Connection is what we all strive for. To feel that we belong, through our ups and downs, as we navigate who it is that we want to be, what we want to do, and who we might become in a world that is constantly, and sometimes overwhelmingly, changing.
Seek out connection
R U OK? Day is a day to seek out connection, within the comfort of ‘having a reason’ to do so. To dip your toe in and then jump on in – you don’t need to be an expert. You’ve lived life, you’ve had struggles. They may not be the same struggles as someone else, but you will add value. You might be a sounding board for ideas or problem solving, perhaps it will be something bigger – you’ll never know, unless you ask. What you will gain though, in asking R U OK?, is an opportunity to be a part of change for the better. You’ll be setting the precedent that making time to talk openly and honestly about how we feel is important, and you’ll be making a meaningful connection with someone who might be, in that very moment, really in need of a listening ear.
I’m here, to hear
And you, with your ears, have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Embrace the 2023 R U OK? Day theme: ‘I’m here, to hear’
- Make time. Clear your calendar, be present, and find a comfortable spot to talk.
- Be prepared for any answer, without needing to know any of the answers. If someone says they’re OK, listen to your gut and consider mentioning something specific that might have you concerned.
I was once asked by a supervisor if a role was too much for me, that I seemed really tired, and was I doing OK? It gave me an opportunity to not only apologise profusely for nodding off during training (eek!), but also explain how much of a juggle I was finding life at the time with kids, work, and family pressures. My supervisor didn’t have any answers, but she could relate. I felt less lonely and I worked my butt off to do us both proud.
- Avoid judgement and assumptions. We can be our own worst critics, don’t add to that noise, just be. Listen, learn and empathise.
- Encourage action. This is where it’s OK to feel helpless, in over your head, but you don’t need to. Asking how they’ve managed similar feelings in the past, suggesting they speak to their Employee Assistance Program provider or GP, or even brainstorming with your EAP or a support service on what you can say to them can be a great step. We’re so lucky that so many people want to help. You’ve got this!
- Keep showing up, even if they don’t open up. It’s OK if someone doesn’t open up to you. It’s better to reach out a helping hand, than to keep it in your pocket. Let them know that you’re here whenever they need, and one day they might just take you up on the offer.
R U OK?
Please don’t forget to check in with yourself too. Are YOU OK? You don’t need to be at crisis to benefit from a bit of help from others. Flip your thoughts around. What advice would you give a friend who isn’t doing well? Take that advice and do it for yourself. You deserve it! Maybe you’re not exactly in the place you had pictured, perhaps you’re struggling in areas that feel really lonely. But you’re not alone. You just need to put yourself out there. If someone asks you if you’re okay, answer honestly. It might just be the connection both of you need.
This article is written by our Internal Communications Coordinator, Eleanor (Nell) Bell.
Working with TSA Group for over a decade, Nell has held numerous roles and managerial positions throughout our business. She is a strong advocate for mental health, wellbeing, and raising awareness. In her words, “This piece is written for me, as much as it is for a broader audience. Life is for celebrating the weird and wonderful, acknowledging the highs and lows, and knowing that it’s all forever changing.”
If you or anyone you know needs help, don’t let feelings of uncertainty stop you from seeking support.
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander crisis support line 13YARN on 13 92 76
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- ReachOut at au.reachout.com
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX consultancy and contact centre services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.