As a leading youth organization in this state, our job is not simply to run a basketball camp or golf tournament, but to address the whole child. That’s why the Health Huddle was created in 2019. We take pride in promoting mental health, healthy habits and sports performance to the community at large.
But we also want to share actionable tips that you can implement in your day to day life. Research shows that having conversations in daily life decreases the risk of mental illness. This is where the Health Huddle Timeouts began.
A "timeout" doesn't have to insinuate negativity or a consequence. A Health Huddle Timeout is an opportunity to forget about stressors and worries of everyday life to talk about something you enjoy. While we've implemented them within our programs, we challenge you to implement them at home or school.
How do I start one?
Take some time at any point in the day where your family or friends can connect together. This could look like:
- Taking a group walk
- Playing a family/friendly game
- Enjoying family dinner
- Spending quality time together without screens involved
What do I talk about?
ANYTHING! But here are some conversation starters:
- What was one thing you learned today at school?
- Who did you eat lunch with?
- What are you most excited about this week?
- What is their favorite song/movie/food at the moment?
You can continue to keep it light, or start adding in additional questions with more depth, depending on the moods and the day.
- Did anything make you sad today?
- What was one thing that made you happy?
- Is there a new friend you can make at school?
- Did your feelings get hurt today?
Health Huddle Timeouts can happen anywhere and with anyone. The important part is the connection made between you and the people in your “timeout.” They may start as casual conversations about light topics, but then transition to more serious topics that may be tough to talk about. Being comfortable to share how we’re really feeling may not happen overnight, but consistently talking about our lives can have a large impact on our mental health.
So, start today. Set aside time for a Health Huddle Timeout. You might be surprised how 5-10 minutes of open conversation can make someone’s day better.