If you happened to scroll through social media today you may have seen the question or hash tag : R U OK?
For those wondering what all the fuss is about , R U OK is an incredible not-for-profit organization that focuses on and brings awareness to mental health and depression.
It was established in 2009 by Gavin Larkin whose vision is a world where we are all connected enough to prevent suicide.
His idea was to create conversations between friends, family, work colleagues and anyone else who may be feeling or looking a little down around you.
Simply asking someone if they are OK is such a small task yet can change someone’s life drastically ( and perhaps even save it). Most of us have all had really dark moments in our lives whereby we feel like we cannot handle the pressure of life any more.
Relationship failures, fear , loss of work, financial pressure , abuse or perhaps just even low self esteem can be massive contributing factors to the decline of our mental health.
It’s hard battling something especially when you feel like there is no one who you can talk to about it, but the good news is that people are starting to understand that this is a conversation that needs to be started .
Let’s look at a few ways in which we can start to beat our depression and move forward into a brighter future:
1: Talk to someone, whether it’s a friend or family member , you need to get everything off your chest and mind. A new objective opinion along with empathetic support can really help give you new strength and perspective.
2: Realise that your problems no matter how big or small are valid and significant. It’s not something you have to qualify for to get help, everything is relative to your life and emotions. If you feel that something is really getting you down then it’s time to address the issue because your happiness and peace is just as important as someone else’s.
3: Seek professional help,it’s not something to be scared of, but rather think of it as a way to get a fresh perspective on your situation.A good counsellor will not make you feel judged or useless but will offer support a, wisdom and practical advice.
4: Stop living in guilt! You do not have to be sorry for feeling a certain way or for what you have done in the past or present. Life is not a pass or fail test , so stop condemning yourself and putting so much pressure on your heart and mind. No one is perfect and life is a journey. Learn to forgive and love yourself.
5: Don’t get stuck in the moment, it’s hard not to be so buried in our pain and problems that we lose sight of tomorrow and the new hope it can bring. Don’t forget to see the bigger picture and don’t lose hope, each day is a step towards a better direction if you choose it to be.
6: Surround yourself with good company. Get social and busy spending quality time with people who make you feel stronger , happier and positive. So often we can start to isolate ourselves when we are depressed which in turn makes everything more magnified , so start using your time more constructively .
7: Get active and creative, whether it’s taking up regular exercise or perhaps learning a new skill, do something that gets your blood pumping, your brain thinking and he endorphins moving!
And remember that no matter how low you may be feeling , there is hope and you can and will make it through this difficult time. You weren’t created to be downcast or depressed, you were meant for a life of joy, peace and for filled purpose, so don’t give up because there is help out there and a better and brighter future awaits you .