Britain Get Talking!
The impact of last year is affecting all our lives in all different ways. Many of us have felt isolated, lonely or anxious. It is normal to feel all those things especially if you are felling anxious, scared or upset. However you are feeling, you are not alone!
Sometimes it can be hard to talk about our mental health and talk openly about what we might be going through. That is why it is important to keep having regular conversations with your friends and family about how everyone Is doing or feeling. It can be worrying when someone you know is struggling but talking about how they feel and listening to what is going on can be an important step for them getting the help and support they need. It can be difficult for both the person struggling as well as the person who may be hearing about it for the first time. Here are some top tips on how to be a good listener.
- Start a conversation:
Sometimes you don’t know where to start. You could begin by talking about things that interest you both or just give it a go by asking a few questions about how they are feeling or they don’t seem not themselves. Just being there for someone can make a huge difference.
- Be patient:
Sometimes it can be hard for the person to open up if they are not ready or feel as though they are stuck in their thoughts or feelings. Don’t take it personally but also don’t give up ether. It may take awhile before you’re able to get through to them. If they really don’t want to talk to you, direct them to someone who might be able to help, even if that is a charity.
- Listening is enough:
Sometimes people aren’t searching or wanting advice. They just want you to listen to what is going on. Don’t try to be a professional and you don’t need to have all the answers. You don’t need to have the perfect response or worry about saying the right thing. All you need to do is listen and make the other person feel heard.
- Look after yourself:
We all have our own things going on and you might not always be in the best place yourself to be a listener. There are many other ways you can help. Helping support a person by getting them to talk to someone they trust, finding support online or contact a helpline.
- Inspiration for conversation starts:
If you need any inspiration with activities that could help start a conversation here are a few that you could try. Taking a walk, going for a drive, doing yoga, cook together, a coffee shop date or go for a picnic. Outside stimulus can help start talking about the experience and lead to someone feeling more comfortable to talk about other things that maybe worrying them.
If you need any more advice you can go to:
Looking after your mental health while self-isolating (youngminds.org.uk) – looking after your mental health while self-isolating
What to do if you’re anxious about coronavirus (youngminds.org.uk) – What to do if you are anxious about Covid
listening-guide-fo-hy.pdf (youngminds.org.uk) – How to be a good listener
While on a course with Free2Learn, we have a dedicated team to help anyone who maybe facing any type of health, money or personal situation you maybe facing. If you are looking to upskill, reskill or start your path to a new career. Go to: free2learn.org.uk/courses