January, a fresh start, the month of planning and setting good habits and intentions for the new year, reviewing the previous year and making improvements. While the excitement and strain of Christmas gets packed away, along with all the decorations, January can be an equally taxing month, and it does seem to drag. But then all of a sudden, February is here and spring is on the horizon.
With so much going on, it’s easy to forget to check in with yourself, and others, to ask “how are you?”. That’s why GRIT Digital is joining in with the Time To Talk Day initiative, run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. We have a few hours dedicated to a business roadmap, and then the team will have the opportunity to talk and listen to how everyone is doing. Because we want to ensure that people feel comfortable talking about their mental health any day of the year, we already catch up every Thursday morning to share and chat about anything and everything – so it’s a very supportive environment.
GRIT’s Strategist Aisha, says: “I love catching up and listening to what’s going on in my colleagues’ lives. You always gain a fresh perspective and learn something new, and sometimes if you’re grappling with a challenge it can help remind you that everyone is juggling their own various demands, so I think it can help you become more compassionate to others, and yourself.”
The pandemic has forced us to find new ways to connect with each other on a deeper level, and we’ve all had to become creative with how we problem-solve. When working in an office on a daily basis you become adept at spotting your co-workers’ signals and non-verbal cues; this is much tricker to do in the virtual world we’re all still adapting to.
GRIT’s Managing Director and Founder, Peter, says: “It’s great to see the world of business and enterprise, recognising the issue of mental health more and more in recent years. Like so many health matters, it’s one that many people don’t ponder too much until it impacts them or someone close to them. In the past few years, I’ve seen first-hand how it can come out of nowhere with tragic consequences and in a context nobody foresaw.
The world of digital in which GRIT operates can be particularly demanding (as are so many), and so we do our best to make sure our team can come to us to talk should they wish, knowing they’ll have our support and understanding. Last January, we took part in a course called the Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Program, provided for free via the Lighthouse Project and Norfolk and Waveney Mind, for which we can’t thank them enough.
Speaking first-hand, I can say that running a business is stressful, and often lonely, too; even with a co-owner. The pandemic has only exacerbated things further for so many, also. I’ve attended numerous events in recent years where fellow agency owners have had the courage to talk openly about their own mental health issues, even to the extent of having lost business partners or peers to suicide because of the pressures of running their business. On so many levels, therefore, this is a topic close to my heart that deserves peoples’ time and attention.
At GRIT, we will continue to do our best and hope we’re doing it right, but are always keen to do even better, and encourage everyone to celebrate and share great initiatives such as Time to Talk.”
We believe that ending the stigma around mental health is really important, and think that one of the ways we can do this is to keep talking about our mental health and promoting initiatives such as this one, as they create awareness. We hope that more awareness will encourage people to start their own conversations around mental health.
Did you know it was Time to Talk Day today? Will you be starting a conversation around mental health? Have a browse on their website for tips and extra resources.