Hello, hi. Welcome back guys.
So, everyone has been venting about how they’re feeling this lockdown. For my non-UK readers; we, the Brits, are back inside our homes for the next couple of weeks in an effort to reduce the spread. Of course, this isn’t our first rodeo and we have most definitely been here before (check out the first lockdown content here, here and here). Nevertheless, I’ve noticed a lot of people struggling with this one and wanted to share my own 2pence.
For the last lockdown, I had all these plans in place. I was still a student so couldn’t do much, but I definitely dedicated some time to self-care, rest and of course the occasional TV show. This lockdown, things are different because I haven’t got the responsibility of university to worry about. With that in mind, I am not doing a damn thing.
I’m not picking a hobby, learning how to do a certain something or becoming self-sufficient. I’m resting, period. I don’t have the strength to be proactive and make goals this time around. Get fit, be productive, start a business – that was all fun when the sun was shining in March but in this cold, dreary November in London? I’d rather not, respectfully. The novelty (that was never really there in the first place) of this experience has worn off and I, like others, have had enough – which is why I’m asking the question:
“how are you, really?”we’re not really strangers, circa 2019
Whenever I add the “really”, I feel like the question changes. It becomes less of an absentmindedly asked question and more “I’m listening, tell me how you’re actually feeling at this moment?”. A lot of the time, people throw out the “how are you?” out of courtesy. It’s less of a desire to actually support the individual on whatever it is that might be troubling them, and more of something people say in conversation. I’ve absolutely done this, and it’s not a bad thing intentionally. It has just become the standard phrase that people throw in when they haven’t seen or heard from someone in a while.
Don’t get me wrong, if a stranger or an acquaintance asks me how I am, I’m not delving into the deep dark stuff. However, I’d like to believe when close friends and family ask this question, they truly want to hear the answer. I think now the issue lies with the answer we give. Usually, the standard “I’m fine” that has been programmed as the response for that “how are you?” question tends to be given to any and everyone. With family, despite being far from, we’ll probably reiterate the same response because it’s almost a reflex. A bad one at that – how can people offer support if they think you’re good?
uncertainty, risk and emotional exposureBrené Brown
Recently, I’ve been making an effort to change this for me. Change both my answer to “how are you?” and how I ask the question. It’s one thing to have friends and family to rely on, but a whole other thing to use that support system to help yourself. So next time you ask someone close to you “how are you?”, think about what that means. Are you able to hold space for that person? Are you in a position to assist that person if they’re really going through it? In this lockdown with a sprinkle of trashy weather, a support system is paramount. I hope many of you have people you can rely on and if not, I have a post on mental health services that may be of use – here.
sending y’all positive energy and see you in the next one.
with all my love