface whilst apparently serenely sailing through life. No one openly realises we are struggling because of the mask. Yet we do continue to mask our symptoms in an attempt to present an image of “look how well I am doing”.
Sometimes it is hard to admit we aren’t doing that well. A sense of failure, guilt, defeat or whatever you describe your emotion that goes with that sinking feeling. So how can we nip it I the bud before we drown. Let’s get some water wings! Or a lifeboat!
If you are feeling anxious, not sleeping, experiencing panic attacks or feeling low- no not necessarily depressed but having a low mood ,lack of energy and motivation or even burnt out then now is the time to act. Support is there however minor you feel your difficulty is, no matter how severe your decline into a poor state of mental health. It is about reaching out and taking hold of the lifeline that is there when you need it. Not just on Time to Talk day but at any time you feel your boat is sinking or your feet have stopped paddling and you are out of your depth.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for the lifeline that might just be a life saver. There are various things you can do and people to talk to. The choice is yours. Just do something! And if you can’t then allow someone you trust to guide you to the right source of support.
There is lots of advice and literature on the Time to Change website.