Let’s Talk about Mental Wellbeing

Have you asked your friends lately how they are doing, and REALLY listened to the answer?

This article has nothing to do with oil and gas site closure and I am not a qualified health professional. With the disclaimers out of the way, we can now chat about something that I hope hits your radar in a meaningful way – mental wellbeing.

360 has been very vocal about wellbeing, health, and mental strength recently.  We are very proud to openly discuss issues like this through our various media channels and to support issues that are important to our people and the business.

I also know that if you comb the internet, there are unlimited definitions, advertisements, resources, and written pieces on the topic of wellbeing.  This post is only meant to (hopefully) give an experiential story that might trigger a conversation and perhaps push someone to help someone else.  This sounds like a lot of wishful thinking, but that can be my default from time to time…

I’ve just recently returned from a weekend reunion of over-35 rugby players from various places across the country.  I had the opportunity to reconnect with several men whom I haven’t seen for years and to catch up on their lives and everything they’ve been doing the last while.  Suffice to say that it was a very fun weekend, and we did all the things one would expect of middle-aged men who came together for a weekend of sport, comradery and laughs.  But the intriguing thing for me was the openness with which my friends were able to chat about their lives, the ups and downs they’ve had and all the things which have shaped them over the last 15-20 years.  The conversations I had were nothing like the conversations we had as 20-something-year-old men and were very telling in that not all of them painted a picture of a “perfect life”.

On top of the great times and laughs, I also heard stories of divorce, sickness, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and a myriad of other issues which never would have been a topic for carefree, young, and (seemingly) strong rugby players.  In many of these conversations, it took multiple questions to really pull out some of the tougher moments, but it seemed to me that there was both a willingness and eagerness to have frank conversations.

What all of this told me was that it is important in life to take the time to ask questions but also then to watch and listen closely for the answers to see where the follow-up question might allow someone to open up about an experience. The minor act of offering an ear to those who want to talk and to listen without judgement or without trying to solve a problem seemingly goes a long way.  It was a bit of a surreal experience for me to hear some of the things my friends have gone through, but also an eyeopener on the effectiveness of just being there to chat.

Without wanting to sound too much like I’m lecturing anyone, I strongly feel that our society needs to be reminded on occasion that human connection and creating real bonds with people is the way that we collectively can help each other thrive.  With mounting divisiveness in society and in the political arenas, we must continue to create real relationships, nurture them, and be there as support networks for those who may be in need.

Lastly, with a global pandemic clouding the certainty of the future, the importance of checking in on friends and loved ones on a more regular basis cannot be understated.  The mere act of calling, visiting, or dropping a quick note could be the difference between a good day and a bad day.  The power of optimism in those conversations goes a long way and happiness is a tool that is free to use.

I recognize that this post could be way out in left field for some, but I feel very strongly personally about the power of connectivity, support, happiness and ensuring my mental wellbeing is addressed on a regular basis.  It is my hope is that this mindset rubs off on others and allows someone to talk if they feel the need or help someone who they might see in need.

All the best,

Ryan

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