“How are you?” | What do you say when you are not OK?

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Being a human means there are times in our lives that are really hard, challenging and down right almost impossible (or so it feels at the time). Being an entrepreneur exacerbates this as it pushes us to our limits and takes us to our highest highs and lowest lows.

But being such a self-starter, a real go-getter can impact us. We suffer very high burnouts and depression (so the reports say) and I see it around me too.

We all ask “How are you?”, almost automatically of every person we see. But how often do we mean it? We are so connected, digitally…but how connected are we really? I don’t suggest that when meeting someone for work that we blurt out our entire life story but when a friend asks how we are, it is OK to say, I am not OK or for us to stop and really listen.

This requires strength, openness and vulnerability on our part. It is OK, to say that things are not fine. To share concerns. To share worries or fears. To say, things are not working out as I thought they would. It is not a reflection on us, even though that is exactly how we feel it is. Our friend, if a true friend, will only see our fears, worries and pain. The rest is not important.

In Australia, today is: R U OK Day? It is a day to focus on mental health and really to check in with those around us to make sure, that they are OK. If you are feeling down or this resonates article with you then there are things you can do:

  1. OK to ask – it is OK to ask for help. It is not a weakness or a sign of failure to say, I am not OK, I need help – it means you are being human.
  2. Lean on your support network – this is what they are there for.
  3. Move – go for a walk, put your face in the sun…exercise – this can really make a difference
  4. Breath – consciously slowing down our breathing, helps bring us back to centre
  5. Meditate – we may not be able to control many things but we can learn to bring peace to ourselves from meditation.
  6. Be Kind – be kind to yourself, take care of yourself.

And if you see someone you know that isn’t quite themselves, ask how they are (and mean it), stop and listen and provide the support that they need.

For more serious support you can turn to:

R U OK Day https://www.ruok.org.au

Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au

Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

Lifeline Helpline https://www.lifeline.org.au (Ph: 131114)

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