Today is “R U OK?” day. This is a day where we are reminded of the importance this question holds. It is crucial that we pose this question, not just today, but any day, to people we care about, know a little, or have only just met.
Most of us have the best of intentions in caring for the well being of others, but I think a lot of us just don’t know how to handle the situation when someone says, “actually, I am not ok.”
While being chronically unwell, there has been a few times where I have said, “no, I am not in a good place”, and I have been amazed at the silent response from people who I have counted as friends. I have tools based on experiences from being a nurse, and have a strong family network, so I have been able to get myself through those times. However, it does make me wonder, how many people have been strong enough to say “I am struggling”, only to be let down, and have not been able to cope.
I think that a day like today is a good one to reflect on what you would and could do if someone came to you for help. People aren’t looking for a counselling session with you – they just want to know that there is another human being who is there for them. Show them this with something as simple as a cuppa, a hug or a silly joke! The small things are often the most effective. If you’re really stuck, or are particularly worried about the person, look for support or ideas on sites like https://ruok.org.au
“R U OK?” day is also here to remind us that it is ok to say to someone that you are not ok. We all have those moments from time to time – it is a normal human process – and the important thing is to know when those moments get too big for us to deal with alone. Ask for help before the moment overwhelms you.