why it's ok to be ok

A reminder why it’s ok to be ok

At the moment everywhere you look is advice on mental health. How to keep positive and that it’s normal to feel down or anxious.  Whether you’re an adult or child, there’s certainly a lot more people who’re really suffering this lockdown 3 compared with the 1st one (we’ll ignore lockdown 2 because it really wasn’t that much of a lockdown). It’s great that it’s normalising mental health and encouraging people to talk more.

But if you’re fine, it can make you feel guilty and sometimes like you’re in the wrong for being ok. Because no-one’s talking about being ok. It feels like you can’t because people not doing so well would feel like you’re rubbing it in and making them feel worse.

But it’s ok to be ok. 

I am a moaner. I think we all are to a certain extent in my family. I like to say a realist, some would say a pessimist, but I don’t think I am. I just see more of the actual than optimism.  I can also see that things aren’t really that bad compared to others. 

But I do love a moan.  About trivial things mostly, and that’s where I find it easy to let go of things. There’s one thing from teenage years that still riles, but generally after a moan, that’s it and it’s really not important in the grand scheme of things.

why it's ok to be ok

I count us very lucky. We’re ok, we’re fine.

I don’t have worries about being in lockdown. I’m still sleeping the same. I still have my job, and work are allowing flexibility for those who need it for childcare or schooling. They’re also big on mental health for employees, and have a lot on offer externally and internally for support. The only downside is being at home all the time means I find it harder to eat healthily and therefore have piled on the weight I’d lost up til March. I find it so much easier when not eating with family 7 days a week, and being in the office so I’m more in control of stricter meal plans.

Most people seem to have been really productive with house and garden updates during lockdowns, but I haven’t been doing anything like that. We’ve done a couple of declutters, but now we’re stuck waiting with all the junk in my car, waiting for charity shops to open again. I’ve treated the past year as a chance to have time at home, really relax from our usual busy life, and have family time.

Yes it would be nicer to have lockdown during summer, but we’d still not be going out and about visiting places, because we don’t need to. We’re fine staying at home. Yes, I miss going out and being able to just go where we want when we want. But I can live perfectly fine being at home. One of the benefits of being an introvert (although I do miss having people around and working in he office).

The OH’s life hasn’t really changed much at all in this time. He worries about people in the family catching Covid because he doesn’t know how he could still look after the farm. But his day to day life hasn’t changed, other than having us in the house all the time rather than at work and school. Lockdown means that worry has gone because we’ve got nowhere to go.

N is still sleeping and acting the same as he did before Covid arrived and before lockdown 1 started. He’s coping well and adapting. He’s a child who likes to work hard, likes to follow the rules, and does what he’s asked to, so home-schooling has been generally painless. Whether it was offline working over the summer term, or online remote lessons like now, he’s dealt with it brilliantly.

While he enjoys being with small groups of children, and one on one, there are fewer distractions with home-schooling despite me working in the same room.  He has less time to moan about worry about other children mucking around, or thinking about what they’re doing. He can concentrate on his own work.  He’s also gaining skills and confidence in putting himself forward with answers on chat, and just generally helping others when they’re getting stuck or confused. 

He also gets the benefits of not having to go to wraparound care which is a bit ‘young’ for him now. Being at home with us all the time means he gets to have more of our attention whether it’s watching films together, learning to cook or playing board games. And not forgetting he’s got a great bond with the dog who’s now a year old.  Plus he’s planning business ideas and negotiating new calves, and befriending those he wants to halter train.  He’s loving life despite his tennis being off and not seeing friends.

I’m not keen on working from home, but it’s working. I’m still getting work done, here are social events like quizzes and informal chat sessions set up. I’m making the most of benefits of working from home rather than the office.

I would love for us to be out of lockdown with cases massively lower, deaths really reduced, and the threat of Covid long gone. I want to get back to going on days out, enjoying National Trust, seeing friends for coffee, chats at people’s houses, and being at tennis with everyone. But I’m fine that we’re still in lockdown. That’s life, and it’ll pass. 

It’ll probably be a while before it feels normal going out again. But it’ll be fine once we’re used to emerging again.

So we’re ok. Probably better than ok. And it’s ok to feel like that.

I might think about whether to admit that in response to people’s social media questions about whether people are feeling bad. But hopefully there are others who are also ok and this will make them feel less guilty about feeling fine when so many others aren’t.

How are you feeling at the moment?  Are you feeling different to normal?

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  1. I love the sentiment of this post. I worry that we’re all getting this constant stream of “life is so hard, it’s okay to have an off day” that some people who were otherwise fine will respond to it negatively. I can’t say I’m enjoying this lockdown and sure it’s having tougher moments, but we should focuse on our strengths and the few positives as well as watching out for others who are struggling.

    1. Yes, it’s great for those who’ve never struggled before and might not know where to go, and know it’s ok to struggle and ask for help. But it’s just too much all the time. I just want to get on with it, without having mental health rammed everywhere I look. A bad day might just be waking up in a bad mood, or getting irritated by the children going on and on about the same thing all the time. While I love being around people in the office or coffee shops, I’m happy on my own too. But it is frustrating the way it’s taking so long to get through when it didn’t need to if things had been stricter straight out.

  2. I’m totally with you on this one. We’re ok too, its not easy, I’m far from enjoying it and I’ve had plenty of moans, but we’re ok. We can and will keep going as long as necessary.
    Its not just lockdown though, where people expect you to react a certain way and question things if you don’t. After we lost our 3rd baby boy 2 years ago, one colleague asked if I had counselling, he couldn’t believe I’d got through it without and therefore I must be faking being OK.

    1. This totally. Our work is ramming Headspace and mental health all the time. It’s great that it’s open discussions and normalising, but if you don’t need the support, it’s just too much hearing all the time.

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