Maintaining your people support networks
We live in unprecedented times of isolation. Life right now is hard. It has never been more important to be aware of the importance of maintaining your people networks.
Our personal and professional networks are being restricted as never before, we are being locked away and it is natural to feel isolated, anxious and for some angry.
What is most important at times like this is to be active in engaging with your network, it might not be the usual big family dinner or smashing beers on a Saturday night with your mates but staying connected is more than this.
Your most important network is your support network, the people who you choose to share your life with. This is a network of friends, colleagues, neighbours and family that you can turn to.
Having a good support network is a vital tool in maintaining your mental health and wellbeing. As social creatures, our relationships and connections are a basic and core need, behind only physical and safety needs in importance. Support networks are people that will be there in the good and bad times.
“Nourishing our hearts is arguably the most important thing at the moment, because we’re feeling isolated and distant…stay connected… kindness is contagious too – if you do just one kind act each day, it can have a huge knock-on effect.” Dr Chattergee – World renowned health and happiness expert
Why talk to someone?
- Talking to someone can make us feel much better. Talking gives order and perspective to our thoughts.
- You might feel isolated and invisible but people do care. Reaching out will often show you that people do care. It is human nature to care, if someone you know was struggling wouldn’t you want to know and help them?
- Talking to someone about your thoughts and feelings can lighten the load on your mind, as we say; a problem shared is a problem halved.
- Just by talking it will also help that person feel better about themselves and strengthen their sense of purpose and connectivity
- By having open meaningful conversations with someone it may also strengthen your relationship with them
- Your simple act of sharing your thoughts may even help others do the same in future!
Don’t think about it, talk about it.
Building your network
People who experience the most positive mental health can usually list 4 people that they would count as their support network. Where could your support network come from?
Consider people in your family who you ‘click’ with and are willing to offer time and advice who may be a source of support.
You have at least 1 thing in common, see if you can build greater connections with your neighbours
Friends can be a great source of support as they often know you well from shared experiences. Try opening up to some friends you haven’t considered as a good support before. You might be surprised at what and who you find.
Workmates can be a great source of help about issues within and outside of work
Social media and groups
There many many groups, forums and websites that bring people with common interests together. Most of the internet is running and raving and the outpouring of hate, but if you look there is a lot of positivity and love too.
Talk around the Block
Once you have identified someone for your support network start with a Talk around the block !
Talk around the Block is an event designed to inspire men to talk about their mental health with those they trust. With your friends, or with your family, Talk around the Block is a step in the right direction toward destroying the stigma around men’s mental health.
This could be a phone call, or a socially distanced walk between pals. Talking about your mental health can be daunting, but joining a thousand other people who are committed to doing the same thing can help alleviate that fear.
See that you’re not alone, and share your journey with others going through the same thing using the power of social media. We encourage our walkers to upload photos and videos of their walk and talk, using #talkaroundtheblock and tagging @themalehug.
Sign up for Talk around the Block here.
Remember to be smart and safe – please abide by any current restrictions in place.