How are you? How are you doing?

by Gillian Fowler

How are you? How are you getting on?

These may be simple questions to ask, but someone who is struggling mentally & emotionally will not find these easy to respond honestly – perhaps they won’t offer a response at all.

How many times is the question asked, and we hear the all too common automatic response of ‘Fine’?

The answer of ‘Fine’ may sometimes be given because the question comes from a place of habit, a welcome note of ‘Hi, how are you doing?’ – and not from the place of actually wanting to know! And yip, the person on the receiving ends is fully aware if the question is being asked from a genuine stand point, or just another add-on to hello!

But how are you truly feeling? How are you doing in general?

As we run around in our lives, trying to make sure we stay on top of all that we have to do for work and home, crossing off the endless To Do lists, it can be hard to even know how we really are doing. And heck, if we don’t know, how do we try explain to someone else?! For the vast majority of us, we’re running our lives at such a pace, we aren’t fully connected to ourselves.

So are we ok? Maybe yes, life is good overall. FAB! But alas, maybe no. And if we’re not fully connected to ourselves, who does know? Unfortunately, the reality can become all too apparent when perhaps the smallest challenge or trigger sees us ‘hit the wall’, where our spinning plates begin to slow and fall.

However, prevention is possible; there are steps we can take to lessen or avoid overwhelm.

We all have varying responsibilities, but all too often we overlook prioritising the responsibility we have for our own health & wellbeing. No one else is going to do this for us, we need to start making sure we are ok. And don’t forget, without our own good health, how do we continue to help others and do all that we have to do?!

Giving yourself the space to rebalance and re-energise is essential.

Sound a bit fluffy? You don’t feel you need to do this?

Well, think about it – would you let your mobile phone battery run low every day, or even whereby it loses power altogether? No! We are acutely aware of when the battery is at a level that we need to give it charge and we do this every day!

So why should our own health & wellbeing be any different??

It also can be true that sometimes we are not even aware that our energy levels, concentration, engagement are at such low levels until it’s too late – whereby our body kicks in and takes over, forcing us to take stock.

Don’t wait for the late warnings signs; we need to start taking care of ourselves as preventative measures, not just reactive.

Learn to become more attuned to your wellbeing, what is working for you, what’s not. And please know, it’s ok not to be ok!

Consider:

🔅How more effective would it be if you assigned just 5-10 minutes each day to checking in on yourself, becoming aware of any build of stress, assessing your To Do list and becoming realistic on what can be delivered?

🔅What if you could assign time on your days off to have some quiet, away from devices, pressures, work, people? To be able to read, go for a walk, sit outside with a cuppa for fresh air, head out on your bike, go explore? Have you tried this?

🔅Or perhaps you introduce a movie afternoon / evening once a week, just to sit back and watch something. Yes, it’s still technology but you’ve removed yourself from engaging with others via mobile phones, laptops, iPads, and even talking!

Don’t think these suggestions would be effective? Have you tried?

Give yourself 3-4 weeks of introducing a couple of these, or swap around to find what feels best for you. Monitor the positive impact they bring to your life. And by all means, share your feedback in the comment or drop me a private message.

You have the power to take back control of your life, your health & wellbeing, and it’s a responsibility that we should not take lightly.

Being able to talk to a trusted person is also key in lessening the chance for the pressure cooker feeling to build. Who can you turn to to listen fully, without judgement and as a support network?

It can be incredibly hard to say ‘I’m not ok, I’m struggling’, even more so if you have experience of taking the brave steps to say this before and you didn’t get the much-needed support at the time. That the chosen person you turned to showed they couldn’t be relied on after all. 😥 That’s so hard.

But please know, there are incredible people around you who WILL give you all the support you need.

Futhermore, perhaps the company you work for has Mental Health First Aiders in place, or an external source of support that can be called upon. Or perhaps you’d rather chat to someone outwith the company. Whoever that go to person is, please do open up and share if you are not feeling too great about situations or life in general.

Life is short enough; it’s precious. 💕

Our life is of course impacted by external factors, but it’s important that you remain in control of the routes you take – make conscious choices. Please don’t feel pushed and pulled in directions by others. This is your life, and you have the control to say Yes and No to what’s being put your way. If something is detrimental to your health & wellbeing, then it’s time to push back, say no, protect yourself.

So next time you’re asked ‘How are you?’ by someone you trust, consider taking the first step in being honest, open and replying with how you’re truly feeling.

This is not a sign of weakness; it takes inner strength. 

And please know, I am also a call away. 💖

As an experienced, accredited coach, I have years of experience in helping others. You can always expect confidentiality, professional support and a safe environment to explore how to move beyond the current situation. Furthermore, you will gain clarity, and be able to see the stepping stones to change.

Whatever is going on in your life, please remember to make your health & wellbeing a priority.

Take care,

Gillian x

Helping others via Usana Mindset and BackStrong