Hello. How are you today?
It is a familiar greeting that I hear almost every time I communicate with another person, be it friend or stranger. We use this greeting when we meet with friends, on the phone, at the supermarket, even on the doorstep when that ‘random’ person comes knocking to sell you their product, I use it myself. It seems we need some standard form of introduction for further conversation or interaction.
My question is how often do you respond with the truth? For the majority of us, acknowledging that you are not okay is difficult to do, even when we have been offered the opportunity to do so! If you have been brave enough to tell that girl at the checkout about the migraine you can’t get rid of and how exhausted you feel, that you can’t stop crying and have even had thoughts of suicide…..well, you soon notice the glazed look on her face and the ‘have a nice day’ as she moves on to the next person! Now, I am not saying that this is always the case, in fact as our communities become more aware of the prevalence of poor mental health, employers are making sure that their employees are trained to respond appropriately, however we have a long way to go and often it feels ‘safer’ to respond with the standard form of etiquette of ‘I’m fine, thankyou.’
Many of us go about our daily lives ‘pretending’ you are okay. If you identify with that, I encourage you to seek out the help you need. As social beings, we all need the encouragement, reassurance and comfort of friends. This is one of the essentials for good mental health. If you do not have that support or you recognise that they do not have the expertise that you need to recover good mental health, I encourage you to seek out the appropriate health professional – talk to your doctor or a Professional Counsellor about what you are experiencing.
You can also take positive steps towards recovering good mental health by taking responsibility for your own self care. These 10 tips, sourced from http://sujenman.wordpress.com/tag/world-mental-health-day/ provide the essentials for self-care:
If you are not okay and need the support of a Counselling Professional contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or go to www.watersedgecounselling.com to book an appointment.