“Time to talk? You never need an excuse to talk!”
Whether we are someone who is known for using many words or few, choosing to talk about how we’re feeling isn’t something everyone feels comfortable with.
By sharing something of how something has made us feel, we are showing that we are unpredictable. Our subconscious and a bunch of chemicals in our body have come together to have a party, and we didn’t get to have a say in the result. If that’s happiness – great! But so often it’s not, and that can make us feel useless.
Thursday 7 February is Time to Talk Day, a national opportunity to up our brave, our vulnerability, and our care for others by starting conversations about mental health.
It’s fitting that the organisation that runs Time to Talk Day is called Time to Change. (It’s run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems.)
By talking, we open ourselves to change. And let’s be clear, this is forward change: this is growth. (Woo!) Change is a word that can come with a whole suitcase of ifs, buts and maybes. But, if we’re feeling safe to begin with, growth can be friendly. It’s inherently healthy.
Talking and changing. At conferences and networking events we enter into this. We do it at birthday parties too, and in job interviews.
It’s no surprise that these events are also some of those that might fill us with fear or anxiety.
Just like a single conversation can make us feel apprehensive, the prospect of either a whole day, a whole room of people, or an expectant interview panel can present a whole bunch of unknowns to show up and encounter. We also see it when we press ‘post’ on social media.
Northern Power Futures in Newcastle this Sunday and Monday is a brilliant example of an event that provides a plethora of opportunities to hear, to talk, to engage and to challenge and change ourselves for the better.
Another great but scary proposition is an Unconference. If you haven’t tried one I have seen them achieve amazing things and really recommend stepping outside of your comfort zone if you feel they might not be up your street. They’re basically the same as a regular conference, but the first session of the day involves loads of post its and your own ideas to shape the programme for the day. My workplace is running a special mental health themed Unconference on Time to Talk day (for which I can take zero credit but am hoping to attend some of it), and I think that’s a pretty amazing response to the challenge of the day.
We talk and we listen. We keep the channel open. We receive. We grow.
Take care, and let’s take Time to Talk.
Claire Eadington geeks out on workflow management, performance and wellbeing. Claire’s TEDx talk about barriers to performance for exceptional women kicked off the 2017 TEDxWhitehallWomen event in London.
Claire writes a weekly blog, Self Curious, on NPW’s website.
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