How many of us at City feel that we have too much time on our hands? I guess most of us consider time our rarest commodity, and yet hundreds of staff and students are making time in their day to slow down and focus on themselves using the Ten Minute Mind.
Thursday 1st February is the Time to Change; Time to Talk national day, which encourage us to be a little more open to talking about how we feel and being open to others having conversations with us about their mental health difficulties. Time to Change aims to reduce stigma around mental ill health and here at City we have been signed up to the Time to Change Pledge since 2014.
I think for most of us life has become increasingly complex and we have multiple demands coming at us, so the idea of finding time to have conversations about our emotional world may feel like another task to squeeze in our day.
In planning the Student Counselling & Mental Health Service (SCMHS) response to this year’s Time to Talk I wondered how people using City’s free Ten Minute Mind (launched by Organisational Development and SCMHS in 2016) were able to find the time to use it every day/most days (40% staff/53% students), and how so many people seem to have fully committed to using it for 6 months or longer. Could we gift ourselves time through using mindful practice?
The survey results are pretty inspiring and I wish a blog could convey the finer detail, but sticking to a snappy conversational style kind of limits this! However people are consistently saying that using the Ten Minute Mind helps them reduce their stress and find ways to work with their busy mind. I wonder if this gives them a few extra minutes in their day?
One person fed back that: “Taking ten minutes out really helps me to create space in my day to be present”, and a student said that “It’s helped me so much in the final year of university to remain calmer and more focused”.
Staff also said they felt valued and grateful to the university for providing the program for free and 91% thought they could positively apply the techniques to their daily life through learning to identify their stress, negative emotions and physical responses.
Students felt that they had increased focus, calmer responses to stress and that people around them noticed a change in them. In fact many of them asked for longer mindfulness audios than the daily ten minutes and 100% of students felt they used the mindfulness techniques in their daily life.
So I am giving you all a challenge: sign up to the Ten Minute Mind and see if you can find ten minutes a few times a week to focus on yourself, and today find the ‘Time to Talk’ about mental health and mindfulness.
Also keep your eyes peeled for upcoming university wide events co-ordinated by SCMHS on the 1st March to celebrate the National University Mental Health Day #UniMentalHealthDay #Stepchange @SCMHCityUni
Deputy Head, Student Counselling and Mental Health Service (SCMHS)