How are you?
These have been the usual responses that people are giving today when asked about their well-being. And fair enough. Fine is a good enough answer. Bored pretty much covers it all. But are we giving the question enough thought before answering? I mean, sure, we do not have to tell anyone and everyone that asks us – “how are you” with the truth. ‘I’m fine” is a perfect answer.
But considering everything that is going on here, with the pandemic and everyone at home all the time and having to balance between work-life and personal life, I think we should pause and think about how we really are doing today.
Not for others but for ourselves.
Essentially, the five pillars of health are physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual. We have been so worried about our physical health and safety; we tend to disregard how we feel – mentally and emotionally. Social is being taken care of, thanks to excessive digital platforms. Spiritual – well, that is very personal, and I am not touching that right now. So it is mental and emotional health that tends to take a hit.
The CoronaVirus is not the only thing that seems to be found in abundance today. We find stress everywhere. So much that most people seem to be using the word atleast once a day. A working individual – multiple times a day. And a working parent – they use it multiple times an hour often. And justified at that. That does not mean the kids are not stressed too. They probably just do not know it yet.
I’m writing this article to try to understand what goes into coping with that kind of stress. Half the time, we don’t even know that we need to take that break and de-stress ourselves. Or feel the need to. Because the work – be it chores, office work, or homework – has to be done. And we end up doing it monotonously, without pausing to take a breather. And then, like the last straw on the donkey’s back, it does not take much to trigger a breakdown.
Funnily, the solution is not that hard. It’s not rocket science. It’s just the question of finding someone you trust and opening up. Someone who won’t judge you. Someone who knows and accepts that it is alright not to be happy and chirpy all the time. Someone you can show that dark side of you and just scream, yell and cry.
The next time someone asks you, “How are you?” and if it is a person that you don’t mind talking to, please do. Trust me. Your day could only get brighter. You might not find a solution to the stress, but the burden could be lighter.
It’s a pure coincidence that I am writing this post on friendship day. But I’m glad I am.
Nithya K Pillai is that friend to me.
Who is yours?