Are you OK?

BY TRACY NGUYEN

Are you OK?

Extensive research has shown the amazing impact of communication and its positive impacts on people’s mental state. Being genuinely listened to may be all one needs in his/her darkest day, and conversations can really save lives. This year national R U OK Day was on Thursday the 9th of September. I am sure we have all heard of, if not been very familiar with, this day every year, which is dedicated to be a reminder for all of us to have a conversation with someone we are worried about and offer support to people who are struggling with their life’s challenges.

However, to be able to look out for other people, it is very important to make sure that you are OK first. Before asking anyone that question, give a moment every day to check in with yourself:

  • Be an understanding, patient and kind listener to your own body and mind as how you would be to someone you care about who is going through hard times
  • Give yourself complements for keeping up until now through the tough days; tell yourself that it is fine to be unproductive, upset, frustrated and imperfect today.
  • Remember your presence alone is a blessing, and as long as you are still breathing, there will always be hope at the end of the tunnel, and tomorrow will definitely be a better day awaiting ahead.

In this pandemic with all the uncertainties and challenges, especially during multiple periods of lockdown when you may be physically separated from your loved ones or your normal sources of comfort, it is normal to feel lonely, as if there is only you left struggling all by yourselves in this world. But remember that you are not alone.

If no one has asked you R U OK today, let me be the one who asks. “R U OK? What’s been happening?”. Let me remind you that there’s always someone out there who have been thinking about you and want to hear your stories and know how they can help. Let me remind you that sometimes there are conversations that may be too hard for you to share with family and friends, and if you ever feel concerned about your own safety or the safety of other, please contact a professional as soon as you can. And let me remind all of you who are reading this, no matter how tough things may seem now, that I am confident that you WILL BE OK. Take care!

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