Australia recognizes national ‘RU OK?’ Day, putting forward a reminder that every day is a good day to check inward and outward to ask that question. With the effects that COVID-19 has had on my world, your world…the world…perhaps now more than ever people are suffering from depression, anxiety, sadness, and thoughts of suicide. So, this serves to ask, are you ok?
No matter how alone you feel, regardless of how big the obstacles in your life may seem, please know you are not alone and there is hope. If you, or someone you know, is struggling do not give up.
When you ask the question, “Are you ok?” you need to be willing to receive the answer, whatever it is. If you ask your child if they are ok and they say no, be present with them without reacting to their response. If you ask yourself the question and the answer is no, don’t fill your thoughts and presence with judgement. Accept the truth of your answer and then ask, “What else is possible here? What would it take to change this?”
No one on the planet is exempt from life’s challenges. The good news is there are pragmatic tools that you can use to shift the heaviness you may be experiencing and discover the joy of living.
These are my top 6 tips on what to do when you are not ok.
1. What day is it? What time is it?
Worrying about the future will not create the future you would like to have. When you notice thoughts of anxiety or concern, pause, and ask, “What day is it? What time is it?” This question brings you into the present moment. Now, in this present moment, in these 10 seconds, ask, “Am I ok? Right now?” The answer may be, “Yes.” Perhaps the idea that you are not is that you are worrying about what has not occurred. If you ask and the answer is no, ask, “Who can I call?” and then call them. Choose someone who is kind and does not judge you. Talking to another person about what is going on for you can be very freeing and can release the trauma and drama around what is occurring.
2. What can I do today that would put a smile on my face?
What can I do today that would put a smile on my face? Whatever the response to this question is, do it! You can also ask, “What could I choose that would create more ease and happiness in my life?” It is easy to assume that when things are difficult, nothing can be done to change it. What if this is a lie? What if, no matter what has happened to you, no matter what has occurred, you could make a different choice and things would change?
Several years ago, an elderly man came to one of my classes. His wife had recently died. He had fought in World War II. He entered the room, grey skin, limping as he walked with a cane. He had already decided he was on his way out. What was there to live for? Two days into the class he looked noticeably different when he walked in. He stopped limping. He did not bring his cane. His skin became soft and pink. He approached me and said, “Simone, I am choosing to live.” That one choice changed his entire reality quickly. One choice can change yours too.
3. Draw from nature
I was recently speaking with my gardener about how much being with nature, plants and the earth brings me healing. Throughout these last months of COVID I have surrounded myself with indoor plants. As I write this article, I am sitting on my balcony listening to the birds and the sound of the ocean. Nature contributes to us in so many ways. Draw from that.
4. Move your body
When sadness, frustration or overwhelm are consuming it can be very easy to sit on the couch watching Netflix all day. Get up and move! Go for a walk or a swim. Do some yoga. Whatever movement is fun for you and your body. Bodies like to move, and a little bit of movement can change your outlook on things quickly.
5. Be around happy people
Others cannot make you happy but being around people that are negative and focus on the bad can certainly bring you down. Find happy people to be around. Look for people who are joyful and living the adventure of life and spend time with them.
6. Access Consciousness BARS
Access Consciousness is a set of tools and processes designed to change anything in your life that you would like to change. One of those tools is referred to as the Access BARS. The Access Bars are 32 points on the head that when gently touched alleviate stress and assist with stopping incessant mind chatter. There are Access Consciousness BARS facilitators all over the world. You can find them here. And during the month of September and October Access Bars Practitioners and Facilitators around the world are offering free sessions as part of our global initiative – You are Not Alone. Go to www.accessconsciousness.com/youarenotalone to find out more and find a practitioner or event near you.
It is easy to blame our circumstances when we are not ok, but what is happening around us does not need to contribute to or create our reality. Rather, it is what we choose to do with it. What if each day you woke up and made the choice to live? What if you looked at life and asked, “What else is possible here? What choices do I have that I have not yet considered?” And “If I knew I would not fail, what would I choose?” Ask these questions and doors will open to possibilities you have not yet seen.