This Thursday is RUOk day. This National awareness day targeting suicide prevention, was co-founded in 2009 by Gavin Larkin who experienced the suicide of his father years before. The day urges people to meaningfully ask someone, R U OK? On the website Gavin says “getting connected and staying connected is the best thing anyone can do for themselves and for those who may be at risk”.
I think this is such a valuable message. It did get me thinking though about how often we meaningfully check-in with ourselves. I spend most of my time checking-in to see how other people are doing (hazard of the job!!) but I rarely take the time to do the same for myself.
As an experiment I thought I would take the time to ask myself, Am I OK? I asked meaningfully (this felt a little silly at first) and really thought about how I am feeling. I discovered I am ok in some areas and not so ok in others. I am enjoying new challenges at work and loving family life but have been feeling a bit blah due to a recent injury. Before asking myself Am I Ok, I wasn’t consciously aware of how much impact not being able to do my normal exercise routine was having on my psychological and emotional well-being. Being aware of this prompted me to find an alternate exercise routine and amazingly the blah feeling improved almost instantly!
Tomorrow is RUOK Day. Maybe today can be Am I OK day. Ask yourself, how am I feeling physically? Am I eating well, do I need more sleep, have I had a health check recently? How am I feeling emotionally? Have I been feeling more down than usual lately, am I in a constant state of stress, do I need to connect with some form of support? How am I feeling mentally (Different from am I feeling mental)? Is my brain fried from Uni, are there some thoughts that have been bothering me? How am I functioning in my relationships? Am I feeling connected to others, do I feel safe in my relationships, who can I reach out to when things get tough? Ask yourselves some questions like this and see if the answers surprise you.
If you discover you need a boost in a particular area there are lots of people you can connect with for support. A GP, the Student Support Advisors here at the uni or family and friends are a great place to start. Plus, you can check out the online counselling website for tips, resources and details of how to connect with an online counsellor. Today ask yourself am I OK and tomorrow, connect with someone else by asking, RUOK?