Yesterday was ‘R U OK?’ Day. A day where we are asked to check in on each other with the simple question “Are you OK?”.
RUOK is a charity aiming to battle depression and prevent suicide through creating a more connected world.
It promoted me to think about recent conversations with friends and family about depression, anxiety, mental health and well-being. In the course of those conversations, I received some advice towards managing my own well-being. I thought I’d share it here:
Close your eyes and imagine you have a protective bubble around you, an outer layer that protects and keeps you safe, happy and healthy. Got an image in your head? Great.
Now consider that bubble in terms of how it’s impacted by things that happen in your life. Things that cause you stress and worry, sadness or anger or anxiety or frustration. These things all poke and prod at your bubble, they stretch it thin, wear you down and can push you and your bubble to bursting point.
There are also things that strengthen your bubble, that add extra protective layers, that increase your bubble’s flexibility and resilience. These are things that make you happy, like being loved and giving love, spending time with family, being outdoors, watching a good movie or reading a good book, having a drink with a friend, taking time for yourself, doing something fun, resting well, quality sleep, exercise, experiencing joy, friendship [you know what your happy things are].
When you’re not feeling OK, your protective bubble is in trouble. There’s a thinner veneer between you and the world. Doing the things that strengthen your bubble will help redress the balance. But sometimes it’s not enough.
Please know that I’m not trying to simplify mental health issues and management into a bubble analogy. Far from it. Mental health issues are complex and treatment is specialised. I’m simply sharing something that I found useful in thinking about managing my own well-being.
I can’t personally check in with you for R U OK? Day…you’re reading a blog I’ve already written. But I can ask you to consider this: are you looking after your own protective bubble? Are you making time to refill your cup? Are you taking a breath?
R U OK?
Please consider checking in with someone you know and asking them the same question.
If you are struggling, please talk to someone you know. And please don’t leave it too long to find help