It’s okay to not be okay – so let’s keep CALM to carry on, says Sheffield minister
The question ‘how are you’ is a classic British conversation starter.It is also often the question we don’t want to answer, and the person asking it doesn’t really wish for a reply more in-depth than ‘I’m fine, thanks’.
We are conditioned not to delve too deeply and to bat-away people’s approaches that get too close to what is really going on for us under the surface.
I believe and hope that this has changed somewhat during 2020: it certainly needs to.
This week, the Office for National Statistics released a survey indicating that our nation’s anxiety levels are significantly higher than pre-Covid, and that half of adults reported their wellbeing was being affected – for example, boredom, loneliness, anxiety and stress – by the coronavirus pandemic.
We need to get hold of the truth that you and I don’t have to have it all together.
It’s okay not to be okay.
And its vital that we share those feelings with others who care.
A friend of mine who is a trained counsellor shared a helpful mnemonic with me: CALM.
C – Connection.
We are made for relationship between us and God, and us and each other.
Loneliness is a dangerous problem at the moment, but all of us can be kind and warm to people we know, and join in doing something for someone else or loving our neighbours as ourselves.
Recently I spoke with a friend who confessed they haven’t been hugged for the past seven months, and simply misses physical touch;
A – stay Active.
While I’ve been working from home I’ve tried to walk in our local park each day often with one friend, I’m taking free exercise classes on Youtube and I lend my dog out to anybody who wants some company;
L – Learn.
Learn something new, to keep our minds active and gain a sense of achievement;
M – be Mindful.
Simply enjoying God’s creation through using all of our senses.
Choosing St Peter’s advice: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
This winter let’s keep CALM and help carry each other on.
The Reverend Nick Allan is a minister at The Well Church, Ecclesall Road, Sharrow.