This question gets thrown about so blithely, and I really struggle with it. . In fact, at the start of my calls with clients, I’ve begun to drop the sometimes throw-away niceties and have begun singing my client’s name as a greeting. To be clear, I cannot sing, but I do it anyway, and typically this brings a little smile and some fun into our shared space. . But really, how are you? Are you OK? I mean for real, and not in this moment, or just for today. I mean broadly. .
A lot of people I know really aren’t OK, for a variety of reasons. .
I know many people who have gotten covid, some multiple times in the past 6 months, and are still struggling with it. The on-a-dime switch people have had to make in both returning to the office and increased in-person socializing/networking events has been both incredibly fun and also a drain. I am observing people I know winding up exhausted from launching back into all that “before-times” activity. .
And frankly, most of the people I know and work with are also struggling deeply with current events. There’s still a war raging still in Ukraine, reproductive justice is in threat here at home, tragic acts of gun violence seem to roll from one to the next before we even have a chance to grieve and process them. It’s too much. . We are stretched, depleted, and under-resourced for this time. . The news cycle is hard enough, and add to it that the last few years have been a lot in and of themselves. So many of us have been juggling so much, working from home while also providing full-time childcare, that we’ve basically been hanging on for dear life. And then all of the sudden here we are, expected to be back in the world carefree. Believe me, I get it: I want to be back in the world without a second thought too. But more than that, I want to protect myself and my loved ones. . And I don’t just mean from disease. I also mean that I want to protect them from my under-resourced, reactive mean self. This aspect of me comes out when I am doing too much, over-working, sleeping poorly or not enough, and am overall stressed and anxious. .
This is the state I’ve been in for the past few weeks due to some significant work stress. I was a grumpy a**hole, caught in a cycle of stress and anxiety. I may or may not have been difficult to live with 😒. I was certainly not walking my coaching-talk, and I was definitely not OK. . Can you relate? It can happen to the best of us. Honestly in my opinion, some version of this is happening to a lot of us. .
Maybe for you, it’s happening quickly like it has for me — you’re swept up in a tornado of a problem that compounds quickly and wears you down super fast. For others, it’s more of a termite situation, one that has built more slowly over time and has eroded your energy, reserves, and perhaps relationships. .
Maybe it’s a bit of both, and I suspect it is. Like I said, it’s been a heckuva few years. . My advice? Let’s start by putting first things first. I have mentioned this time and time again: It is vitally essential that we put our own oxygen mask on first. Our own self-care has to be Priority #1. We can only give from the overflow of our well, not its depths. .
So if you are like me, and so many others, and you are NOT OK, please begin to take care of and heal yourself. Perhaps you need more rest, more time to be quiet. Maybe you need more connection and conversation, or to take more breaks to breathe. Maybe you need to laugh more, or to cry more. Like, a lot more. .
None of these things need to be huge chunks of time — I suspect you don’t have it to give anyway. But if doing more resting, emoting, breathing, and the like are some of what you need to address the tumult of these past years and the ongoing ups and downs of everyday life and current events, you must not ignore this need. You must honor it. . First things first. . Let’s face it, we could all use a bit of healing right now. Only then can we begin to reconnect to our purpose, so that we can design our WHOLE life to be in alignment. Then and only then can we show up with our unique gifts, talents, & love in this world that so desperately needs us. . What do you need to be more OK? .