Most greetings and meetings begin with the ritual of asking someone how are you? How many times have you heard the response of “I’m good” or “ Doing fine”? Have you ever felt annoyed when you were having a hard day and someone goes through the motion of asking you that basic question? Especially, when you know deep down that they would be equally annoyed if you told them how you really felt.
Back in March, our team began hosting weekly check-in Zoom calls with our Loveworks students. We started a new ritual and began asking each student and staff to rank how they are doing in their head and heart and rank it on a scale of 1-5. You weren’t off the hook with a number, but needed to tell us why you ranked yourself a certain number. For example, 1 feeling really low, and 5 feeling awesome.
In a previous blog post, we mentioned that our world is experiencing two pandemics. One, a virus and the other is fear and anxiety. Prior to COVID19, our team at Loveworks encountered more students openly talking about their mental health than before.
I’m not trying to be a doomsday prophet, but unless we take proactive measures for self-care, the emotional state of positive wellbeing for an entire generation is at stake.
Michael Phelps a decorated Olympian and winner of 28 Olympic Medals expressed that he only identified himself as a swimmer and not a human being. Please let that statement sink in for a moment.
After the 2012 Olympic games, Michael entered into a deep state of depression. If an Olympic champion who accomplished every single one of his lifetime performance goals can enter into a state of anxiety and depression, what is preventing a generation of students whose worlds have been shifted in every way imaginable?
While the answer to that question may exceed my lifetime, I believe this is where we can start.
- Know what you are not. You are not a doctor, swimmer, artist, or teacher. Unless you happen to be a parent and also one of these professions, but I would wager that you consider yourself a parent first. Regardless, You are unique; there is no-one else on this planet of over 8 billion people exactly like you. You are one of a kind.
- Find someone to help. While this thought may seem counterintuitive, I believe the best medicine on planet earth is to figure out a way that we can help someone else. After the first few weeks of our local stay at home order, our team assembled 150 care packages and delivered them to the front doors of our students with a message of hope and love.
- Turn your smartphone into a dumbphone. This is a tip we learned as a staff in a recent personal growth book. Let’s be honest, we’re pretty addicted. Take social media or email off your phone. Turn off all notifications and even switch your phone over to grayscale.
While these 3 actions are simple, they are powerful, I believe they can have a healing effect to your head and your heart. Who knows, maybe the next time someone asks how you are doing, you can give them the real you. Because remember, people would rather follow a leader who is always real rather than someone who acts like they have it all together.
How is your head and your heart today?