It’s time to talk – talk about mental health.
On 2nd February is #TimeToTalk Day, the Nation’s biggest mental health conversation.
It advocates making space in your day to talk about mental health, and at Future Toolbox, we couldn’t agree more. Everyone struggles with mental health, so why aren’t we talking about it?
There seems to be a stigma towards talking about mental health, which discourages so many people from speaking up. A lot of people think that they will be a burden and that they can cope on their own. Or that they will be judged and make things awkward when bringing it up. However, you need to speak up to get the support you need to get better and help you heal.
Speaking up about an issue or concern can help improve your mental health because you are no longer struggling alone. You may have heard the phrase, ‘A problem shared is a problem halved.’ This phrase expresses the idea that it is helpful to talk to someone else about it when difficult times arise. You have halved your burden because you have shared it with another person. Knowing that someone else is aware of what you are going through can make a huge difference.
How can I help someone suffering with mental health?
As many people with mental health issues struggle to speak up, it is important to check in with those around you. It will allow them to speak up in a safe space and let them know you are happy to speak about this topic. So, make sure you regularly reach out to those around you and let them know they are being heard. Whether you do this in person, over the phone, by letter, or over messenger, you can make a massive difference to someone’s life. Find the communication method that works best for the individual. They can then be comfortable when opening up about something so personal.
Half of every conversation is listening – letting people know they are being heard. So do your part to reduce the stigma and speak up for those who need help.
T is for Time
In our ‘Don’t get your neck tattooed’ book, our T is for Time chapter speaks about time being the greatest gift. We should all love life and not waste it.
So, if you are struggling with your mental health, do what you can to enjoy your time – speak up!
We all have 24 hours a day; Some people utilise the time well, while others struggle. Ask yourself how you spend your time – are you productive, or do you waste your time on mindless activities or lose out to procrastination? This can link to mental health. If you keep feeling like you are wasting time, not sleeping enough or not achieving much each day, this can negatively affect your mental health. You may have formed negative habits that are not supporting your well-being. So, we recommend creating a time inventory to track how you spend your time and become more conscious of your actions.
So, what is a time inventory?
A time inventory is when you create an hour-by-hour journal to track your daily activities. This way, you can visually see how you spend your day and how long you are actually spending on specific activities. Spending hours watching TV or scrolling on social media is very easy. Did you know that, on average, people spend close to 5 hours per day on their phones, which equates to about a third of your waking hours!?
Log your time inventory for at least a week, then look over it and analyse how you spent your time. For example, did you spend too long on a particular activity? Have you been active enough? Did you educate yourself? Have you made time for hobbies and self-care? Did you spend time socialising and reaching out to people? Next, log the activities you want to do each day or week and see whether you have fit them into your routine.
From this analysis, understand how you have spent your time and whether you have been able to fit in the activities you want to be doing each day or week. Then, make a plan of how best to spend your time to live a balanced and fulfilling life. In addition, you could make a to-do list for each day to motivate you to get all the activities you want to be done. You can also set reminders to do a particular activity and timers to ensure you don’t spend too long on them.
Time management is a great way to add structure to your day. But unfortunately, people who struggle with time management are more likely to experience mental health issues. So, creating a daily or weekly plan can help reduce stress and ultimately improve your mental health. If you do your time inventory but struggle to create a new plan, reach out to someone for help.
Time flies by, but you are the pilot. So, create the life you want to live and enjoy it! Read more in our chapter T is for time.
To find out more on this topic…
Listen to our ‘T is for Time’ podcast episode!
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