How are you?
It’s a seemingly straightforward question we ask and get asked every day. Often though, it’s used more like a casual greeting than a proper question, as though it’s simply another way of saying: ‘Hey there, person I know!’
Whenever this has happened to you, you’ve probably replied with a quick: ‘Oh, fine – and you?’ Then, the other person likely responded much the same: ‘Fine, thanks!’ And with that, you’ve both moved swiftly on to other topics of discussion.
Within seconds of greeting each other, we’ve often – quite unintentionally, like an involuntary reflex – briefly acknowledged then quickly dismissed the very notion that we each have an inner world, populated by a host of emotions both mixed and messy. Put another way, we all instinctively know mental health is important, but we aren’t always so practiced at giving each other – or ourselves – the space and time to share and reflect on what’s going on inside.
Keeping this in mind, here’s a self check-in challenge for you to try whenever you feel able to this week:
- Find a quiet place – a spot where you feel comfortable, safe, and relatively undistracted. Mute or turn off your phone if it’s nearby.
- Make sure you have something to write on and a pen/pencil.
- Ask yourself how you are doing. Try to be honest with yourself about whatever you might be feeling. These are complex, unusual times, and we’re all bound to be feeling a great many things. It can be really difficult when struggling with challenging circumstances, but see if you can identify more reasons to be thankful than to be sad or frustrated.
- Think about what you are grateful for. Try not to worry about how big or small that thing may seem in the moment. If you’re grateful it exists, it matters.
- List at least 10 things you are grateful for. If you prefer, you can try to come up with something for every letter of the alphabet. (Need inspiration? See here for an old example of mine.)