Are you okay?
To my readers — are you okay? We’ve all had struggles during this pandemic and even though there were times I felt guilty for spending days on end binging my favourite show and junk foods, it was things like this that got me through the hardest times. The pressure of not only the pandemic, but its impact on people has been stressful for everyone.
In addition to this, it’s hard to watch what is happening around the world from the unrest in the USA to the Mauritius oil spill. There have been many days I’ve cried from the stress of loss, anger or uncertainty. Especially for any male readers, I hope you too have been able to shed some tears and release your emotions. It’s beneficial to cry every now and then to release built-up emotions and let go of the pressure. I hope you are doing okay.
Remember, it’s ok to not feel ok in these challenging times:
R U OK? Steps
If there is someone in your life who has seemed a bit off lately, it’s a good idea to check in with them. Before jumping to do this, ensure you’re in a good headspace and ready to listen to. Prepare to have a plan for if they tell you they are not okay to support them and guide them get the help they need.
Once you’ve prepared for the conversation, ensure you pick a good time to speak to them that suits you both, in a comfortable environment.
1. Ask are you okay?
You can ask if they’re okay in different ways. Ak them in a friendly, relaxed and concerned way. Such as asking, “What’s been happening?” or “How are you going?”
Take the time to take in what they are saying. They may not open up right away or at all and that’s okay. Give encouraging responses to talk about their emotions and don’t judge their experiences or feelings.
3. Encourage action.
Depending on the situation, you could ask them what you can do to help, if they’ve dealt with these circumstances before, give advice if you’ve been through a similar situation and be positive about seeking professional help if they’ve been feeling really down for more than two weeks.
4. Check in.
Check up on them the following week or two after (or sooner if they’re still having a hard time). You could call them or arrange to meet in person and ask how they’ve been doing and if they have managed the situation. If they haven’t, listen to them and encourage open conversations which are genuine and show you are concerned and care for them. Let them know you’re always there for them; this can make a real difference.
3 Ways to Get Involved in R U OK? Day
Educating yourself on the cause of R U OK? Day is the first step to getting involved. Understanding the signs someone is not okay and how to approach them is important and can save lives. Head over to ruok.org.au for more information on this great cause.
Additionally, it helps to get involved and spread awareness. This can be done by wearing yellow on the 10th of September, 2020 to honour the cause and/or host a yellow-themed event with R U OKAY? to spread awareness. Another way to spread awareness is to post on social media and most importantly, donate.
1. Wear yellow on the 10 September 2020.
Join together and wear yellow (the official R U OK? colour) on Thursday, 10 September 2020. Wearing yellow honours the cause and spreads awareness about mental health and the R U OK? campaign.
2. Show support in your workplace.
Another way to get involved with R U OK? Day is to support this day in your workplace. Organise a yellow-themed office day to spark conversation about mental health.
You can organise different wellness activities to get people connecting and put up a wellness board where people can write encouraging notes and naming someone they are thankful for.
3. Ask a friend if they’re okay.
Most importantly, ask a friend, colleague, family member, teacher, etc. if they are okay. Use the steps and tips provided in this article. Sparking these kinds of conversations can save lives.
Tips for Asking if Someone is okay
People need to have social interaction, which is hard, especially if you cannot see your friends and family. It’s important to still prioritise interactions with people, which is why there are online alternatives to get you through these times.
- Ask Google home, “Hey Google, talk to R U OK Mate” to practice scenarios.
- Setup to call family or a friend at least once a day.
- Play online multiplayer games.
- Plan to video chat with your friends, even making dinner and eating together once a week.
- A lot of us are still quite busy, while others have spare time. Bumble friends connects you with people with common interests.
- There are plenty of mental health apps, from counselling to relaxation.
- Remember, it’s normal to seek professional help for your mental health.
And remember, we’re all in this together and we can and we will get through this.
The information provided in this article is true at the time of publication. Localsearch, nor the author, are not liable for the misuse of information. Please consult professional services for the most relevant information regarding this topic.
Find local counselling services in your area.