R U Ok day is one of the most significant days of the year for mental health – for a lot of reasons.
- Think about the worst thing that could happen by checking in? It is not predictable and we are unsure how it will go? Unlike emails we edit 5 times before we send, it is okay to know the beginning but not the end. We’re not deciding whether to cut the red wire or the blue wire as the bomb ticks. You don’t have to have answers or know what to say other than to make a start. Asking is what is important.
- Leave your red cape in the wardrobe and your jocks on the inside. You are one human being on the park bench of life, letting another one know that there is a quiet space, and room on the bench next to you if they have a minute to take it.
- Silence is good if it comes. Don’t feel the need to fill it with humour if you feel vulnerable.
- Start with an observation or a thought. Mate – you’ve been through a big few months. I’m not sure how you’ve done it. How are you travelling?
- If the person you check in with does share something difficult, a gentle “Thanks for telling me” is more powerful than you can know. More powerful than jumping in with a solution.
- Conversations are like plugging a destination into your GPS. It will tell you there are 2450 alternative routes available. You won’t get it right or wrong. Trust yourself.
I promise it will make more of a difference than you know.
Peta Slocombe (M.Psych)