R U Ok?

Today September 13th is R U Ok day. It is a day for suicide awareness and mental health. It is for staying connected and having meaningful connections and asking the all important question to the people around us R U Ok? This year more so than previous years this day has allot more meaning to me. I lost 2 friends within weeks of each other at the beginning of the year both tragically to suicide. They had both moved away from Perth for different reasons and had different issues they were both working through. Unfortunately for friends and family left behind they both didn’t feel like there was a way to work past their demons and decided it was their time to go.

I know from my own experience of PTSD and anxiety when I was younger from traumatic events how hard it can be to open up and reach out. I struggled with crowds and going out after the events and went through years of therapy. I felt for a long time reaching out was a sign I was failing. As I got older I realised that reaching out is a sign that I was realising that I needed someone to talk to help me process my thoughts and feelings. It’s a good and healthy thing to reach out. I swear by having a good therapist and knowing who my support people are that I can talk to about anything. Having a good support network is so important in taking care of your mental health. Also having coping techniques when times are tough are good for everyone to stay on top of mental health to stay healthy. My go to is making sure I stay healthy by going to the gym and exercising regularly and eating well. Healthy body healthy mind works well for me. Everyone has something that works for them it’s just finding it and sticking to it even if you are going through some stuff or feeling low in general. There isn’t always a reason for someone to feel low or down. It’s important to know what helps you. Everyone has different challenges in life and even if you have never had any mental health issues previously it can happen to anyone at anytime. From big life events happening to something more scientific with brain chemistry being imbalanced.

There is a lot of information on being healthy and looking after your body but not as much about keeping your mind healthy. So when looking up ways of staying healthy with different forms of exercise and different healthy eating plans/habits, look up different ways of keeping your mind healthy too. There is so many great ways with things such as  mindfulness, coloring in, meditation, counselling, positive affirmations, taking a beak, a holiday or even getting a good nights sleep all helps keep your mind healthy.

R U Ok day is a day to wear yellow for suicide awareness and keep your door open for people to have a chat. It is a day where we can take the power and take positive steps to improve our mental health. It is a day across the beautiful country we live in to put it out there to everyone that if they need a chat, or a friend to lean on to reach out. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness or admitting failure like a lot of people feel. Reaching out is the opposite, it is being strong and knowing when to ask for help. It is success in knowing your limits and knowing when to share the load. My door is always open for a chat or just to have company and support through life’s ups and downs.

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