Hello beautiful people!
When I saw today’s challenge, I immediately thought fitness, being the fitness lover that I am (or used to be, judging from my current size 🤣) but I also thought of a more essential part of self care that we seem to overlook, especially in this country: emotional self care.
What is self care?
It is a very active and powerful choice to engage in the activities that are required to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health. And in this case, overall health includes not just the physical (so yeah, not just fitness), but the psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual components of an individual’s well-being.
I’m choosing to delve into emotional self care because around these parts, it looks like it’s unheard of to be ‘Not Okay’.
A typical conversation goes like:
Person A: “How are you doing?”
Person B (regardless of how they’re really feeling & without a second thought): “I’m good, you?”
Person A (also regardless of how they’re really feeling): “I’m good too” OR “I’m great” OR the most popular, “I’m okay”.
I know so many people who are hurting deeply, distressed and almost distraught but carry on with their daily lives with the “I’m okay” cover because we are not supposed to be ‘Not Okay’.
We are supposed to be strong and face everything that comes our way, no matter how painful and overwhelming, because we are super-humans 🙄😏
We are supposed to be tough and put a brave face on even when we are breaking down and falling apart on the inside.
You would rarely find a Ghanaian openly talking about the challenges they’re facing. Such things are only whispered in our pastor’s offices, maybe for fear of the issues being broadcasted to everyone else or mostly because we try to brave it, thinking that ‘this too shall pass’ and that things would get better so we can share our ‘testimony’.
Now I’m not saying that when we have issues we should shout it on the rooftop, I’m saying it is OKAY to be NOT OKAY.
Pretending to be okay can only go on for so long till you have an emotional breakdown (I would know).
Please, if you’re struggling with something you know you can’t handle on your own, if there’s something overwhelming bothering you, if you’re going through an emotional turmoil, find someone you trust or even a neutral person and speak to them. Let it out, don’t keep it in.
Try journaling your feelings (I do this a lot) or writing what’s wrong on a piece of paper and throwing it away.
If you need support in prayers, ask a close friend or a family member.
If you need to borrow some money, ask someone that you can repay. (& please pay them back😐)
If you’re unhappy about something, let it be known.
And if you’re just not okay, that’s fine. Have someone close to you hold your hand and rub your back. Bear hugs work for me.
Dear someone, you don’t have to do it all alone. You don’t have to bear all that pain and burden by yourself.
Let’s also make more efforts to really find out if our friends are okay.
Let’s be there for them when they need us and keep our mouths (+ judgmental minds) shut when they tell us what’s bothering them.
There are far too many people hurting but keeping it inside due to the fear of being judged and becoming the next hot topic in WhatsApp groups.
Just as you take care of the other parts of yourself, take care of your emotional side too. Don’t pretend it doesn’t exist.
Seek professional help if you need to.
And if you’re like me, stop keeping things in!
It’s OKAY to be NOT OKAY.
I’m always here if you need to talk: firstname.lastname@example.org
Set yourself free.