Your monthly digest of health and wellbeing information that matters to you!
With Time to Talk day on 6th February and Random Acts of Kindness day on the 17th, this month we are looking at how we can be friendly and kind to others and ourselves.
Small changes in our everyday behaviour can often have a profound effect on ourselves and those we encounter. Something that may seem small to you, like smiling at people you pass in the corridor or asking the name of the person who serves you your morning coffee, could have a huge positive effect. Being friendly and kind in a small way might just make someone’s day!
Thursday 7th February is Time to Talk Day, and we want to encourage everyone to have a conversation about mental health, whether that’s a chat with a colleague over a cup of tea or a quick text to check in on a friend. Mental health problems affect one in four of us, yet people are still afraid to talk about it. Having conversations about mental health helps break down stereotypes, improve relationships and take the stigma out of something that affects us all. There are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health. And you don’t have to be an expert to talk.
We are holding an informal lunchtime chat on Time to Talk day in Firth Court between 1-2pm. Bring a colleague, your lunch, or just bring yourself! We’ll be providing lots of resources on mental health, Time to Talk conversation starters and ice breakers, as well as board games and mindfulness colouring activities. You can book on here.
With Random Acts of Kindness Day falling on 17th February, we are encouraging TUOS staff to perform a random act of kindness every day in February, whether its supporting a local business, bringing in a treat for your colleagues or taking some time out for yourself. Follow us on Twitter for a new random act of kindness idea every day with the hashtag #FriendlyFebruary.
Did you Know? The Charity Samaritan’s are running a ‘Brew Monday’ campaign this February with the idea that, ‘when it’s cold and grey outside getting people together to connect over a warming cuppa and good conversation helps to make us feel better and manage the ups and downs of life’.
You can also use these get-togethers to raise money for Samaritans who will use the fundraising to help give people going through a tough time somewhere to turn when they need to talk.
Interested? You can find out more about holding your own Brew Monday event here.
Encouraging more conversations about mental health can aid learning and reduces stigma. The more we talk, the more we learn and the more lives we change.
The University of Sheffield have created the TALK model that helps staff to initiate and navigate conversations about mental health. If you want to start a conversation about mental health but you're not sure where to start, click here to read the guide.
Reading books is a great way to keep learning and educate ourselves on topics such as Mental Health LGBT+ history.
As part of the universities ongoing LGBT+ inclusion work and to coincide with and mark the importance of LGBT History Month, the Juice Book Club are reading 'This Queer Angel' by Elaine Chambers. This book has been chosen by James Gregory-Monk, Deputy-Chair of the LGBT+ Staff Network, to mark the 20th anniversary of the British Military lifting the ban on homosexuality.
You can also get involved with other LGBT+ events taking place around campus this month, such as:
- LGBT+ activism - a personal perspective
- Trans Awareness: The Basics
Being physically active is something that we can all do as an act of self care, as it has so many benefits for our health. You can book onto one of our free Juice activities 6 days in advance here. In light of #FriendlyFebruary why not invite a colleague to take part in a Juice activity with you?
It is also important to be active in looking after our mental health. This will be different for everyone, but being proactive might include: going for a walk, reading a book, meditation or catching up with a friend. If you are struggling and want advice or someone to talk to it is vital to be kind to yourself and not struggle in silence.
For those that are struggling with their mental health, or any other aspect of their life, our staff helpline and counselling service is free to all staff members. More information on this free service can be found here.